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.
The Garden Cinema View: Set amongst the freezing beaches and desolate hotels of the Adriatic Coast in the depths of Winter, Ulrich Seidl's latest pitch black comedy is "out-of-season" in every sense. A film for those who appreciate the seedier side of life, and worth seeing for Michael Thomas' monstruous and touching central performance as washed out crooner Richie Bravo.
Short film (will be screened before Rimini):
Ingrid, a young drama student, finds herself in the middle of an increasingly uncomfortable situation, as her ensemble and the play's director discuss whether she should be performing a full-frontal nude scene.
Michael Thomas, Tessa Göttlicher, Hans-Michael Rehberg