Markus Schleinzer

Editor’s note: This review was originally published as part of our Fantastic Fest 2011 coverage on October 11, 2011. But since most of you have not yet had the chance to watch the devil himself practice good dental hygiene (and because the film is hitting limited theaters this Friday, February 17), we’re re-posting it here for your…enjoyment? Masterpieces tend to be weighty. They tend to aggravate and enthrall both during the runtime and once the credits have rolled. They tend to have a heft that makes them difficult to carry even though they demand to live in your gut for months or years afterward. On that front, and on many others, Michael defies the rules and expectations by being a shockingly breezy masterwork. Make that a shockingly breezy masterwork about a pedophile with a young boy locked in his basement. Writer/director Markus Schleinzer has created a film that shoves all of the horrifying elements into your imagination without ever delivering the goods visually. It’s an incredible feat that makes its mark from the opening scene where our villain returns his dumpy self to his dumpy home and visits the cub scout he keeps locked away. They eat dinner, they watch a little television, and the scene cuts to a shot so suggestive post-act that it makes everything far, far too clear for comfort. This is the primary technique of the rougher segments of the movie, and it works with a stark skill that streamlines the nightmare. Michael Fuith commands the […]

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Earlier this morning, my partner in LA film festival crime, the lovely Ms. Allison Loring, posted her list of Most Anticipated Films from this year’s upcoming AFI FEST presented by Audi. Of course, many of our choices overlap (Shame, Butter, Rampart), but we part ways when it comes to some of the smaller films at the festival. For all the big, Oscar bait flicks (J. Edgar) or the wang- and soul-baring Fass-outings (Shame again, always Shame), there are a few films that I’ve been positively rabid to see (Alps, Michael) that might not yet have the cache value and audience awareness of those other films. From the festival’s incredible list of 110 films, I’ve narrowed down my list to ten films that are my bonafide Most Anticipated Films of the festival. Like any list, I am sure that some of you perusing it will be displeased, weighing in on titles I’m a fool to miss. But hold your wrath for a few days, because many of the best titles of the fest are ones I’ve already seen, and those films might just crop up in an unexpected place (like, oh, another list). AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting today, October 27, right HERE). The complete schedule grid is now online for the festival, which you can check out HERE. After the break, […]

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If you somehow aren’t aware by now, we take Fantastic Fest pretty seriously ’round these parts. America’s largest genre festival will kick the doors off the hinges for its 7th incarnation this September, and your faithful crew here at Starship Reject could not be more excited. As always, we’ll be assembling our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to attempt the insane goal of reviewing each and every film that plays this year. Take a gander at some of the titles that have jumped out at us from this latest batch. First up is Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia. Antichrist was huge at Fantastic Fest back in 2009, and the buzz out of Cannes and from a brief run in LA has me chomping at the bit to see Von Trier’s latest as soon as possible. While certainly polarizing, Von Trier is also an extremely versatile and uncompromising filmmaker, and I can’t wait to see him put his own unique spin on a story with sci-fi elements. You can bet the Rejects will be first in line for this one come September. You also know we’re looking forward to You’re Next, the new film from the team behind last year’s A Horrible Way to Die. While their previous effort wasn’t a perfect film, the last 20 minutes in particular were chilling and showed quite a bit of promise with their fresh take on serial killer celebrity. Adam Wingard returns to direct You’re Next, and genre favorite AJ Bowen joins a cast that includes […]

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Cannes often courts controversy, and with potentially volatile films centered on a Child Protection Unit, and one on the Pope already screened, this year looks to be no different. Add to this the inclusion of Michael, a film that explores the relationship between a pedophile and his ten-year-old victim. Man alive that’s a change of direction from this morning’s show-case of Pirates of the Caribbean! That very brief synopsis may sound pretty despicable, and I have to admit I wrestled with why I would want to go and see it, but at the end of the day, I idolize good filmmaking, and who am I to judge how a director chooses to express his skill? The most difficult aspect is that it is impossible to resist comparisons with the harrowing real-life story of Austrian Natasha Kampusch, though thankfully director Markus Schleinzer (famously Michael Haneke’s casting director of choice) has chosen a far more tactful approach than presenting an obscene and intentionally controversial style.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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