// Presented as part of June's Best Undistributed Series //
Spotlight on Untitled
Michael Glawogger & Monika Willi / Austria, 2017 / Berlin, Belgrade, BFI London, Cambridge, Fünf Seen, Graz, Hong Kong, IDFA Amsterdam, Madrid International Documentary Film Festival, Mexico City DocsMX, Vancouver, Vienna / 105'
In late 2013, filmmaker Michael Glawogger set off to Africa, the Balkans and Italy to create an image of the world— one that "can only emerge by not pursuing any particular theme, by refraining from passing judgment, proceeding without aim. Drifting with no direction except one's own curiosity and intuition." Rather than sticking to identifiable themes, Glawogger sought to absorb his surroundings, to create something organic and free. Four months and nineteen days into his journey, he perished in Liberia from an acute case of malaria.
Two years later, Glawogger's longtime collaborator and renowned film editor Monika Willi (The White Ribbon, Amour) approached his footage, and his personal diary, in search of this vision. Glawogger's final posthumous work premiered at Berlin, Hong Kong, and Madrid; Graz, where it won Best Cinematography; DocsMX, where it won a Special Mention; and Belgrade, Fünf Seen and Vienna, where it won Best Documentary. Untitled also won the Austrian Film Award for Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing.
"Even if it were not such a striking and affecting picture, interest would surely be strong on the festival circuit because of Glawogger's reputation and the tragic circumstances of his death. But the fact is that, although Willi can never know how close this is to the film that Glawogger intended, she has crafted something which feels achingly personal and, at times, genuinely profound"
- Wendy Ide, Berlin Review, Screen Daily