Inside Move: The Graz is always Greener

Vienna waltzes to showbiz beat on Arnold

If Barbra Streisand ever tires of life in Los Angeles, she might consider taking up residence in Vienna.

She and other Hollywood liberals who opposed Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s election can take heart in the knowledge that Viennese showbiz folks feel their pain. The Austrian intelligentsia are sulking over Schwarzenegger’s win while everyone else celebrates.

“It proves everything is possible in the U.S.” beamed right-wing Austrian president Thomas Klestil. “Hasta la vista, Davis!” and “Arnie for President?” blared the headlines, even in highbrow Viennese daily Der Standard.

But when Schwarzenegger supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the Austrian Green Party demanded that Graz (Arnie’s hometown) remove Schwarzenegger’s name from the local soccer stadium and revoke his honorary citizenship.

Time and the governorship haven’t mellowed their stance.

“I’m sure the Green Party doesn’t like it,” observes Austrian Film Commission managing director Martin Schweighofer. “But almost everyone else in the country is proud. … The truth is, Arnold has put us on the map, and the average person in Austria is very proud.”

But Austrian director Andrea Dusl isn’t one of them.

“The average person here doesn’t know the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats,” she says acidly. “I know the government… says ‘All Austrians are behind you Arnie. You are one of us!’ But this isn’t the way the art community or the film community feels.

Dusl, coming off acclaim for her film “Blue Moon,” is busy writing a new movie about the start of the Iraq war. It’s called “Crazy Day.”

No word yet if Streisand will do the theme song.

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