Good-bye, Michael Glawogger



We are  shocked and deeply sad to learn that Michael Glawogger has passed on. Michael Glawogger was one of the most prolific  Austrian filmmakers, an eminent documentarist, globally acclaimed for his breathtaking and irritating documentaries like WHORES’ GLORY, WORKINGMAN’S DEATH or MEGACITIES, but also known for his wicked sense of humour in fiction films like SLUMMING or CONTACT HIGH. Last winter Michael set out for his new project UNTITLED, a journey without destination, intended to complete his book of big documentaries. He will not return.

Michael Glawogger, eternal traveller

If one looks at the big picture, Michael Glawogger's films add up to some uncanny kind of modern Odyssee. Regardless of whether they are fiction or documentaries they all tell of travels to unchartered territories, geographically and/or psychologically speaking. Glawogger' cinemativ adventures confront us with idiosyncratic situations and feature strange and wonderful creatures, people fighting demons that are crowding their everyday lives – in a shipwreck dump in Pakistan or a burlesque theater in Mexico, in the mean streets of New York or a slaughterhouse in Nigeria, a brothel in Bangladesh or a coalmine in the Ukraine. Michael Glawogger loves underdogs – almost as much as he likes stray dogs.
The unexpected seems to always be lurking around the corner in Glawogger's films. He passionately observes, what most of us would either overlook or choose to look away from. He keeps exploring what's hidden in the shadows and he's never afraid of getting dirty from what he touches along the way.
Michael's films are serious, caring and full of empathy. But he sure can laugh about the world, too. His wicked sense of humour, as displayed in his fiction films like NACKTSCHNECKEN (Slugs) or CONTACT HIGH, might not be everybody's cup of tea, but it certainly comes in all the colours of a psychedelic rainbow.
The images Glawogger and his cinematographers (most notably: Wolfgang Thaler) conjure up are generally breathtaking, as irritating as they are beautiful. Watching his films, one always feels like peeping through a keyhole and wonders how he was able to capture all these precious moments.
On December 4th, Michael Glawogger  embarked on his last adventure. It was meant to complete his book of big documentaries - MEGACITIES, WORKINGMAN'S DEATH and WHORES GLORY – with a final chapter.

Martin Schweighofer