Franz Grimus

103 minutes, BetaSP, 4:3, colour, PAL

Franz Grimus, a farmer from Austria’s Waldviertel region, from a village of thirteen houses, sixty-five years old, tells the story of his life. He recalls his childhood and youth, the war years, growing old, card games, and how a pig began to eat again after drinking a swig of schnapps. Numerous black fade-outs structure the farmer’s monolog, point to the inquirer (who is never seen or heard).

The Franz Grimus documentary, the last film Michael Pilz produced for Austrian national broadcaster ORF, is fascinating on account of the architecture of its imagery: Clear, precisely designed images, which combine to form a finely crafted history of every day life. An unusual TV portrait that already shows a number of stylistic elements used in the several-hours-long farm life documentary Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth), which, a few years later, made this epos an exemplary work of Austrian documentary cinema.

Dietmar Schwärzler,
Exercise in Reality,
February 1996

Original title Franz Grimus
Produced by Michael Pilz
Concept and realization by Michael Pilz
Cinematography by Wolfgang Koch
Original sound by Klaus Kinzl
Edited by Robert Melzer and Michael Pilz
Cast Franz and Maria Grimus

Austria 1977
Original dialogues German
No subtitles

First public screening on TV 17 May, 1977 by ORF/Austrian Television

Festivals Vienna (AT)

Copyright by ORF

Contact Michael Pilz Film
A-1180 Vienna/Austria
Teschnergasse 37
Phone +43.699.11336581