One can always rely on Ulrich Seidl to go places that are a little discomforting, to say the least. At a time when two huge scandals rocked Austria, involving men who kept women locked up in basements for sexual reasons over many years, the director made this documentary exploring the odd hobbies that Austrian people use their basements for. For instance, we meet a man who fondly collects Nazi memorabilia and enjoys playing the tuba, and there are several couples who’ve turned their basements into S/M ”torture chambers”. Some of it is clearly arranged, tableau-style, but it all has a ring of truth. Fascinating throughout, but this is ultimately more a display of provocative encounters than a film that has something profound to say about people.
2014-Austria. 81 min. Color. Produced and directed by Ulrich Seidl. Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz.
Trivia: Original title: Im Keller.