Online catalogue / Jasmin Baumgartner :

Unmensch
Unmensch
AT / 2016
24 min.

In Jasmin Baumgartner´s short film Unmensch ("brute"), three young actors rehearse a play called Jugend ist Scheiße (“Youth is crap”) at Wiener Theater Experiment. The director (Markus Schleinzer) asserts that it is not directed against them, personally. Nonetheless, while working things quickly get nasty. The monologue, which should be extemporized, sounds like liberal left-wing self-abuse of a politically impotent younger generation that only pretends to care about the world. While the ensemble members Dany (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) und Patrick (Dominik Brauweiler) deliver their texts with strong emotions, Jasper (Daniel Sträßer) cannot muster up the necessary seriousness for self-flagellation. He continually slips into ironic laughter and his spontaneous ideas, such as fidgeting with a weapon, aggravate the director who states his scathing opinion of him: "You will never become an actor. You simply have no feelings."

Those who do not feel are also incapable of acting out any emotion—practice in the prescribed emphasis simply doesn’t work. While his colleague breaks out in tears at the press of a button, Jasper´s eyes stay dry. The stage performance moves into public space to wrest a bit more authenticity from the performative: in a drunken self-experiment, Jasper und Dany stage an aggressive break-up fight, which they carry out in front of a homeless man (Rainer Egger). But while the homeless man is truly concerned about the supposedly fighting couple, the actors are simply searching for relinquishment. Jasper loads the stage weapon with a real bullet to increase the intensity. Soon he will cry scalding tears—an affect, an expressive dimension of the body, not the emotions. But that doesn´t matter; the radical emotional gesture remains on the cell-phone photos that are instantly produces. Jasmin Baumgartner also places those photos at the end of her film: people who do not feel, can act. But Baumgartner elegantly keeps in suspense, the question of who the "brute" is in this game. (Alexandra Seibel)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

short synopsis:
During a theater rehearsal, Jasper attempts to intensify his monologue through the improvised use of a weapon; the director hereupon insinuates his lack of human emotion and imagination. When Jasper tests himself and his talent once again, beyond the stage, the situation escalates. A perfectly synchronized didactic play in self-staging and the fine line between authenticity and acting.

A film by:
- Jasmin Baumgartner

category:
- Short fiction

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- DCP - 2k

price: 96,00 EUR

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more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Jasmin Baumgartner