Archive of films Michael / Michael
2011, 96 min
Section: Another View
One of the competing films screened at the recent Cannes festival depicts the last five months of ten-year-old Wolfgang and 35-year-old Michael’s involuntary life together. The directorial debut by Michael Haneke’s casting director is a disturbing probe into the private life of a seemingly ordinary man who attempts to cover up his on-going crime by studiously keeping up appearances of a normal life.
One of a score of competition films screened at the recent Cannes festival, Michael describes the last five months of 10-year-old Wolfgang and 35-year-old Michael’s involuntary life together. Renowned casting director Markus Schleinzer said that he acquired the necessary self-confidence to embark upon his directorial debut after completing work on Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. The casting of a ten-year-old boy and his preparation for the role was an important element of this extremely disturbing film which describes, without traces of emotion or sentiment, the daily life of a young man who feigns a family and partnership idyll with an unwilling boy. Schleinzer focuses his attention primarily on the title character, a respectable employee of an insurance company who studiously maintains appearances of a normal lifestyle while attempting to cover up his on-going crime. The largely static shots from the cold, detached camera lens convey no more than is absolutely necessary for an understanding of the plot. Such directorial reserve, which adds to the credibility of the film and gives it greater impact, also dominates the outstanding performances of the central characters.
About the director
Markus Schleinzer (b. 1971, Vienna) worked as a casting director in 1994-2010, during which time he was involved in the making of more than sixty feature films, including Jessica Hausner’s Lovely Rita, Hotel and Lourdes, Ulrich Seidl’s Dog Days (Hundstage), Women without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan) by Shirin Neshat, and Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (La pianiste), Time of the Wolf (Le temps du loup) and The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte). Michael, Schleinzer’s directorial debut, was selected for the main competition at Cannes this year.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Dir. of Photography:||Gerald Kerkletz|
|Producer:||Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger, Wolfgang Widerhofer|
|Production:||NGF Geyrhalter Glaser Kitzberger Widerhofer|
|Cast:||Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss|
|Contact:||Les Films du Losange|