Dull Guy, Lives Alone

Markus Schleinzer‘s Michael, a “somewhat chilly, jewel-precise” study of an Austrian child molester, “is the absolute best film I’ve seen at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival so far,” I wrote on 5.14.11. “It isn’t pleasant to watch, but it’s briliiant — emotionally suppressed in a correct way that blends with the protagonist, and aesthetically disciplined and close to spellbinding.”

Michael will play at Manhattan’s Film Forum from 2.15 through 2.28. An absolute must-see, if only to get into the argument.

I wrote the following reply to a Glenn Kenny post on 5.14: “Those who wrote or implied that Michael is ‘Haneke-Lite… sadistic sucker bait for rubes who can’t distinguish faux art film from real’ are playing a familiar game…they find a film emotionally discomforting so they resort to the default dweeb putdown — i.e., you’re just not smart or educated enough to understand what a sucker you are. I’ve seen Michael & I know what it really is, and what astonishing & stunning bullshit this is from the ‘pallies’ who are using the elitist line.”

18 thoughts on “Dull Guy, Lives Alone

  1. FlashDust on said:

    Haha, the child molester movie is brilliant while the Belgian bull with no balls movie is abhorrent.

    Clearly no one will ever be smart or educated enough to understand.

  2. DeeZee says, “So basically it’s Running Scared crossed with Pieces of April?”

    Looks uplifting. Would be cooler if he had like a hot 18 year old Bosnian war orphan female in that room or some Eastern Euro chick like the Cingular Umbrella Girl on that episode of 24 where she was some old guy’s sex slave.

  3. I’m on board with Jeff on this one. It’s an exercise in minimalist tension that I liked a whole lot. Denouement is a kick in the teeth.

  4. Kingofnails and Jeff,

    Do you know this has been done by Chantal Akerman over and over again in so many superior ways?

    If not, then check out one of the finest of French auteurs in recent memory.

  5. I was waiting for that neanderthal comment the moment I wrote it.

    French is also a language.

    When she make a film in Dutch, German,or Flemish then tell me.

  6. FlashDust, I don’t think you know what “neanderthal” means. Have you ever suggested that someone check out Spanish auteur Alfonso Cuaron? Are you anxiously awaiting “Django Unchained”, the latest from English auteur Quentin Tarantino?

  7. This film reminds me of the dust up around Victor Salva during his run with “Powder” and the “Jeepers Creepers” movies. Here was a guy who had spent time in jail for…it was either molesting a child or exposing himself to a child or both. And, when you watch any of his films, you can’t help but notice the leering gaze his camera holds. This isn’t a judgement post or one calling for a boycott, but one to, hopefully, stir some conversation around the need for films with such a gaze. I haven’t seen “Michael” so I can’t speak for that film directly but the storyline alone is worth discussing. I’m genuinely curious as to the thoughts…what purpose is there in narratives of this nature? Granted, depending on the age of the youth, a lot of society’s willingness to accept or tolerate such projects will depend on the nature of the sexuality involved. All the same, it’s a curious topic that’s, I feel, worth discussing. Respectfully.

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