Austrian filmmaker (and a supporting player on a slew of recent films) Markus Schleinzer is finally getting back into the director’s chair and he has managed to lasso the actress of the hour in 2023 Cannes Film Festival darling (for Palme d’Or and Grand Prix winning films) Sandra Hüller. Schleinzer and Hüller were recently seen in Frauke Finsterwalder’s Sisi & I. Screen Daily reports that The Match Factory is getting on board the new set during the 17th century project for what will be a 2024 summer shoot and the period piece will likely be gunning for a return trip to the Cannes competition where Schleinzer’s debut film Michael premiered in 2011. Titled Rose, this will be produced by Johannes Schubert (Hausner’s Cannes preemed Club Zero – read review) and ROW Pictures’ Karsten Stöter (Emily Atef’s Berlinale preemed One Day We’ll Tell Each Other Everything – read review). Regular Michael Haneke and recent Ulrich Seidl editor Monika Willi is also onboard.
A 17th-century drama set in the aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War, the film sees Hüller play the titular Rose, an enigmatic soldier who surfaces in an isolated Protestant village, purporting to be the heir to a long-deserted estate. While attempting to integrate into the village society and pondering an arranged marriage with a local farmer’s daughter, the soldier’s true identity is questioned by both villagers and an old servant residing on the estate. Hüller’s character is inspired by numerous documented accounts of women disguised as men in European history.
Schleinzer’s last film (the TIFF Platform section preemed Angelo) was as disturbing as his debut feature and it also travels back in the history books. The 18th century portrait told the tale of an African slave boy who is chosen by a European Comtesse to be educated and when he reaches adulthood he becomes an amuse gueule of sorts for some folks that surround him. We got to sit down with the filmmaker when the film was still making the festival rounds.