This Austrian production beat out “Beaufort,” the Israeli entry and three others for the Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. I’m a big fan of the winner (see my review in the New Jersey Jewish News online; the features editor inexplicably and awkwardly transformed my opening paragraph into the penultimate, but never mind). My sidebar on meeting the director/script writer and his star, Stefan Ruzowitzky and Karl Markovics, was not published in NJ Jewish News but was picked up by The Forward in “The Shmooze” section this week.
For those readers who may recall seeing this subject here, a week ago, you were not hallucinating. I was asked to delete it by The Forward, which requires a two-week exclusive. But there’s surely no such constraint in revealing parts of the original piece that were not included in The Forward: for one thing, in writing about the previous directorial experience of Mr. Ruzowitzky, I had mentioned “All the Queen’s Men,” a World War II cross-dressing espionage spoof starring Matt Le Blanc (Joey of “Friends”).
In the “it’s a small-world” category, I learned that Ruzowitzky and Markovics know the husband of a relative of mine. My parents traveled on an epic journey to the United States in the spring of 1941 with my mother’s Tante Else from Vienna. Tante Else’s granddaughter migrated from the Bronx to Vienna nearly 40 years ago and married Peter Patzak, who became a prominent Austrian filmmaker. Karl Markokvics was directed by Patzak in a television production; Karl said he’d mention me the next time he speaks to Patzak.