Films & Schedules

  • Universalove

  • Thomas Woschitz

English, Portuguese, Serbian, French, Japanese, Luxembourgish
83 minutes

Production Company:
KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production/Red Lion
Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Thomas Woschitz
Enzo Brandner
Thomas Woschitz
Carlo Thoss
Naked Lunch
Principal Cast: Anica Dobra, Daniel Plier, Sascha Migge, Erom Cordeiro, Kyoichi Komoto

International Sales Agent:
Films Boutique

Friday September 0509:15PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 4 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
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From New York to Rio, Serbia to Japan, our planet is electrified by the overwhelming possibilities of love.

In Marseille, Julie sits thinking wistfully about her beloved Rashid. A man's heart melts as he walks past a woman working in a soup kitchen in Tokyo. A fan feels the hot flush of love for a television star in Rio. A couple fight for their existence in the wartorn streets of Belgrade. A Brooklyn taxi driver boils into a jealous lover's rage. A gentleman in Luxembourg finally admits that he is gay. Whether a lightning strike of lust or the steady flame of a long-term relationship, for each of these people, love is mysteriously indescribable and never the same.

Composed from an assortment of images and set to a haunting soundtrack by Austrian indie band Naked Lunch, Universalove is an entirely new type of music film. Its unusual composition recalls collage films such as Ron Fricke's Baraka, Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi and Lawrence Johnston's Night, which was favoured at last year's Festival for the poetic ways it explored our communal and individual experiences of nighttime. In much the same fashion, Universalove weaves collectively understood images to orchestrate a cinematic symphony that traverses all languages, cultures and orientations.

Using only minimal dialogue, director Thomas Woschitz lets his images – and his chosen lovers – speak for themselves. With their anguish, joy, laughter and contentment, his characters relay a tapestry of emotions that articulate a deeply authentic love story. The result is a cinematic mood piece that evokes the greatest heights and the darkest secrets of the human heart.

Naked Lunch's music – a pining blend of indie rock and wistful country nuances – serves as an affective complement to Woschitz's visuals. As the music ebbs and flows, it rouses the inner landscapes of the film's subjects, throwing a backlight on their unspoken feelings.

Love is strange, true, crazy and desperate. It is everywhere, in every moment, in everybody. This incomparable experience is rendered cinematic in Universalove.

Dimitri Eipides

Thomas Woschitz was born in Klagenfurt, Austria, and studied at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. He has directed a number of short films and experimental film installations, along with the music films moving landscape (02) and Closing Time (05), which he created with the Austrian band Naked Lunch. His debut feature was The Joseph Trilogy (04). Universalove (08) is his latest work.

Cadillac People's Choice Award