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21 Ratings

Mister Universo

Directed by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Austria, Italy, 2016


The young lion tamer Tairo is unhappy with his present life situation. He uses the loss of his talisman to make a trip through Italy searching for the man, who gave it to him a long time ago.

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Mister Universo Directed by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Rather than the usual hybrid tactic of forcing viewers to question what’s real or not, the result is a buoyant, low-key, celebratory look at an extended, seldom-seen community in which every scene, constructed or captured, has the same ring of truth. It’s a hard maneuver to make look effortless, but Universo is an easy pleasure to absorb.
December 04, 2017
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The movie is in the fine brushwork. It’s a string of finely rendered domestic vignettes filmed around the circus camp and in a series of Tairo’s house calls… That Covi and Frimmel are working with accustomed performers works very much to the duo’s favor, and their star is a natural, relaxed screen presence with an instinct for embroidering scenes with little bits of business like mocking another performer’s workout barbell reps by doing concentration curls with a puppy.
July 20, 2017
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The filmmaking team of Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel concoct fictional narratives around the real lives and professions of the nonactors with whom they work. This is an unusual formula but not an entirely novel one. While other examples of this method, or some variant of it, have yielded films that come off as condescending or creepily exploitative, Ms. Covi and Mr. Frimmel’s “Mister Universo” is a disarming and humane picture, an unexpected delight.
July 20, 2017
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