Showing: 05 April 2023 , 11 April 2023
Impeccably styled and unflinchingly grim, this darkly humorous tale of a pop star past his prime finds Ulrich Seidl at his audacious best.
It’s off-season in the Italian coastal town of Rimini, where washed-up crooner Richie Bravo (Michael Thomas) struggles to make ends meet. With his headlining days well behind him, Richie scrounges for no-frills hotel gigs, catering to an ever-dwindling (but fiercely loyal) female fan base, the more lascivious of whom he also charges for sex. Despite mounting financial woes and waning stardom, Richie still thinks he’s god’s gift. That is until the unexpected arrival of his estranged daughter threatens to burst his precarious bubble of self-denial.
A blackly comic exercise in unrelenting discomfort, Seidl’s latest is every bit as bleak as one would expect from Austrian cinema’s reigning enfant terrible. But underneath the unpleasantries lies a melancholic, perversely moving lament to a man haunted by the ghosts of his glory days, much like the abandoned streets of a tourist town in the depths of winter.
Text by Michael Blyth, BFI London Film Festival
“Sleazy-fun black comedy” The Hollywood Reporter
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From 31 Mar - 16 Apr, Visions of Europe returns to celebrate the breadth of European cinema. With a handpicked selection of 24 films from a Macedonian witch tale to a race through Berlin, we take in the best of European film including previews, festival hits and classics returning to the big screen.