Hunters in the Snow | Chicago Reader

Hunters in the Snow

Michael Kreihsl's 2000 Austrian feature plays like an aesthete's version of Falling Down. A laconic copyist in a Vienna art museum (Ulrich Tukur), frustrated by his ex-wife's refusal to let him visit their daughter and angered by the disappearance of the spiritual way of life evoked in his beloved paintings, goes on a solitary rampage against the modern world. In showing his gradual breakdown, Kreihsl wisely downplays the violence and hysteria, enclosing us in the man's cocoon of serene contemplation and operatic arias. The look of the film is, of course, painterly—Brueghel is a key influence—and the many art-history references add to its precious, fabulist tone. 86 min.

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