Michael Haneke (Contemporary Film Directors) by Peter Brunette

By Peter Brunette

During this booklet, Peter Brunette analyzes the theatrical releases of Austrian movie director Michael Haneke, together with "The White Ribbon", winner of the 2009 Palme d'Or on the Cannes movie pageant. maybe most sensible recognized for "Cache", "The Piano Teacher", and his remake of his personal aggravating "Funny Games", Haneke has always challenged critics and movie audience to contemplate their very own accountability for what they watch once they search to be "merely" entertained via such studio-produced Hollywood thrillers. Brunette highlights Haneke's incredible use of uncompromising visible and aural concepts to precise advanced subject matters. His newest movies comprise what has turn into his hallmark: a second of violence or surprise that isn't meant to be exploitative, yet that however is going past the normal barriers of so much artwork cinema. Lauded for graphically revealing the robust impact of latest media on social behaviour, his motion pictures supply a chilling critique of latest patron society. Brunette discusses Haneke's significant releases in English, French, and German, together with the movie that first introduced him to foreign consciousness, Benny's Video. the 1st full-length examine of Haneke's paintings in any language, this ebook additionally contains an interview with the director that explores his motivations and strategies.

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The reality of death is obviously more difficult to deal with than its cinematic representation. At this point, Benny offers to show her something, the fetishized "thing" he has stolen, the special gun used to slaughter the pig. He gives it to her to shoot him (we see all this in "reality," that is, in Haneke's film through his thirty-five-millimeter camera, and on the monitor behind them), and when she doesn't, he playfully calls her a coward. She hands it back to him, then says, "You press it," and calls him "coward," again playfully, in turn .

Murrow during the Battle of Britain? We have always processed (and must always process) raw reality, or what the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan would call the Real, through a host of filtering devices (including language, ideology, religion, ideas about visual perspective developed during the Renaissance, and so on), and contemporary media are only more sophisticated, more technologi­ cally advanced versions of these "filters," without which we would be unable to see anything. The Films of M ichael Haneke 33 Moving back to the specific events of Benny's Video, Haneke tells Toubiana that Benny's decision to show the film to his parents has, once again, several possible motivations.

Looked at from a typical Haneke viewpoint, the film is a kind of amorphous, fragmentary, and highly abstract "nonexplanation" of the tragedy. Han eke has the usual suspects in mind-the media above all­ but as is his wont, he seeks (though he doesn't always succeed) to present viewers with the maximum ambiguity so that they will be required to construct and make sense of the fragments of understanding on their own, rather than have it done for them. Unlike The Seventh Continent, The Films of Michael Haneke 39 the factual information underlying this story is presented in an intertitle before the film proper begins.

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