Little Joe - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

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Little Joe
Austrlia, UK, Germany | 2019 | 105’ | DCP | Colour | English | Group: B
Director: Jessica Hausner

2019/12/05 19:15 Cinematheque‧Passion

Programmer’s Note

Genre storytelling – as Parasite and Joker have clearly demonstrated this year – is becoming the most effective way to speak about the chaos of our world today. Visionary Austrian director Jessica Hausner uses the form of horror movies to cast her dispassionate gaze at the anxiety of the 21 st century human condition. Drawing from horror standards like Triffids and Bodysnatchers, she presents her characters with an insidious genetically modified plant called Little Joe which brings its owners contentment at the expense of their identity. Hausner, who was on the IFFAM jury in 2017, employs a wonderfully clinical style that suits the story’s laboratory setting and the deadening of personality that many of the characters undergo. A chilly and unsettling metaphor for our insistent craving for “happiness” and security, Little Joe will get under your skin.

– Mike Goodridge


Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a very special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, this plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it ‘Little Joe’ but as it grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their nickname suggests.


Jessica Hausner

Jessica Hausner was born in Vienna, Austria in 1972. She studied directing at the Film Academy of Vienna where she made the award-winning short films, FLORA (1996) and INTER-VIEW (1999). In 2001, her debut feature film, LOVELY RITA premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard. She returned to Un Certain Regard with her second feature, HOTEL in 2004. In 2009, LOURDES was selected in Competition at the Venice Film Festival where it was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize. AMOUR FOU was Hausner’s third film to be presented in Un Certain Regard, where it premiered in 2014. LITTLE JOE is Jessica Hausner’s fifth feature film and her English-language debut.

Cast & Crew

Director Jessica Hausner

Scriptwriter(s) Jessica Hausner, Geraldine Bajard

Producer(s) Bruno Wagner, Martin Gschlacht, Jessica Hausner, Bertrand Faivre, Gerardine O’Flynn, Philippe Bober

Cinematographer Martin Gschiacht

Production Designer Katharina Woppermann

Editor Karina Ressler


Costumes Designer Tanja Hausner

Cast Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Kit Connor, David Wilmot

Production Companies coop99, The Bureau, Essential Films


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