During the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Erasmus Magazine reporters Anne Kielman and Kate Sytnik visit all the events and watch many movies. Kate went to watch the Austrian movie Amour Fou.

Amour Fou is a tragic costume drama from an Austrian director Jessica Hausner. It was shown in the new “Lime Light” section at the IFFR-2015. In line with the “Lime Light” to present the most striking cinematic works, Amour fou is a visual killer.

Quite surreal

19th century Germany, a married ill woman and an aspiring poet decide to commit suicide to eternalize their love and stop worldly suffering. This is the sort of film you usually see shown in obscure small movie theater or super conceptual hip cinemas for connoisseurs. So it was quite surreal to see the almost full cinema hall at Pathe, the home of box office monsters.

Stunningly beautiful

My sense of delusion grew even stronger as the stunningly beautiful frames graced the screen while my neighbors were casually chewing popcorn and sipping on their beer. It’s hard to blame the audience, though. Even though the film looked like a series of the finest Old Master’s paintings, the range of activities on the screen was quite despondent: eating, dancing, singing, eating, walking, eating, talking, and finally dying.

Patience tester

The slow pace matched the atmosphere of the film perfectly, but for the modern overstimulated audience it was a true patience tester. Yawning, nervous fidgeting and watch-checking – half way through the story.

I made a bet with myself (yes, this is what happens to the lone cinema-goers) on how many people would last. 35 minutes since the start of the film and the first victims leave the hall. To my surprise, the rest stayed and seemed to have enjoyed at the end.

Read more about IFFR: Ashgan (21) prefers IFFR over Utrecht