Archive of films Shirley - Visions of Reality / Shirley - Visions of Reality

2013, 93 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2013

Leading experimental filmmaker and artist Gustav Deutsch breathes life into thirteen canvases by American painter Edward Hopper, which then guide us through the life and thoughts of a young actress in America from the 1930s to the 1960s. Its mood distinctive and constant, this visually potent and inspiring film is full of surprises.


Edward Hopper was a prominent American artist and leading representative of the realists, famous for capturing contemporary American life in his work. Hopper has inspired filmmakers in the past, his poetic style influencing the look of the cult film Blade Runner; he, himself was a proponent of film noir. Now thirteen of his canvases are brought to life in this highly stylised film by leading Austrian experimenter Gustav Deutsch. The director finds a unique recipe for transforming the pictures into film images and offers much more than a mere attempt to set them in motion. The film is also a complex portrait of the titular protagonist, the actress Shirley: covering three decades, the work evinces a powerful inner tension and mystery, despite its absence of linear plot and its introspective mood. The viewer’s attention will certainly be drawn not only to the pure elegance of the thirteen scenes, but also to the intriguing heroine who refuses to accept history the way it is. Alongside Shirley, various objects also become the bearers of historical memory, evoking the era in which the film unfolds.

About the director

Gustav Deutsch (b. 1952, Vienna) is a leading Austrian filmmaker who examines the phenomenology of film media. He studied architecture in Vienna in 1970-79, a field he is still involved in, but back then he had already begun experimenting with photography and video art. He has been working since 1984 with Hanna Schimek, who also shared in his latest film. He was appointed Artistic Director of the Aegina Academy in Athens in 2003. Apart from film directing he has numerous other artistic projects in his portfolio. Selected filmography: Wossea Mtotom (1984), Taschenkino (1995), Film ist. (1998), Film ist mehr als Film (1999), Film ist. 7-12 (2002), Film ist a Girl & a Gun (2009). The seeds for the film Shirley - Visions of Reality were sown back in 2008, when the Vienna Kunsthalle hosted an exhibition of the works of artist Edward Hopper.


KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production GmbH
Seidengasse 15/3/19, 1070, Vienna
Tel: +43 152 222 210
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Gustav Deutsch
Screenplay: Gustav Deutsch
Dir. of Photography: Jerzy Palacz
Music: Christian Fennesz, David Sylvian
Editor: Gustav Deutsch
Producer: Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Production: KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production GmbH
Cast: Stephanie Cumming, Christoph Bach, Florentin Groll, Elfriede Irrall
Contact: KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production GmbH

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