By Ray Pride

Andersen On Hurch

“Under Hans Hurch, the Vienna International Film Festival (VIENNALE) was the best there was. It was a festival for the people of Vienna, “a festival of festivals,” like Toronto originally, not a business-oriented commercial festival. It was the most hospitable of all the festivals. The festival team stayed together from year to year so they became like friends if you visited more than once or twice. The festival social events, including the nightly dinners, were open to all the guests. At other festivals, visiting film-makers get invited to one dinner with the director and are shut out of the others. And it was just the right size, not too big, not too small. Hans chose all the films with the assistance of Katja Wiederspahn.  Films didn’t get lost as they do in Toronto or Rotterdam. Short films were an important part of the program. If you were up for seeing five programs a day, you could see just about everything.

“And the curating was the best. He supported the work of many Los Angeles film-makers who are not part of the ‘industry,’ and many from Cal Arts, students, graduates and faculty members. But his choice of Hollywood films was inspired: for example, he was among the first to notice Christopher Nolan. It was at the VIENNALE that I discovered the work of Bahman Ghobodi (V2000), Apitchatpong Weerasethakul (V2000), Lisandro Alonso (V2001), Rithy Panh (V2000), Nuri Bilge Ceylon (V2003), Julie Bertuccelli (V2003), Alain Guiraudie (V2003), Miguel Gomes (V2008), when  they were still little-known, and of course all the Austrian film-makers whose work I have come to cherish.

“And Hans made it all look easy. He never complained about being overwhelmed and exhausted during the festival as most festival directors like to do. I can’t remember a single projection problem, a single film shown in the wrong aspect ratio. And we didn’t have to tolerate those witty advertisements from a festival sponsor that are fun the first time but become unendurable by the end of the festival (cf. Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles). So film-makers and film-lovers all over the world will miss Hans deeply.”
~ Thom Andersen Remembers Hans Hurch On Facebook

Comments are closed.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now. Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.”
Lupita Nyong’o

“We all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper. We did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator. We knew that our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women. We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist. But to say that we are shocked and surprised only makes us part of the problem. Our company was built on Harvey’s unbridled ambition – his aggressive deal making, his insatiable desire to win and get what he wanted, his unabashed love for celebrity – these traits were legendary, and the art they produced made an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. But we now know that behind closed doors, these were the same traits that made him a monster… We know that in writing this we are in open breach of the non-disclosure agreements in our contracts… We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately – and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees – so we may speak openly.”