A real news report about a Vienna bank shooting that left three people dead and ended with the shooter’s suicide opens 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, which then proceeds to flash back to the events leading up to the senseless crime via de-contextualized splinters of fictional scenes concerning the victims. What drove young 19-year-old student Maximillian B. (Lukas Miko) – his name a wink-wink to Fassbinder’s Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? – to commit such a heinous act? Anyone with a passing knowledge of director Michael Haneke’s work will know that, according to his 1994 film (the final installment in his “Trilogy of Emotional Glaciation”), the answer is a combination of social alienation and noxious media saturation. TV coverage of Bosnian atrocities and Michael Jackson’s 1993 sex scandal pepper this puzzle-like tale, which concerns a couple looking to adopt a grumpy girl, a mother and father dealing with their sick infant, a young illegal immigrant trying to survive on the streets, a lonely elderly man at odds with his daughter, and Maximillian himself, who dutifully calls home to mom but exhibits a dangerously short fuse while playing games with friends. The story’s fragmentation is meant to emphasize its characters’ unhappy remoteness, but as Haneke (in typical fashion) refuses to show us anything but his protagonists’ misery, this divisive structure instead merely underlines the director’s active, mean-spirited role in isolating these people from themselves and those around them. A precursor to 2000’s Code Unknown, the formally adept 71 Fragments segues between its various pawns before coldly, cruelly sending them to their execution. It’s a Haneke modus operandi that, like his penchant for prolonged, static shots of repetitive ritual (here: a table tennis professional-in-training) was already, after only three films, decidedly musty.