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Markus Schleinzer Angelo

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2018: #50. Markus Schleinzer’s Angelo


Austrian director Markus Schleinzer broke into the main competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival with his provocative 2011 debut, Michael (which plays like the hopelessly austere version of Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, 2015) and understandably took a bit of time to mount his next project. Previously a casting director who worked on many of Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner’s (also on our top 100) projects prior to 2012, Schleinzer’s simmering debut and its subject matter proved to be a hard film to love. Seven years later, his sophomore film Angelo promises to be equally divisive as it deals once more with conceptions of power, role play, and adapting to toxic environments as it charts the forced Europeanization of an African immigrant who eventually ends up as an exhibit in 1848, Vienna (which sounds comparable to the anguishing depiction of Saartjes Baartman in Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus, 2010). Schleinzer excitingly features Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher in the cast, as well as Germany’s Christian Friedel (The White Ribbon; 13 Minutes). Makita Samba (of Civeyrac’s My Friend Victoria, Garrel’s Lover for a Day) headlines as Angelo.

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Release Date/Prediction: Despite being one of the rare debut films to launch from the steps of Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet, considering Schleinzer’s Michael went home empty-handed, a return to the Cannes comp is no guarantee. Currently in post-production, if a Berlin premiere is bypassed, Angelo could easily be offered a slot in Un Certain Regard.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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