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Im Keller

Documentary Film
85 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ulrich Seidl
Ulrich Seidl
Martin Gschlacht
Christoph Brunner
Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Ekkehart Baumung
This is a film about people and basements and about what people are up to in their basements. It’s about brass bands and opera arias, about expensive fixtures and cheap off-colour jokes. About dust and cleanliness, sexuality and trigger-happiness, fitness and fascism, whippings and dolls.
“In Austria”, Ulrich Seidl says, “the basement is a place of leisure and privacy. Many Austrians spend more time in the basement of their detached home than in the living room, which is often purely representational. It’s in the basement where they pursue their real needs, their hobbies, passions and obsessions.”
The traditional reflexes of agreement and disagreement won’t get you far in this film, which stages the most diverse basement moments with confident restraint and arranges them in masterly and grotesque tableaus.
Let no one believe that the grotesque is a minor genre! Among the arts, it is probably what the basement of a house is in architecture. In his writings, the great Russian cultural philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin wove the most beautiful garlands to the grotesque, including this passage: “Classical realism represents reality as it should be according to the norms of cultural order; grotesque realism shows reality as it exists in spite of this order.”
Ralph Eue