A day in the life....of a bunch of disconnected Austrians with their miserable lives the common factor. The 2 hours of the film contains not one smile or laugh but plenty of loneliness, heartbreak, misery and psychotic tendencies. Sex is loveless, companionship is habitual and simmering violence is ever-present. This voyeuristic film is a difficult watch because of it's stark reality but that is it's success.
Der Horror des Spießertums & der Neubaugebiete - voller Gewalt & Hässlichkeit in interessanter Filmästhetik.Milieu, dessen Umgebung an Bourdieus Theorien erinnert(Kunstrepliken, Marken,...).Schwer zu ertragen. / The horror of 'Spießertum' & development areas - full of violence & ugliness.Milieu whose surroundings remind theories of Bourdieu(see art replies, brands,...).Hard to endur, but interesting film aesthetics.
The church hymn the hitchhiker and her driver sing as they pass the rows of glass department stores; the bite of chicken one character steals in her lingerie; a maid's undressing for her client in his dead wife's clothes...unforgettable tableaus much in the disillusioned style of Roy Andersson.
"es gibt scho' garstige Menschen" - People are cruel. Yes. And they are beautiful, and ugly, strong and weak, exploiting each other. And in the end, they just want to love and be loved. The people depicted in this film are like real people, and they're being shown in all their detail. Sometimes heartwarming, sometimes incredibly painful. Takes some time to get into, because there is no story arc on first sight.
... "is anything as cruel as a normal person... like you!" ... Few other films make you as queasy about what passes for normal life than this. Every once in a while I walk down the street and it dawns on me again that all that I see is an artificial, hollow environment divorced from reality. Dogdays is about staring at that reality as if you've never seen it before. Strangely humanist, nevertheless...
If I'd rated after the first 45 minutes it would have got more starts, but it went on too long and became lost in depictions of aimless misogyny. I thought 1980s rural North Yorkshire the pinnacle of miserable living until I saw this though. My childhood now looks suddenly rosy. That's a plus!
Of course it takes a documentary maker to hit it right out of the park concerning the Western European suburban hell. Hundstage is the ultimate depiction in that all too recognizable depression: Catholicism, work ethics, sexual repression (amongst others). Life, but how to live it...