I AM HERE! at International Film Festival RotterdaM 2023

Olaf Möller, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023

Ludwig Wüst is a veritable phenomenon of Austrian cinema — an outsider who delivers at least one fiction feature per year, with little official support, often shot in a day or two after careful preparations. Most of his films are improvisation-based, with Wüst putting his actors into a clearly defined space with a rough trajectory for their movements as well as the story's development — leaving everything else to them. The method changes somewhat from film to film, but the spirit of restless experimentation remains.

In I AM HERE!, Wüst gave 16mm and its limitations on shooting a try, resulting in one of his most beautiful and intense works. Little happens outside childhood friends Monika and Martin talking while walking through a forest towards a barren field and a car. Their talk is simultaneously incessant and halting as they circle a history of hurt from their younger days.

In the harsh decisiveness of the editing, one feels the carpenter that Wüst is by training, bringing a sensibility that makes his films often look raw yet whole and polished at the same time. Finally, this maverick found his way to IFFR! 

Link to IFF Rotterdam