Vienna Waltz

A Spanish Fighting Bull gazes at us. A steady, strong gaze from the animal; a nervous, worried gaze from us, even as we sit on the safe side of the screen. Photographically, there is a strange, misty, aestheticising sheen. These mixed signals weave a spell. Albert Serra knows how to get our blood pumping and our senses working overtime. Even before the image fades in, the sound of this creature breathing – it seems initially to be the rhythmic pulsation of a massive steam train – is overwhelming. The image of the bull, singular at first, turns into a superimposition of two incarnations of this majestic figure, as it starts to restlessly move. Meanwhile, Serra further superimposes four words in disco-sparkling red capitals, one by one: the first three are “Sex”, “Death”, “Blood”. In that conjunction of image and language, we recognise not only the mythological allure (and horror) of the entire bullfighting tradition, but also some key themes of Serra’s provocative cinema, in all its multimedia forms. Finally, the animal takes leave of the camera, and of us. The word “Bye” appears on screen; even amidst the heady atmosphere sex, death and blood, there thankfully remains a sense of humour. (Adrian Martin, Viennale Catalogue 2022)

Orig. Title
Vienna Waltz (Viennale-Trailer 2022)
Spain, Austria
2 min
Albert Serra
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Albert Serra
Available Formats
DCP 4K flat (Distribution Copy)
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Color Format
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)