God, You're So Square

Welcome to Switzerland: During the short ride in the Zurich airport shuttle train from terminal E to exit, a short film is screened on the tunnel wall. The sound of cow bells and happy “moos”, lush meadows reminiscent of the Shire, and Heidi blowing us a kiss goodbye. Upon exiting the train, an advertising poster from a well-known Swiss bank wishes you a nice stay in this safe, clean and friendly country.

“God, you’re so square”, is what Iris says to Travis in Taxi Driver. He is the symbol of the dilemma many Swiss men seem to struggle with (at least on screen). We dismantle the image of the square, predictable and efficient Swiss man and show his struggle to find his place in society. We cannot blame it all on emancipation. In a country in which women were granted the right to vote only in 1971 and still earn significantly less than their male colleagues, change must be a constant process! Not all of us can adapt equally well. Some seek refuge in an alternative digital world, others turn back to better times or somehow lose touch with reality altogether.

It might be a slightly different case for second-generation immigrants who are used to dealing with adaptation. Born in French-speaking Switzerland to Portuguese parents, Basil da Cunha is the perfect example. The rising star among Swiss directors, da Cunha appeals to an international audience (his first feature was just presented in Cannes) because the obstacles his male protagonists face are universal. As much as Switzerland’s tourism trade plays with trite stereotypes, the creative industry explores the Travis Bickles of our society: somewhat dysfunctional and whacky, but still with a point.

If you want to see more of Switzerland beyond all the clichés – visit Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (November 5-10, 2013).

Presented by Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur as part of the Encounters Swiss Focus. Curated by John Canciani and Laura Walde.

kurzfilmtage.ch

 

 

Supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK, the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain and Helvetic Airways.

Wir sind dir treu

Dir. MICHAEL KOCH, 2005
9 MINS

A somewhat different perspective on a football game. Collective craze and the ambition of an individual to make his mark.

Second Me

Dir. ANNA THOMMEN, 2005
18 MINS 45 SECS

A young man has fallen out of society and now lives his life on 'Second Life'. He talks about passion and suffering, about reality and its loss.

Os vivos tambem choram (The Living Also Cry)

Dir. BASIL DA CUNHA, 2012
30 MINS

The dock worker Ze is dreaming of leaving behind the waterfront of Lisbon.

Magnetfelder

Dir. JAN-ERIC MACK, 2011
10 MINS 30 SECS

Two youths fare in the middle of nowhere and looking for a ghost. The answers they hoped for seem to be floating in the air under gigantic power masts.

BAKA!!

Dir. EMANUEL WAGNER, 2010
7 MINS 30 SECS

Are we animals, or are we civilized? A cinematic bite of the fruit from the tree of knowledge.

Me, Nobody & I

Dir. JÖRG HURSCHLER, 2012
8 MINS 30 SECS

A personal journey to childhood idols, TV stars and the question as to why one identifies with clichéd role models.

Ich Bin's Helmut

Dir. NICOLAS STEINER, 2009
11 MINS

Helmut is celebrating his 60th birthday. He's actually only turning 57, but his wife Gertrud has got her maths wrong.

Tickets: £7.50/£6.00 Concessions

FRI 20 SEPT 15:45 WATERSHED CINEMA 3

69 MINS