The Total Family
In 1981, Ernst Schmidt Jr. produced his first narrative feature film, based on the novel "The Merovingians or the total family", an absurdist parody written by Austria´s great author Heimito von Doderer (1896-1966). The film "is anything but boring, rather it is staged in an original, fast-paced manner and is refreshingly anti-perfectionist. It tells the story of Baron Childerich III who became his very own father, grandfather, father-in-law and son-in-law by virtue of a well-conceived strategy of marriage and adoption - according to the motto ‘La famille c´moi’.“ (Paul Gumhalter)
The experimental background of the filmmaker is recognizable in the theme as well as his cinematic treatment of the material, visible among other things in the episodic structure of the film and how certain scenes resemble ´Happenings´ (stipulated in some chapters of the original novel, in which Doderer anticipated ideas later developed by the Actionists and protagonists of Concept Art.) (Joachim Riedl. "Der österreichische Avantgarde- und Undergroundfilm". In Linda Bilda Ernst Schmidt Jr. Drehen sie Filme, aber keine Filme! Filme und Filmtheorie 1964–1987. Wien: Triton-Verlag, 2001)
Die totale Familie
Ernst Schmidt jr.