2016 Film

Brief Summary

Filmmaker Andreas Horvath (EARTH’S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND) offers a deeply personal and unblinking portrait of Helmut Berger, the Austrian film star of the ‘60s and ‘70s best known for his work with director Luchino Visconti.

Full Description

Filmmaker Andreas Horvath (EARTH’S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND) offers a deeply personal and unblinking portrait of Helmut Berger, the Austrian film star of the ‘60s and ‘70s best known for his work with director Luchino Visconti. We get to know Berger through his rants and ravings, his frequent sexual propositions of Horvath, and through the brunt appraisal of his long-suffering housekeeper, forced to clean up his sperm-spattered sheets and rotting piles of food – but punctuated throughout, we see glimpses of Berger’s coy charm, the big screen appeal that once kept an international audience mesmerized.

HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR is the most intimate exhibition of loneliness you are likely to see onscreen, a film of tragedy and horror and hilarity in which Horvath does not shy from exposing as much of his own vulnerability as he does Berger’s. Like Herzog and Kinski before them, Horvath and Berger demonstrate that tumultuous current between filmmaker and performer, documentarian and subject. The final scene is as shocking and extreme as any exploitation flick’s, and yet it is presented with a powerful empathy for that profoundly human need to be understood and desired. (Meredith Borders)