Audiences fortunate enough to see La Pivellina in the 2010 edition of Filmfest DC witnessed a beguiling docudrama hybrid from documentarians Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel. Their follow-up, The Shine of Day, continues the blend of fact and fiction found in their previous film by focusing on a pair of mismatched relatives and their comically awkward first meetings after many years apart.
The film starts at 7. To purchase a ticket, here's the link. It costs $12.50 (online) and that includes the reception after at the theater with Austrian treats. You want the 7 pm show of The Shine of Day. It will give us a nice chance to socialize. My guess is that you can also buy tickets that night, but as always, buying beforehand guarantees your entrance.
Walter Saabel, a burly German who played the circus performer in La Pivellina and is one in real life, is Walter, the long-lost uncle of Philipp, played by prominent Austrian stage actor Philipp Hochmair. That the two men are not actually related adds yet another layer of playfulness to an already relaxed, deliberate film. As the two men get to know each other in a wintry Hamburg, each has something to contribute to the other’s life: the peripatetic Philipp learns of Walter’s skill as a former bear fighter, whilst Walter learns to appreciate Philipp’s stagecraft during a production of Woyzeck in which the actor stars. Part encounter group, part neorealist drama and all heart, The Shine of Day is a modest triumph about the intricacies of family and the pleasures of companionship.—Eddie Cockrell