Michael (Schleinzer, 2011): Various cinemas across London.
On a quiet night on the repertory cinema circuit here's a recommendation for an excellent new release out this week. This grim Austrian tale about a man who keeps a young boy captive in his cellar was one of the most best movies at the 2011 London Film Festival. I cannot say I am in a desperate hurry to see it again but that is because of the nature of the story and the disturbing effect rather than any slight on what is an impressive piece of film-making.
It's probably best not to know too much about Michael before seeing the film. The Independent on Sunday film critic Jonathan Romney has summed up its qualities very well here in his column this week. He concludes:
'Schleinzer's cool, clinical direction is very much school-of-Haneke. But while Michael is extremely uncomfortable viewing, the fact that it's never pitched for either pathos or horror makes the film all the more challenging – because it so directly tests our understanding of normality and aberration, humanity and inhumanity.'
Here is the trailer.