On Michael Haneke
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Wayne State University Press
We are tempted to consider the cinema of Michael Haneke with what might be the too-convenient discourses supplied to us by the accidents of his birth, the arc of his work and life, and the facts of the age—his age and ours. His most fully realized work for the cinema began to appear toward...
Part 1. Violence and Play
Games Haneke Plays: Reality and Performance
Code Unknown (Code inconnu, 2000) repeatedly subsumes an impulse toward realism within modernist concerns, substituting a perceptual realism situated in the spectator for the Bazinian realism of the image that it calls into question. Games with reality and illusion are its dominant strategy for...
Pain and the Limits of Representation
In an interview in Story Quarterly in 1995, the contemporary American writer Brian Evenson was asked to address the violent character of his writing. This violence had already led to the writer’s excommunication from both the Mormon Church and Brigham Young University (which asked...
Haneke’s “Funny” Games with the Audience (Revisited)
It has often been established that, in the cinematic experience, the audience can realize certain emotions affectively without feeling them “concretely.” In fact, the whole practice of cinema is built on the human capacity to be emotionally moved by what one knows does not “really” exist...
Haneke’s Stable: The Death of an Animal and the Figuration of the Human
Michael Haneke has often described his films as a “protest” against mainstream Hollywood cinema.1 One of the ways his work differs from Hollywood cinema is in its approach to violence. Haneke says: “The society we live in is drenched in violence. I represent it on the screen because...
Part 2. Style and Medium
The Spectacle of Skepticism: Haneke’s Long Takes
While the cinema used to make one situation produce another situation, and another, and another, again and again, and each scene was thought out and immediately related to the next (the natural result of a mistrust of reality), today, when we have thought out a scene, we feel the need to “remain” in it, because...
“Comment ça, rien?”: Screening the Gaze in Caché
Film theorists sometimes introduce their work as reading a certain cultural artifact “through a psychoanalytic lens.” This essay reads the opening long take of Michael Haneke’s Caché (2005) as a psychoanalytic lens, one that both magnifies the desire of protagonist Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil)...
The Key to Voyeurism: Haneke’s Adaptation of Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher
European reviewers warmly greeted the release of Michael Haneke’s film The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) in 2001—to be expected, perhaps, considering the number of prizes the film garnered at the Cannes Film Festival the same year.1 To many, The Piano Teacher represented a successful adaptation...
The Message and the Medium: Haneke’s Film Theory and Digital Praxis
In the 1990s, Michael Haneke cultivated a reputation as one of Europe’s most controversial and radical feature filmmakers. His first theatrical releases, The Seventh Continent, Benny’s Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, and Funny Games, shocked audiences with their reflexive levels, distanced aesthetics, and treatments of violence. Haneke delighted at...
Death, with Television
In 1935, almost a decade before American broadcast television began to air on a regular basis, it would have been difficult for the young medium to effect much of anything. Still, the mere prospect of its emergence already loomed large enough in the popular imagination to inspire a B movie, starring...
Haneke’s Early Work for Television
Most people who are familiar with the films of Michael Haneke know that the director began his career first in the theater, then in television, before focusing his energies on feature-length, theatrically released filmmaking. While the theater productions, by their very nature, cannot be seen again...
Part 3. Culture and Conflict
Haneke and the Discontents of European Culture
At the risk of being perceived as pointlessly creating a kind of straw man out of a very distinguished critic, I would like to preface these remarks on Michael Haneke by commenting on Robin Wood’s thoughts in Sexual Politics and Narrative Film concerning the nature of fascism and what...
The Functionary of Mankind: Haneke and Europe
In an interview with the American independent film website IndieWire, Michael Haneke said, “As a European filmmaker, you cannot make a genre film seriously. You can only make a parody.” Asked why this was, he replied, “Because the genre film, by definition, is a lie. And a film is trying to be...
Codes Unknown: Haneke’s Serial Realism
No filmmaker has more self-consciously confronted the limits of realism in postmodernity than has Michael Haneke. In the films of his “glaciation trilogy”—The Seventh Continent, Benny’s Video, and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance—these limits impose themselves as the simultaneous...
Patrick Crowley When Forgetting Is Remembering: Haneke’s Caché and the Events of October 17, 1961
Caché is and is not a film about the events that occurred in Paris in October 17, 1961, when scores of Algerians were killed by police officers and auxiliaries.1 Within the film, Georges’s single reference to the events surfaces to provide a rare unambiguous narrative before receding like previous attempts...
Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2010
Volume Title: N/a
Series Title: Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series
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