Schottentor

Caspar Pfaundler

A free thinking portrayal of the desire to be oneself and not to be swallowed up in anonymous mediocrity that sketches the daydreams of several characters who link their desires in the Viennese underground station Schottenpassage to partly random passers-by.

Through the Schotten Passage, an underground train and tram station in Vienna that is only linked to the outside world by a large oval opening, thousands of people travel every day. Pfaundler, a Viennese director who now lives in Taiwan, chose this place as the arena for his film, original in its form and substance, about people's deeper motivations. He allows several people, in no hurry on their way to a familiar destination, to stop time briefly with daydreams about possible encounters and attempts to make more authentic contact with their true selves.
The director begins this film with a striking upbeat as he says that he really wanted to travel to the coast with his cast and crew, but that the budget didn't allow it. The wide horizon to be found there remains an unrealised dream hanging above the characters, among them a flower seller, a teacher and an old man. As an antidote, Pfaundler portrays some of their fantasies and allows their monologue intérieur to betray the extremely personal grounds for their desires. While seventy percent of Schottentor is set in a public space, these reflections, combined with the liberated exchange between reality and imagination, provide a striking intimacy. At the same time, his leaps in formal style create a reflective, mild distance.

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