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Oh wow, the Austrians are different. And exciting, when they make films. Ulrich Seidl (the director of this one, Hundstage), or Michael Haneke  are only the most prominent examples, there are other gems in the history of Austrian tv (Kottan ermittelt), cinema (Komm Suesser Tod) and literature (Thomas Bernhard Elfriede Jelinek and more digestibly Wolf Haas). Seidl is on the more depressive side of existence in his work, it seems, and in Hundstage (Dog Days – don’t expect Al Pacino) there is not a single character of any likeability. It is a disgusting world that is being depicted, a world consisting of the worst of conservatism: abusive husbands or boyfriends, accepting wifes, girlfriends and cleaning women, values that do not reach beyond a cool smoke, a fast car, a gun and booze. Very normal people, and normality is being shown at its ugliest. Everybody – and that will be the trick – will consider these people as a disgusting side-effect of every average city suburb: all clean on the surface of the gardens, and all the more rotten inside, behind the façade. It does not need to be Austria, but it surely works very well here, where the tension between history and presence is so tangible. (Warning: contains candles and naked old women). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0290661/

Rogert Ebert Review (he appears to dislike the film because he considers it depressing, while praising its quality – odd review): http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031017/REVIEWS/310170302/1023

Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/imdb/reviews/article_display.jsp?rid=1057819&vnu_special_account_code=thrsiteimdbpro

NYT: http://movies2.nytimes.com/2003/08/22/movies/22DOG.html

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