Introduction by Jessica Hausner on November 8

In her debut feature, Jessica Hausner probes the uncanny banality of suburban malaise through the eyes of Rita, a teen girl riding sinister currents of adolescent anger and disillusionment. Consigned to the margins by both her family and her classmates, Rita broods and drifts from one rebellion to the next as the tension of her interpersonal alienation builds inexorably to a brazenly violent conclusion. Eliciting performances of casually deadpan menace from a cast of nonprofessional actors, Hausner stages an indelible parable of unflinching existential horror.

Jessica Hausner on Lovely Rita:

Normally when I start a new film, I have a very simple logline in mind. It’s a short sentence or word that is the starting point. For Lovely Rita, it was a girl killing someone. I know that back then we had all those stories of violence of young men, but we hardly ever saw films about young women who kill someone. So I started to research about young women who have killed. There was actually a real incident that was the inspiration for Lovely Rita. It was about a young girl who killed her parents. All of the details of the story of Lovely Rita come from this weird case, and I was allowed to study all the files and the psychiatric questions and everything.

Read our full interview with the director here.