Michael Glawogger RIP

     |    Wednesday April 23rd, 2014

The news of acclaimed Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger’s sudden death early this morning shocked and saddened us deeply. Glawogger was working on an as yet untitled new documentary, charting a world trip he had begun in December 2013 and likely conceived as a new contribution to his ongoing cinematic dialogue about globalization, labor and the human experience in the 21st century. Glawogger was shooting in Liberia when he succumbed to malaria at age 54.

Michael Glawogger was equally accomplished in documentary and fiction. MEGACITIES and WORKINGMAN’S DEATH won countless awards, including a European Film Award for Best Documentary for the latter, formed two installments of Glawogger’s globalization (a word he himself disliked) trilogy – the third film being “Whore’s Glory“, his last completed theatrical release – and are considered definitive aesthetic statements about Glawogger’s fiction films like “Contact High” (an Austrian answer of sorts to David Gordon Green’s stoner comedy “Pineapple Express” starring Seth Rogan), “Kill Daddy Goodnight” (about a computer game designer who stumbles upon a Nazi cover up in his own family) and “Slumming” (in which rich, jaded youth play god with a homeless man in Vienna) deal with as heady issues as his docs, adding pitch-black, absurdist humor.

True to his expert blurring of documentary and fiction (or, if you will, irreverent and enlightened disregard of any distinction between the two), Glawogger blogged for the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, creating short stories based upon his observations from the film’s production process. These blog dispatches offer a tantalizing look of what might had been.

Link to Glawogger’s docu-blog.