Constantly searching to advance their careers, be loved, find the right man, achieve the ideal body, they traipse from casting call to casting call; talk on the telephone for hours with girlfriends, men, mothers, agents and photographers; wait for bookings, mostly in vain; and spend their nights teetering from one disco to the next. Vivian, Lisa, Tanja. Three models, three girlfriends, three rivals. Models was Ulrich Seidl's last feature before his breakthrough, Dog Days. For many critics it marks his passage from documentary to fiction, though Seidl himself rejects the distinction. "I make films," he says, "sometimes fiction films with documentary elements, and sometimes docs with fiction elements. Just films."
Austria 1998 | 118 min | German | Super 16mm | 35mm blow up | 1:1.66
Screenplay and Director: Ulrich Seidl | Camera: Hans Selikovsky, Jerzy Palacz, Ortrun Bauer | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung, Helmut Junker, Bruno Pisek | Editor: Christof Schertenleib | Casting and Assistant director: Eva Roth | Location manager: Andreas Kamm | Production manager: Kurt Mrkwicka jr. | Cast: Vivian Bartsch, Tanja Petrovsky, Lisa Grossmann, Elvyra Geyer, Peter Baumann
Production company: MR-Film Kurt J. Mrkwicka Ges.m.b.H. | Auhofstraße 70 | A 1130 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 876 87 15 | F +43 1 876 87 15 - 10 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mr-film.com
Austrian distributor: Polyfilm | Margaretenstraße 78 | 1050 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 581390020 | F +43 158390039 | E email@example.com | www.polyfilm.at
Austrian distributor: Filmladen Filmverleih GmbH | Mariahilfer Straße 58/7 | 1070 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 52343620 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.filmladen.at
World sales: Coproduction Office | 24, rue Lamartine | 75009 Paris, France
T +33 1 56026000 | F +33 1 56026001 | E email@example.com | www.coproductionoffice.eu
With support from: Austrian Film Institute, ORF (Film/Fernseh-Abkommen), WFF – Wiener Filmfinanzierungsfonds, Kulturabteilung des Landes Niederösterreich
- Director's statement
"Directing had never been as hard for me as on this film. First, because models aren't used to people showing an interest in their human side. Second, because models are used to being treated badly. And third, because I was dealing with people who are used to being motivated to work only for money. But money can't be the basis for a productive collaboration on a film, as I see it." – Ulrich Seidl
"Ulrich Seidl completely restricts himself to the other side of illusory beauty: The viewer becomes witness to an intimacy that only reveals itself to the director's camera."
"Models is a film about the sadness of show business in the B-league – a depressing entertainment about the lies of self-representation."
Stefan Grissemann, Die Presse
- Awards | Festivals
"Best Feature Film", Austrian Educational Prize
"Audience Prize", Sarajevo
World premiere: 48th Berlin Film Festival, 1998
Internationale Münchner Filmwoche, Toronto IFF, Kulturforum/Bucharest, Cineteca Nacional/Mexico, Motovun FF, Thessaloniki IFF, New Horizons IFF, Zagreb FF, Indielisboa, Jenjou IFF/Seoul, Deutsches Filminstitut, Kino in der Reitschule/Bern, Kino Soprus/Tallinn