Directors MORE DIRECTORS CHECKLIST SERIES - Volume #213 - The Films of MICHAEL HANEKE

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brook K, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Benny's Video - B
    Good, but I didn't find it close to the level of Seventh Continent or 71 Fragments. I wasn't caught up in the tensions or emotion of the situation the way I am in virtually every other Haneke film. Perhaps because the actor playing Benny isn't terribly compelling but I also didn't feel that Haneke was as successful in expressing his theme as he usually is, nor did the film wow me technically like all his other films have.
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    That scene of Benny laying next to his mother - when she completely breaks down and he just sorta looks on, semi-detached but hopefully knowing that there's nothing he could possibly say - devastating. One of those moments where I have to pause the film, get up and re-collect myself before continuing.

    And this after the actual murder scene, where I did find myself able to continue, even as Haneke rachets up the tension by moving the characters just outside the [video camera] frame within the frame, and we hear only the shots of the butcher's gun and the wailing of the victim. And, of course, Benny's return again and again through the frame to reload. When that scene was revisited, on tape and with Benny's parents viewing... another "pause" for me to re-collect my shattered psyche.

    Re "The Seventh Continent"... I love the repetitions of the family's daily life, the preoccupations with the objects and accoutrements of their home, and as well (and once again) the marvelously naturalistic performances. The recurrences of the quotidian and the focus on the mundane objects gives the film something of an experimental feel, and certainly transformed the horror of the finale into something akin to a liberation. I know Haneke strives not to pre-digest the material, to exclude not only explanations but to strip out any specific emotional signposts or other cinematic nudges toward a particular response... but the image of the fishes flopping on the floor amid the detritis of the bourgeois home, all the carefully destroyed (deconstructed?) bits of their possessions, gulping for air and slowly, inevitably dying, seems both to diagnose the problem and represent the solution.

    Still, on first viewing I was left feeling a bit like Brook did with respect to "Benny" - less caught up in the emotions, tensions of the situation. And I confess that it contains the only instance that ever caused me to roll my eyes in Michael Haneke film: when the daughter says her usual nightly prayer for the last time, and the parents exchange "meaningful looks". Is that being extraordinarily nit-picky? Yes, of course! But Haneke otherwise tends to avoid the unnecessary (be it a reaction shot or some bit of utterly expository "dialog"), so whenever he resorts to a more typical gesture, it really sticks out!
     
  3. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Seventh Continent ***1/2 out of ****
     
  4. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Piano Teacher ***1/2 out of ****
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Steve, you seem to be going through a lot of Haneke films - is "Time of the Wolf" still your favorite? I ask because I also really like it, and many (apparently) don't.

    Also, I read under your spoiler veil re "Cache" up above, and I just wanted to make sure you're aware that there's a bit more going on in that final shot than "schoolchildren milling around". I suspect you are aware, but just in case...

    Bottom-left foreground: a particular young scholar whom we know is having an animated conversation with another very important person in the story.
     
  6. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Rich, thanks for pointing that out - I didn't catch that. Time of the Wolf is still my favorite, though I've still got a few to go (Benny's Video just shipped from Netflix and 71 Fragments is next). Would love to see The Castle.
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Yeah, what's up with "The Castle"? I'm only aware of the DVD reviewed by DVD Times here: http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=62041 ... and of course that one lacks English subs!
    I've only seen two of Haneke's films more than once (Cache, Code Unknown), and only became aware of him in the past year (after seeing "Cache"). I've seen everything except "The Castle" now, but "Time of the Wolf" in many ways has stayed with me the most. I'm looking forward to seeing it again, and it wouldn't surprise me if it also became my (current) favorite Haneke film.
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Benny's Video *** out of ****
     
  9. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance *** out of ****
     
  10. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    The White Ribbon (2009) - 8/10
    Caché (2005) - 7/10
    The Time of the Wolf (2003) - 7/10
    The Piano Teacher (2001) - 7/10
    Funny Games (1997) - 9/10
    The Seventh Continent (1989) - 8/10
     
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Interesting news: Haneke is currently remaking Funny Games with Naomie Watts and Tim Roth. Started a thread in Movies on it.
     
  12. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    Added Funny Games (1997) - 9/10.

    Good lord, a remake? And with Naomi Watts, no less? She's gonna be pigeonholed as the Remake Queen if she doesn't watch out.
     
  13. Brian.L

    Brian.L Supporting Actor

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  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Castle *** out of ****
     
  15. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    NM, it's shipping tomorrow, all is well.... [​IMG]
     
  16. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    The Castle - A-
    Fascinating and inscrutable, with the feeling of being lost in a completely foreign realm where one has no idea of the rules.
     
  17. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    added The Seventh Continent (1989) - 8/10
     
  18. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Funny Games (2008) - A-
    Can't capture lightning in a bottle twice. This is a difficult film to rate. I still find it fascinating, and the power of the base story is intact, but much of the subtext doesn't survive the translation and the 4th wall stuff just didn't have the same effect. Almost feels like Haneke wasn't fully involved in the editing. It doesn't have that mastery of pacing his films always exhibit and there's one moment in particular where the editing really cuts off one of the film's more important lines without letting it impact the audience. Plus as I feared Michael Pitt wasn't up to the challenge of creating a performance as riveting and deliciously layered with malice as the original actor. The secondary bad guy isn't heavy enough either, he isn't much thicker than Pitt making all the "tubby" lines come off a bit odd. Watts was excellent though I can't really say she topped the original performance.
    I noticed Lodge Kerrigan had a "script consultant" credit. Wonder what was up with that?
     
  19. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    Funny Games (2007) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Seen 11
    Own 10
     
  20. schmidtt

    schmidtt Agent

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    pornography for masochists
    MICHAEL HANEKE
    Funny Games (2007)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Caché (2005)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    The Time of the Wolf (2003)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    The Piano Teacher (2001)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Code Unknown (2000)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    The Castle (1997)
    Funny Games (1997)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)
    Benny's Video (1992)
    The Seventh Continent (1989)-[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Top 5 Haneke:
    1. The Piano Teacher
    2. Caché
    3. Code Unknown
    4. Funny Games (1997)
    5. The Seventh Continent
     

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