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directed by Jessica Hausner
Austria 2001


Hausner's first feature focuses on a gauche teenage schoolgirl. The younger daughter to lower middle class parents who're slightly more disciplinarian than usual, she's misunderstood by her teachers and largely ignored by her schoolmates. Though she's still able to enjoy childhood japes with a fragile boy a few years younger than herself, she's also sufficiently curious about the adult world to start falling for a bus driver who barely notices her deliberately applied make-up. Try as she might (which isn't always very hard), she can't stay out of trouble, so she decides to take control. Opinions differ as to the effectiveness of the film's final ten minutes, required to give the narrative more obvious shape and raison d'atre, perhaps, but it's also a touch redundant given the absolute authenticity of Hausner's witty, insightful depiction of adolescent growing pains, small town life and the way good intentions may dramatically backfire. Osika is perfect as Rita, half-child, half-woman, but then Hausner's cool, compassionate, naturalistic script, reminiscent of early Fassbinder, gives her plenty to play with.

Excerpt of review from Time Out located HERE


Theatrical Release: November 2nd, 2001 (Austria)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye (Spine # 494) - Region 0 - PAL

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Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:16:09

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.70 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio German (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailers

DVD Release Date: July 26th, 2010
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Chapters 12



Shot on digital video at the beginning of the century, "Lovely Rita", Jessica Hausner's debut feature tells the story of Rita, a rebellious teenage girl obsessed with rebellion and losing her virginity. While this may sound like the set up for an early 80s sex comedy, nothing could be further from the truth. While the film does have a pitch black comedic undertone, the film is itself a rather serious fare. In doing so it runs the risk of taking itself a bit too seriously and becoming little more than melodrama. Fortunately the film escapes this potential pitfall and instead maintains a decent balance between between two potential extremes.

As I had said, the film was shot on digital video about a decade ago and suffers from some of the problems associate with the medium. Edge enhancements are a frequent problem, as are chromatic aberrations. Detail is generally good for digital video standards, but it never reaches the typical cinematic level of quality that you get from celluloid. That being said, I don't think that any of these problems are the result of the transfer, but are instead inherent in the original print. I don't recall seeing any damage and the film probably looks about as good as it ever will on home video.


The film comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. While it will never knock your socks off, the track is competent and accomplishes the job that its there for. The sound is always clear and dialogue is easily distinguished from other noises and the music is clear enough too. What's more the film is free of unwanted background noises like hisses, pops, and clicks. The disc also comes with optional English subtitles that are easily read and don't interfere with the film's image.

The only extras on the disc comes in the form of a trailer or the film and two other movies by Hausner: "Hotel" and "Lourdes".

While I think that I enjoyed the film a little bit less than most critics, it is still and impressive debut by one of Austria's biggest cinematic talents. The film is decent enough and, as I previously said, the disc probably looks about as good as it ever will. Recommended.

  - Brian Montgomery


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Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL



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