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Josef Dabernig

Hotel Roccalba, 35mm transformed to DVD, 2008

In a windy garden an eighty-year-old man is busy at the chopping block; two women – knitting socks – are keeping him company. A melange of live football broadcast and Opera seria is to be heard from the rooms. Sunday afternoon in Hotel Roccalba. Is this a retirement home, a convalescence centre, or simply a hotel? The presence of the 12-person group in a building clearly in need of renovation leaves the question answered. A sportsman – with mobility problems and wearing bicycle shoes – is packing his equipment. The petite groomed woman in a fur coat studies him as he tinkers on his racing bicycle. Uninterested in what’s going on another person is reading about the forest while lying down. Change of scene to a room. One hears at the same time a football broadcast on the radio and Simone Boccanegra singing from a record. An electric hair trimmer glides gently over an already thinning head of hair. Sitting on the bed, someone is slathering on makeup, the partner sleeping behind them takes no notice of course. Down in the spacious bar. The waitress is reading a photo novel while simultaneously keeping an eye on a man in a white coat, who – with a large mocha in front of him – stares full of concentration in his reflection. Hotel Roccalba keeps the levels of meaning hanging in the balance. It remains unclear what connects or distinguishes the 12 people in this film. Simply what they are doing, or indeed not doing, delegates the question of the deeper relevance to the viewer.

A film by Josef Dabernig

Camera: Christian Giesser

Sound design: Michael Palm

Actors: Annemarie Dabernig, Anni Dabernig, Josef Dabernig sen., Josef Dabernig, Wolfgang Dabernig, Karin Franz, Maria Franz, Isabella Hollauf, Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer, Ingeburg Wurzer, Otto Zitko

Funding support: Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, ORF – Film/Television Agreement 

Location: Hotel Roccalba, Fusine in Valromana (UD)

Premiere: 61st Festival del film Locarno (07 08 2008)

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