Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

RIP Michael Glawogger, Radical Director Who Died a Workingman's Death at Age 54

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 23, 2014 at 12:16PM

Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger, who worked under-the-radar and pushed himself to the brink as a documentary and feature filmmaker, has passed away at age 54 in Africa. He died from Malaria while working on his latest film.
2
Michael Glawogger
Michael Glawogger

Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger, who worked under-the-radar and pushed himself to the brink as a documentary and feature filmmaker, has passed away at age 54 in Africa. He died from Malaria while working on his latest film.

Glawogger's final finished feature was "Whores' Glory" in 2011, a stylish and gritty documentary triptych on prostitutes from Mexico, Thailand and Bangladesh. But he also worked on "Cathedrals of Culture," a 3D architecture doc, alongside Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders.

Throughout his prolific career, Glawogger sought to capture the rhythms of lives both ordinary and extreme in far away places, most notably in his 2005 masterpiece "Workingman's Death," about manual laborers in far-flung corners of the Earth, and 1998's cross-cultural portrait "Megacities." All of his documentaries look closely at globalization and its resonance, but they are also incredibly cinematic.

Gorgeously lensed -- and typically on celluloid, which he preferred to digital -- his radical, genre-busting films are like no documentaries you've ever seen. But Glawogger also dabbled in narrative features, as in 2009's "Kill Daddy Good Night," which examines the consequences of war and its effects on three families (clearly, he loved working in threes).

In person, Glawogger was a gruff, suffers-no-fools type who wasn't afraid to tell you if your question didn't interest him. He especially wasn't interested in talking about the "craft" of filmmaking but, rather, he loved sharing his extraordinary encounters with the world. You could almost say he was more visual anthropologist than filmmaker. Glawogger never cared for tidy conclusions or reassuring answers, and he worked tirelessly up until the very moment of his death.

Read The Hollywood Reporter's take here and watch clips below, including the especially moving New York segment of "Megacities." Stream "Workingman's Death" on MUBI, and "Whores' Glory" on Netflix.

This article is related to: Obit, Michael Glawogger, Michael Glawogger, News


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.