Thursday, September 6, 2012

An Epic Look at Murder Fantasies

Since 1996, Polish-born, Berlin-based experimental filmmaker Michal Kosakowski has had a thing for murder fantasies. His original video installation Fortynine, featuring more than 160 participants from 28 countries, recently morphed into the feature film Zero Killed.

This unique docudrama is just beginning to screen both here and abroad. It was at Atlanta's Dragon Con Independent Film Festival over the Labor Day weekend, shows September 8th at the Sydney Underground Film Festival and will have its UK premiere at the 2012 Raindance Film Festival. It's also slated for next week's Oldenbenburg International Film Festival in the director's adopted home country.

For Zero Killed, Kosakowski reassembled his Fortynine participants, urging them to go deeper about their previously acted-out scenarios. These people, of varied backgrounds, were originally told they could stage their personal murder fantasies as short films, provided they also starred.

In between the two murder fantasy projects, Kosakowski taught experimental film and theory at Media Design Hochschule in Munich from 2008 to 2011. In fact, that's how he met his executive producer and editor, Claudia Engl. She was one of his students.

Zero Killed is a film you will hear a lot more about in the coming months. A fellow Munchen professor, Dr. Bend Scheffer, had this to say after viewing it:

Reopening the [Fortynine] case has resulted in a series of extraordinarily remarkable and often thoroughly discomforting portraits of a rare stylistic and formal radicalism that range from commendable sober-mindedness to alarming self-disclosure...
The film itself can be interpreted as an act of trespass, of violence even, a cruel prank. Yet cruel conceits, such as Kosakowski’s equally discreet and cavalier approach, images that tend to offend our views and feelings, are a – or even the — central attribute of much good art. As a matter of principle, all great art has something to do with aggression and violence.

[Zero Killed]

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