The Shine of Day (2012/2013)

The Shine of Day


* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

Other Links

Also Known As: Der Glanz des Tages

Opened: 07/12/2013 Limited

Anthology/NYC07/12/2013 - 07/18/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Genre: Austrian Drama (German w/English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated


Subjects of an Anthology retrospective in 2011, filmmakers Rainer Frimmel & Tizza Covi are back with their fifth and most recent feature film, THE SHINE OF DAY. Like its predecessor -- LA PIVELLINA, which represented their first foray into fiction filmmaking -- the new film draws from their roots in non-fiction cinema. Its protagonist, Philipp Hochmair, is in fact a renowned Austrian theatrical actor -- here he plays a version of himself, as he prepares for and performs in a variety of plays, and one day finds himself receiving an unexpected visit from his aging uncle Walter, whom he's never met. A performer himself, but of a very different stripe -- he's a former circus bear wrestler -- Walter seems rootless and in need of companionship in his old age, and soon installs himself in Philipp's apartment and in his life. Developing a fascinating, testy, and wholly unpredictable relationship, Philipp and Walter become involved in the travails of Philipp's neighbor, a single father whose wife is trapped in Moldova.

Though the film's setup -- an aging uncle insinuating himself into his busy nephew's life -- seems to promise an (over-)familiar drama of family dynamics and the limits of tolerance, the beauty of THE SHINE OF DAY is that it largely eschews the usual narrative-film dependence on conflict and interpersonal fireworks for something far more perceptive, multi-faceted, and open-ended. A dual-portrait of two men whose very different sensibilities and approaches to life emerge more through dialogue and debate than through over-determined drama, and whose basic respect and affection for each other is sometimes frayed but never severed, THE SHINE OF DAY is a beautiful and sensitive film.

-- Synopsis courtesy Anthology Films Archives