REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ FILMDIENST
by Ulrich Kriest | Filmdienst 5/2014
Seit 1996 hat der Filmemacher Michal Kosakowski unterschiedlichen Menschen Gelegenheit gegeben, ihre Mordfantasien als Kurzfilm in Szene zu setzen. Einzige Bedingung: Sie mussten in diesen Filmen selbst mitwirken, ob als Täter (in der Regel) oder auch als Opfer (eher die Ausnahme).
Einzige Bedingung: Sie mussten in diesen Filmen selbst mitwirken, ob als Täter (in der Regel) oder auch als Opfer (eher die Ausnahme). Die durchaus aufwändig und künstlerisch ambitioniert inszenierten und mitunter durch ihre Drastik schockierenden Filme mit ihren Dokumentar- und Genrefilm-Referenzen wurden dann als Installationen im Rahmen von Kunstausstellungen präsentiert.
In den Jahren 2008 bis 2010 befragte Kosakowski die Mitwirkenden rückblickend zu den Fantasien, die den Filmen zugrunde lagen, zu ihren Selbsteinschätzungen und auch zu weiteren Themen wie dem Wesen des Menschen, zu Folter, Todesstrafe, Krieg oder Religion und montiert aus diesen Quellen eine Mischung aus Filmfragmenten und Interviews, unterlegt mit einschlägiger, mal ironischer, mal reißerischer Musik.
Schon die Ausgangsthese von „Zero Killed“, der auf die Video-Kunst-Installation „Fortynine“ zurückgeht, ist diskussionswürdig. Es geht nicht um Aggression, sondern vielmehr um Mordfantasien, also um zugespitzte Aggressionen, stets gepaart mit einem Moment des Inszenatorischen. „Nur sinnlos zu morden, das schien mir zu fade. Ich brauchte eine Motivation oder einen Rahmen“, erklärt ein Mann in die Kamera, bevor seine Fantasie (blutig) in Szene gesetzt wird: ein älterer Mann wird vor einen heranbrausenden LKW gestoßen. Es geht also nicht nur darum, einen „einfach so“ loszuwerden, den man nicht mag, sondern stets auch um das jeweilige „wie“. (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ KRITIKEN.DE
Kritiken.de, Feb 6, 2014
Regisseur: Michal Kosakowski. Drehbuch: Michal Kosakowski
Was hält uns davon ab die unfreundliche Verkäuferin, nervende Bekannte oder sogar den Partner, mit dem man sich ständig streitet, einfach umzubringen? Angst vor der Strafe, den Konsequenzen? Oder sogar Moral? Michal Kosakowski bot Menschen aus unterschiedlichen Ländern und ökonomischen Schichten an, ihre Mordgedanken nachzustellen – jedoch unter einer Bedingung: Sie selbst müssen als Täter oder Opfer in ihrem Kurzfilm der mordlustigen Fantasie mitwirken.
Im Jahr 1996 befragte Kosakowski diese Menschen erstmals und drehte mit ihnen ihre Mordgedanken nach. Nun geben sie Interviews über ihre Gedanken und hinterfragen ihre dunklen Fantasien. Der Filmemacher erschafft eine Mischung aus Kurzfilm und Dokumentation und stellt nicht zu unrecht die Frage, nach welchen Kriterien der Mensch handelt? Welche Tabus hat er? Welche Moralvorstellungen?
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ ZITTY BERLIN
by Nick Schimpel | Zitty Berlin, Feb 6, 2014
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ FILMGAZETTE
by Ulrich Kriest | Filmgazette, Feb 6, 2014
“Are you talking to me?”
“Das Grauen. Das Grauen.” Wir erinnern uns, oder? “Apocalypse Now!” Colonel Kurtz. Oder vielleicht doch lieber Georg Büchner? “Was ist das, was in uns lügt, mordet, stiehlt?” Schlummert da was in uns? Ein Abgrund gar? Fragen sie dazu doch Michal Kosakowski! Der hat solche Fragen gleich weitergereicht an ein paar Handvoll Leute, die nicht nur Tötungsphantasien haben und einmal offen drüber reden wollen, sondern diese vielleicht auch sehen wollen. Sagen sie jedenfalls. Deshalb das Angebot und die Bedingung Kosakowskis: wir setzen deine Phantasie in Szene, aber nur, wenn du mitspielst. Als Täter oder als Opfer.
Die gedrehten Kurzfilme wurden als Videoinstallation erstmals 2007 in München der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht. In den folgenden Jahren holte der Filmemacher seine »Mittäter« erneut für Interviews vor die Kamera, wo sie nun nicht nur über die Filme und die ihnen zugrundeliegenden Phantasien Rede und Antwort standen, sondern sich auch zu abstrakteren Fragen zu Gewalt, Folter, Rache, Todesstrafe, Krieg, Religion oder dem Wesen des Menschen äußerten.
Der Film “Zero Killed” ist nun eine Montage aus beiden Werkgruppen, unterlegt mal mit ironischer, dann wieder reißerischer Musik. Es ist eine verstörende Montage. Zunächst, weil Kosakowski ganz selbstverständlich davon auszugehen scheint, dass sein Sample von Gesprächspartnern irgendwie repräsentativ ist. So sehen wir uns Menschen – Frauen wie Männern – gegenüber, die mal verschwörerisch, mal lächelnd, mal lässig, mal angestrengt, mal selbstgefällig vor laufender Kamera ihre Tötungsphantasien ausbreiten oder über die angesprochenen Themen räsonieren. (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ KINO-ZEIT.DE
by Joachim Kurz | Kino-Zeit.de, Dec 3, 2013
Der ganz reale Horror
Mordphantasien? Die hat ja wohl (fast) jeder mal. So ganz heimlich und in Gedanken, wenn der liebe Kollege wieder nervt, der/die Partner/Partnerin nörgelt oder sonst etwas schief läuft im Leben. Zum Glück aber kommen die allerwenigsten Menschen auf den Gedanken, diese Wünsche in die Tat umzusetzen. Was aber wäre, wenn sie das könnten? Im geschützten Raum und ohne (reale) Folgen, sondern als Teil einer Inszenierung? Dieser Frage geht der Filmemacher Michal Kosakowski in seiner filmischen Versuchsanordnung Zero Killed nach: Seit 1996 hat er dafür Menschen mit verschiedenen sozialen Hintergründen dazu gebracht, ihre Mordphantasien in Kurzfilmen zu inszenieren. Die einzige Beschränkung, die er ihnen dabei mit auf den Weg gab: Die Befragten mussten selbst als Darsteller in dem Film mitwirken – entweder als Täter oder als Opfer.
Die Filme, die diesem Angebot entsprangen, sind so unterschiedlich geraten wie ihre Urheber es sind – vom Schubsen eines heruntergekommenen Mannes vor einen heranfahrenden LKW bis zum Mord während des Liebesaktes reicht die Vielzahl der fiktiven Tötungen. Und ebenso breit gespannt wie die “Täter” sind auch die Opfer – und dementsprechend die Motive für ihre Delikte: Sie reichen von der klassischen Beziehungstat bis hin zum eher zufälligen Mord an einem vollkommen Unbekannten, sie werden mit Schusswaffen ausgeführt oder mit dem Beil, mit Messern, den bloßen Händen oder exotischeren Instrumenten, manchmal sogar mit den bloßen Händen, dem Fuß oder auf andere Art und Weise. So verschieden die Menschen sind, die hier ihr Innerstes nach außen kehren, so unterschiedlich ihre Opfer sind, so sehr variieren auch die Mordmethoden und mit ihnen die Inszenierungen der Taten. (more…)
‘ZERO KILLED’ REVIEW+INTERVIEW @ FANTASTIC MOVIES (IN FRENCH)
by Gaetan Cala | Fantastic Movies, Aug 27, 2013
Projet étonnant, déroutant même,… La première conclusion qu’on en tire, c’est que tout un chacun est capable du pire,… Nous vivons dans une société violente, à plusieurs égards, et ce film nous le prouve. Sous forme de documentaire, le film nous plonge dans la violence de tout un chacun. La violence que nous pouvons tous éprouver. Mais si, vous savez,… quand on est à la Poste en train de faire la queue, par exemple. Mais le film ne s’arrête pas là, il aborde d’autres sujets de fond tels que la peine de mort, la torture, la violence faite aux enfants,… D’un sujet qui peut paraître, non pas anodin, mais simple, il y apporte beaucoup de nuances, sans jamais tomber dans les clichés, et ni juger ses intervenants. Le propre d’un documentaire. Michal Kosakowski nous amène là où il voulait nous amener avec beaucoup de pudeur: nous faire réfléchir à la violence au quotidien, celle qui nous entoure, visible, mais également celle qui se cache. Etant fan de documentaire, je ne peux que conseiller de voir celui-ci qui est très bien réalisé, et qui vous permettra d’avoir de longs débats avec vos amis.
Note: 16/20 (more…)
DVD REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ 10,000 BULLETS
by Michael Den Boer | 10Kbullets, Aug 9, 2013
In the mid-1990′s filmmaker Michal Kosakowski sought out individuals for a project that dealt with not only viewpoints on murder, but how would they if given the opportunity go about killing someone. From there he had each participant act out their murder scenario and captured these performances via short films. Flash forward, many years later he would revisit this project by conduct new interviews with those who participated in those aforementioned short films. The participants who are interviewed in Zero Killed make a wide range of nationalities. Thus reinforcing the universality of the subject matter at hand. In between these new interview clips are sections of the short films that serve as the foundation from which this documentary has sprung forth. The comments are brutally honest and the diverse range of opinions on the subject matter give the viewer a lot of food for thought.
When viewed out of context and as standalone moments carnage caught on film. The majority of these short films are truly disturbing. Fortunately since this is first and foremost a documentary. The way in which information is presented lessen some of the aforementioned shock value. One of this documentaries greatest strengths is that is does not try to steer the viewer in a deliberate direction. It gives both sides of the argument an equal amount of time to state their cases. And lets the viewer decide where to go from there. Ultimately Zero Killed is an exceptional documentary that proves without a shadow of doubt that murder does not discriminate.
Cult Epics presents Zero Killed in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films intended aspect ratio. The transfer does a great job with the source material which varies in degree quality wise. This release comes with one audio mix, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English, German, Polish and Serbian. the audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles. Extras for this release include a trailer for the film and a ‘Making of’ featurette (23 minutes 16 – anamorphic widescreen, in German, Polish, Serbian and English with English subtitles). The featurette is well rounded overview about how the project came about and those involved with this project also discuss their involvement. Overall Zero Killed gets a solid release from Cult Epics.
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ WICKED CHANNEL
by JamesD | WickedChannel, Aug 4, 2013
How is this for a concept you are given a chance to fulfill a murder fantasy and film it. Well Zero Killed is about some people who were given that chance to re-enact a fantasy of killing someone and then down the road, years later they were asked about the experience, and what their thoughts are about death, murder and all that fun stuff. I have to be honest, there are some people in my life that I regret knowing but killing them, that is a different situation. But, this film no one really dies they just get to act it out, and I guess in that realm I would love to attempt that. This film raises a lot of questions about what is wrong and right, and executing someone.
This film starts off with a story about random people in 1996 getting the chance to film their own murder stories or wet-dreams, the only rule they are given was that they have to be the actor in it, they can be the murderer or the victim. Now, the film also covers when they meet the people several years later and start to talk about their films and ask what motivated them and talking about murder also. Not all the murders are alike, some are shootings, and some are torture and etc. The shorts range from powerful to just ok, but the film itself has a very strong message and would be very entertaining esp. after some of the events that have happened in our country in the last few years. This film has plenty of death scenarios, so if you want to see some violent bloodbath this is not your film. The main deal of this whole film is what death means and to hear from the people who shot the shorts that you get to see in bits and pieces.
If you are a fan of documentaries you will dig this, and if you are one of those people who watch CNN just for what violence has erupted in our world today, may want to see this film just to find out what can be in some people’s heads. This film may not be for everyone, but I really had fun with it for the most part, some of the interview stuff does get bogged down, but all in all this is a must watch for someone who is looking for something different and every wanted to harm another human being.
8 out of 10
DVD REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ Rock! Shock! Pop!
by Ian Jane | Rock! Shock! Pop!, Aug 1, 2013
If you could get away with murder, would you? Not manslaughter, but murder. The pre-meditated kind. Obviously a lot of people have tried, and hopefully more have failed than not, but for the most part, even at our most outraged we know it’s not ‘right’ to kill. But what happens when you eliminate the prospect of being punished for your crime?
Filmmaker Michal Kosakowski, in 1996, started asking people about their feelings on murder, starting a dialogue on the specifics of what they would do, how they would do it and why they would do it and then, once that relationship was established, offering them the chance to act that out. Note that the key word there is act. He was, in short, giving people the opportunity to indulge their murder fantasies, but this did not come without a catch – they had to be actively involved and play either the killer or the victim. So from here, Kosakowski rounds up his group of people and basically has them create their own fake snuff/horror movies. He chooses people from different backgrounds, all of whom seem reasonably stable, and he lets them do their thing.
We see these short films, or at least enough of them, and then roughly ten years later we travels with Kosakowski as he catches up with them and picks their brains about how they feel about the subject since making their respective movies. We learn how their lives have changed in the years since the films were made and through some discussion learn how their opinions and views on things have been altered not just from the experience of the part they played but by current and world events as well. Of course, nobody interviewed or involved in the project has gone any sort of killing spree but it’s interesting to hear some justify and some counter the reasons for killing. (more…)
‘ZERO KILLED’ PODCAST REVIEW @ EXORCAST
by Vincent & The Beard | Exorcast, July 19, 2013
Listen to the podcast review of ZERO KILLED on the occasion of the US-DVD release by Cult Epics.
‘ZERO KILLED’ INTERVIEW @ FANDOR/KEYFRAME
with Jonathan Marlow & Michal Kosakowski | Fandor, Keyframe, July 19, 2013
Three, Two, One: ZERO KILLED
‘My intention was to criticize all of this violence.’
At the Chicago Underground Film Festival in 2012, an event already unique in its capacity for great programming year after year, the unconventional documentary Zero Killed made quite an impression. In the film, ordinary individuals are allowed to enact their own murder fantasies provided that they agree to appear in the resulting short. Many years later, they are interviewed about their experiences. The film passes no judgment. Nor should it. The banality of evil is in sharp focus, regardless. Fandor co-founder Jonathan Marlow spoke with filmmaker Michal Kosakowski at his home in Berlin, albeit remotely.
SHOPPINGHOUR MAGAZINE ISSUE 10 – FEAST OF LISTEN – ‘ZERO KILLED’ PARTICIPANT STATEMENTS
Check out the uncensored ZERO KILLED participant statements in the latest issue of Shoppinghour Magazine Issue 10 – Feast of Listen. Thanks to Peter Eramian!
Buy the magazine here
Published by Shoppinghour Magazine (2013)
112 Pages, 31 x 23 cm, Paperback, £6.00
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ APOCALYPSE LATER
by Hal C F Astell | Apocalypse Later, Feb 11, 2013
This film was an official selection at Phoenix FearCon V in Scottsdale in 2012. It’s not your usual horror movie that evolves out of an art installation, but Zero Killed began life in 2007 at the Lothringer13 gallery in Munich and, sure enough, it’s something rather different. It’s a cross between documentary and fake snuff film, but with an opposing emphasis to movies such as Man Bites Dog or Long Pigs. For a decade, beginning in 1996, filmmaker Michał Kosakowski asked a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds about their murder fantasies, then provided the gruesome means by which they could act them out in front of the camera. Kosakowski delivered everything needed to turn their fantasies into reality, if only in a fictional way, except one thing: he set the condition that they had to act in their little pictures themselves. Then, a decade on, he returned to his subjects, spread across five central European countries, to interview them about their experiences and how they might have been changed by them. (more…)
ROKKO’S ADVENTURES – ‘ZERO KILLED’ INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR MICHAL KOSAKOWSKI
We are honoured to be published in the Austrian Cult Magazine Rokko’s Adventures, No.12. Director Michal Kosakowski talks with Daniel Krcal on his film “Zero Killed”.
‘Nix Tot’ – Interview with Michal Kosakowski (PDF in German)
‘ZERO KILLED’ SUMMARY OF NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 was the rescheduled Flaherty NYC screening of Zero Killed, by Polish-born, Berlin-based artist Michal Kosakowski. The director and two of the film’s subjects, Sergio Figueroa and Dorit Oitzinger, were in attendance for a post-screening discussion with moderator Andy P. Smith. Zero Killed weaves staged murder fantasies together with interviews with those who thought them up. The film is based on a video installation comprised of 49 shorts in which subjects enact their own violent scenarios. For Kosakowski, constructing a film from the installation offered a way to transport the idea to a medium more accessible to a larger audience. (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ FILM THREAT
by Elias Savada | Film Threat, Jan 29, 2013
Lord knows why I’ve been sitting on the DVD that German director Michael Kosakowski handed me at the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival last October. It played at AFI’s Silver Spring (Maryland) theater at the midnight show on October 12th (I was too tired to stay awake that night), and has had numerous screenings since (including it’s NYC Halloween premiere postponed courtesy of Hurricane Sandy). Earlier this week Cult Epics, a Los Angeles company owned by Nico B., acquired the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights, and a theatrical release here will be in April, followed by a DVD release on June 18th.
Anyway, the film handles the director’s penchant, since 1996, of “asking people with different backgrounds about their murder fantasies.” Hmmm, seems interesting/controversial in light of the recent uproar about gun control in the U.S.A. Kosakowski not only inquired about these reveries, but offered them a chance to stage them as films. Weird? Yup. Oh, he had one condition. They had to act in the films themselves…. (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ SF BAY GUARDIAN, 7X7SF & SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Chopping spree – ‘Tis the season for ghouls and gore at Another Hole in the Head film fest
by Cheryl Eddy | San Francisco Bay Guardian, Nov. 27, 2012
Closing night looks to be a decidedly less festive affair, with Austrian director Michal Kosakowski’s unsettling Zero Killed — a feature film spun from his video installation and short film project, Fortynine. From 1996 to 2006, Kosakowski interviewed people about their murder fantasies, then used the tales (suicide bombings, school shootings, dog attacks, dinner-party poisonings, stabbings, shoving people into traffic or letting them slip off cliffs, etc.) as short-film inspiration, starring the storyteller as either perpetrator or victim.
A haunting musical score ups the creep factor, as Kosakowski tracks down each participant (many, but not all, are actors by trade) to interview them about their specific fantasies and other troubling topics, like revenge, torture, and “What is evil?” Zero Killed is a uniquely disturbing mix of fiction and documentary, cutting between horrific, blood-soaked vignettes and clinical talking-head interviews — often featuring the same subject.
Read the review on sfbg.com
IndieFest’s Another Hole in the Head Sets the Table for Its 9th Gory Season
by Jackson Scarlett | 7x7SF, Nov. 29, 2012
The macabre closing night film of this year’s HoleHead is, by technical description, a documentary–and not of the Tobe Hooper variety either. Pairing staged footage of homicidal fantasies told to him by interviewees (on the condition that they act in them as either as the murderer or victim) with years-later decompressions on subjects like torture, the military, and media dominance, German director Michal Kosakowski’s film plays out like a grim riff on Michael Apted’s Up series. Ranging from absurd bloodbaths to chilling snuff films, the most effective vignettes play out in stark counterpoint to the interviews, adding a heightened meaning to the necessarily political talk on display.
Read the review on 7×7.com
Nothing too violent for Hole in the Head fest
by Hugh Hart | San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 2, 2012
Another Hole in the Head Film Festival screens loads of murder and mutilation, but audiences tend to be a jovial bunch, according to founder George Kaskanlian Jr. “It’s kind of like … a reunion every year,” he says. “A lot of people know each other and feel comfortable screaming, saying stupid stuff and having a good time.” This year’s edition, continuing through next Sunday at the Roxie, includes “G-String Horror” (Wednesday), shot by Charles Webb at the old Sid Grauman movie palace in San Francisco. The festival also presented “The Killing Games,” rejected by the Edmonton International Film Festival for being too graphic. Does Kaskanlian draw the line at extreme screen violence? “There is no line,” he says. “People know what they’re getting when they come to the festival. If a movie is too gory, we’ll make it a late-night screening.”
Closing-night film “Zero Killed” pushes that envelope. “People get interviewed about their murder fantasies and then they re-enact them,” Kaskanlian says. “When I was watching it for the first time … I got pretty weirded out because I thought it was real. ‘Zero Killed’ was pretty crazy. I thought, ‘I’ve got to put this in the festival.’ ”
Read the review on sfgate.com
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ BEYOND CHRON
by Peter Wong | Beyond Chron, Nov 29, 2012
Michal Kosakowski’s festival closer “Zero Killed” rightfully disturbs those with pat answers to the mass shootings reported on America’s nightly news.
Since 1996, Kosakowski has filmed enactments of people’s murder fantasies. The director’s only caveat is that the fantasist performs onscreen as either a killer or a victim. These homicide enactments utilize everything from poisoning to mass school shootings. Excerpts from these short films get paired with semi-classical music and present day interviews with the film participants regarding the intersection between killing another human being and society.
True to the title of Kosakowski’s film, nobody actually dies in these staged enactments. Yet the blood sprays and brutal shootings depicted in these murder fantasies will raise doubts in viewers’ minds.
Are these homicide fantasists a danger to society? If one were to judge by these fantasists’ onscreen interviews, none of their faces display mental illness or sociopathic calculation. Yet does the power to imagine considering using a victim’s nose for stew meat makes that speculating person a potential killer? Or does the experience of facing the darker parts of their nature make these murder fantasists emotionally stronger than advocates of behavioral suppression? (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ SLIPPERY LYZARD
by Slippery Lyzard | Cape Town, South Africa, Nov, 2012
Now this is filmmaking, even if it’s seems a tad amateur, it’s still brilliant. The concept, not the freshest since the fall of the western world but nevertheless, definitely plays into the human psyche of wanting to kill someone after they have fucked with you. I couldn’t think of a more original thing to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon other than finding a victim, torturing the bejesus out of them, and then systematically putting them out of their misery in any way conceivable. This may truly be art…
Quiet on set! Oh hello, I was just about ready to get into my directors chair. Now I know what you are thinking you’re a writer, what’s with all this film making mumbo jumbo? Well I’ll tell you; I was about to start production on a little script I wrote entitled “Death to all Lyzards”. You like? I thought you would. It’s a straight to the point feature with a plot so brilliant it will have you chewing your fingers right down to the bone. Want to hear it? Well it begins on a fine day quite like today and ends up with me the Lyzard King brutally murdering all Lyzard impersonators in the most creative way possible. You’re thinking it’s ok maybe a little cheesy but hey let me ask you this then; don’t you ever have any murder fantasies? (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ TRASH CITY
Trash City, October, 2012
For the past 15 years, the director has been asking people about their murder fantasies, and giving them the chance to act them out in staged scenarios – with the sole stipulation that they, themeselves, must take part, either as victims or killers. These films are mixed here in to interviews with the participants, who provide their personal perspectives on their fantasies, and also express opinions on other death-related topics, such as capital punishment, and whether they’d be able to take revenge on the perpetrator if someone dear to them was killed. The results are chilling, not least because of the absolute normality of the participants: no criminal records, and the final sequence shows their professions, ranging from farmer to English teacher, and none of them would exactly be the kind you would expect to have such morbid thoughts. Mind you, perhaps I am surprised by them, because I have genuinely never harboured such fantasies myself. Is that because I have seen so many murder-death-kills on the screen over the last two decades or more? (more…)
‘ZERO KILLED’ REVIEW + INTERVIEW @ PROJECTION
by Celeste Ramos | Projection, Oct 29, 2012
0K: Zero Killed and an interview with director Michal Kosakowski
Don’t worry. No one dies in this article.
Sixteen years in the making, Zero Killed looks at the dark side in all of us — the fascination with killing and death that, more than anything, points to the issues in our waking lives. Director Michal Kosakowski’s work has long revolved around violence and the motivating issues beneath it. “Fortynine”, the video art installation displayed in a mirrored room, was the precursor to the Zero Killed film that exposed people to 49 looping films showing very real-looking murders. From tortures to suicides, psychopathic one-on-one’s to quick-and-clean poisonings. Shootings, “accidents,” war crimes. As much as it sounds like TV news, these are the real fantasies of the main victim or perpetrator in each film, a living dark fantasy now made immortal thanks to the medium of film.
Michal Kosakowski is the prolific director of more than 70 films, a mix of shorts, documentaries, and original fiction. Often critiquing and interpreting the effects of media on the perception of human interactions and violence, his style is intelligent and disturbing. From a chalk outline exhibit to a collection of Hollywood film clips depicting the Twin Towers that “helped” in the public absorption of 9/11, Michal has long kept a close eye on how and why human beings act the way they do in the arena of violence.
Upon watching Zero Killed, I couldn’t help but imagine whether the whole process was traumatic or cathartic, or some shadow in between for them. What does it mean to be murdered, or murder someone else on screen for any and all to see? And what does it mean that people will pay money to see such things? (more…)
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ FILM BIZARRO
by Ronny Carlsson | Film Bizarro, Oct 22, 2012
Have you ever thought about killing someone? Of course you have. Will you do it? Most people won’t, but some do. What would push you into ending a person’s life – self-defense, revenge or hate? Is it right to execute a murderer, or is it a case of severe double-nature? If you got the chance to kill someone, or be killed by someone, and it was fiction – what would be your murder of choice? These are the things that “Zero Killed” focus on.
In 1996, random people from all over the world were offered the chance to make their own short films about their murder fantasies. There was only one rule set: they have to act in them as well. Either as the murderer, or the victim. Now, many years later, they meet these people again and question them about their films and the motives behind them, as well as discussing the many sides of murder.
The short films we see differ heavily in style as well as murder of choice. Several of them portray shootings – either just execution by gun, or more along the lines of school shootings. Obviously, a lot of people went the route of torture – probably the most common style to go for. Everyone has imagined themselves torturing some asshole who has done them wrong, and the brutal things they would do to them before ending their lives. But then we have the short films that are either more creative, or just go for a different kind of murder entirely. A woman guiding a hitman through IMs, knowing that she has the power to end a life by just typing. Or the one I felt was the strongest, most effective and intense to watch – a suicide by poisoning. Many of the murders are gory, but this one is completely without blood and is effective because of the matter-of-fact-style, and the acting by the young man on screen. In many of these, you’ll recognize your own fantasies, but some of them also come off as strangely planned out. And that’s because people think about murder, it’s a fact and this documentary proves it. (more…)
‘ZERO KILLED’ @ MONSTER ISLAND RESORT PODCAST & KPBS RADIO
Episode 86: Human Murder Fantasies: A Talk with Michal Kosakowski
by Miguel Rodriguez | Monster Island Resort Podcast, Oct 14, 2012
A conversation from around the globe! Michal Kosakowski is a film director based in Germany whose documentary Zero Killed is racking up awards on the film festival circuit. This unique collection of short films and interviews attempts to explore a very taboo and dark topic–the murder fantasies of regular people from all walks of life. The result is fascinating, and Kosakowski has a lot of great things to say about what he learned on his dark journey making the film. This is an episode I am quite proud of–please enjoy it! I am bringing Zero Killed to San Diego! It will be the first documentary screened at the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival.
Midday Movies: Horrible Imaginings – Going Someplace Dark – A Talk with Horrible Imaginings Film Festival Director Miguel Rodriguez and Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter and Author of the blog Cinema Junkie
by Beth Accomando, Maureen Cavanaugh and Tracy Stegeman | KPBS Radio, Oct 18, 2012
… This is the third year for the Horrible Imagining’s Art Show and Film Festival , which kicks off next Wednesday at the 10th Avenue Theatre and Arts Centre and continues for three weeks. The festival’s director, Miguel Rodriguez, describes Horrible Imaginings as, “The first film fest in San Diego to showcase macabre cinema and art.” Rodriguez’ mission statement for the festival is to elevate the horror genre, create a conversation about horror, and provide a venue for the artists to achieve the goal of horror as an “expression of a feeling.” …
… The documentary film “Zero Killed,” directed by Michal Kosakowski, is a look at the darker and more murderous side of human nature. The film poses the question “What are your murder fantasies?” to people from all walks of life. Personal interviews, as well as some of those interviewed starring in short films of their own murder fantasies …
REVIEW ‘ZERO KILLED’ @ BAD LIT
by Mike Everleth | Bad Lit, Oct 11, 2012
This might be a total mis-remembrance, but it goes something like this: In an interview, horror filmmaker Wes Craven turned the tables on his interviewer and asked, “How many people have been killed in all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined? … None, it’s all make-believe.”
If horror movies are the means by which non-violent people can experience the darkest realms of the human psyche via projected surrogates, then German filmmaker Michael Kosakowski doesn’t let the subjects of his documentary Zero Killed off quite so easily.
The film begins with a title card explaining its unique conceit. For the past ten years, Kosakowsi has been asking a wide swath of people to reveal, on camera, what their most secret murder fantasies are. Then, once they’ve spilled their metaphoric guts, the subjects were asked to act out those fantasies — fictionally, of course — in a short film. Finally, later, Kosakowski interviewed all the participants again about the entire experience. (more…)