To describe Marcus Schleinzer’s debut film as a hard watch would be quite an understatement; it deals with one of the most taboo subjects in life let alone the cinema, paedophilier. Michael (2011) is a portrait of a strange lonely 35-year-old middle management office worker. Michael (a very convincing Michael Fuith) is a man with little or no friends and one who never takes part in any of his mothers or sisters family gatherings and a man whom it would appear prefers his own company other than the fact he has 10 year old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) imprisoned in his sound proof basement.
Schleinzer had previously worked as a casting director on some sixty films the best known are Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001), Time of the Wolf (2003) and The White Ribbon (2009) and you can sense Haneke’s influence on his work with the overall look and feel of the movie appearing very basic but with a narrative that is at times very dark and serious, a typical trait of modern post Haneke Austrian cinema. Behind this films calm exterior is a powerful story written by Schleinzer and loosely based on the real life Kampusch and Fritzl cases where children were imprisoned by their captors for a considerable length of time.
Even keeping the sexual abuse off camera Schleinzer film cannot fail to provoke a reaction. The most horrifying part of this movie is its ordinariness, almost at times seemingly telling the story of a single parent’s struggle bringing up a child until Schleinzer forcible brings you back to the reason for young Wolfgang’s imprisonment in Michaels basement. A film for those that appreciate their cinema strong and bleak!
|A single parent!|