P&I: MASKING THRESHOLD (2021)
A nameless IT technician locks himself at home and conducts experiments to understand and self-cure his tinnitus. He starts by going back to the origins of his hearing impairment, using the sound of silence as a base. He questions every theory and goes through all the medical reports he can access about the subject, testing how sound reflects off clothes and objects. As he goes deeper and deeper into his research, we follow his train of thought in a visual manner and witness how he gets caught in a vicious spiral, leading him to slowly lose his mind and commit the irreparable.
Be warned that this is a very talkative movie. But it also shows the amazing craft of a very talented Austrian director who has been flying under the radar for too long. Although there is a narrative, the entire film is made out of medium and close up shots. You never get to see the main character’s face but you follow his entire story via a voiceover (the amazing Ethan Haslam manages to convey all the necessary emotions to keep you hypnotized). The editing is absolutely incredible and the camera work pretty wild.
Once in a while as a programmer, you come across a movie that is so special and different from anything you’ve seen that it sticks with you. MASKING THRESHOLD has been haunting me since I saw it, and for a long time I wondered if you, dear Fantastic Fest audience, were ready for it. But isn’t it the role of a programmer to take chances and be bold? You may want to burn me at the stake for programming MASKING THRESHOLD, but I’ll gladly hand you the gasoline and the matches to light the pyre. Because the ride is well worth it, and once you get to the end of the movie you’ll admit I was right. (ANNICK MAHNERT)