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Old 08-19-2009   #1
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Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke (born March 23, 1942 in Munich, Germany) is an Austrian filmmaker and writer best known for his bleak and disturbing style. His films often document problems and failures in modern society. Haneke has worked in television‚ theater and cinema. He is also known for raising social issues in his work. Besides working as filmmaker he also teaches directing at the Filmacademy Vienna.


At the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, The White Ribbon won the Palme d'Or for best film.

He has made films in French, German and English.

The son of actor and director Fritz Haneke and actress Beatrix von Degenschild, Haneke was raised in the city Wiener Neustadt. He attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy, psychology and drama after failing to achieve success in his early attempts in acting and music. After graduating, he became a film critic and from 1967 to 1970 he worked as editor and dramaturg at the southwestern German television station Südwestfunk. He made his debut as a television director in 1973.

Haneke's feature film debut was 1989's The Seventh Continent, which served to trace out the violent and bold style that would bloom in later years. Three years later, the controversial Benny's Video put Haneke's name on the map. Haneke's greatest success came in 2001 with his most critically successful film, the French The Piano Teacher. It won the prestigious Grand Prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and also won its stars, Benoît Magimel and Isabelle Huppert, the Best Actor and Actress awards. He has worked with Juliette Binoche (Code Unknown in 2000 and Caché in 2005), after she expressed interest in working with him. Another actress Haneke frequently enjoys working with is Susanne Lothar.

His latest film, The White Ribbon, premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is set in 1913 and deals with strange incidents in a small town in Northern Germany, depicting an authoritarian, fascist-like atmosphere, where children are subjected to follow rigid rules and suffer harsh punishments, and where strange deaths occur. The Cannes jury presided by Isabelle Huppert and including Asia Argento, Hanif Kureishi and Robin Wright Penn awarded Haneke's film the Palme d'Or for the best feature film.

As a playwright, he directed a number of stage productions in German, which included works by Strindberg, Goethe, and Heinrich von Kleist in Berlin, Munich and Vienna. In 2006, Haneke gave his debut as an opera director, staging Mozart's Don Giovanni for the Opéra National de Paris at Palais Garnier, when the theater's general manager was Gérard Mortier. In 2012 he was to direct Così fan tutte for the New York City Opera. This production had originally been commissioned by Jürgen Flimm for the Salzburg Festival 2009, but Haneke had to resign due to an illness preventing him from preparing the work. Haneke is now scheduled to realize the production at Madrid's Teatro Real in 2012, which then will be managed by Mortier.

"My films are intended as polemical statements against the American 'barrel down' cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus."
-- From "Film as catharsis".

"Pornography, it seems to me, is no different from war films or propaganda films in that it tries to make the visceral, horrific, or transgressive elements of life consumable."

"Film is 24 lies per second at the service of truth, or at the service of the attempt to find the truth."

Michael Haneke





(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 10-10-2009   #2
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Re: Michael Haneke


All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream..
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Old 11-12-2009   #3
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Re: Michael Haneke

Quote Originally Posted by Cyril Tourneur View Post
His latest film, The White Ribbon, premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is set in 1913 and deals with strange incidents in a small town in Northern Germany, depicting an authoritarian, fascist-like atmosphere, where children are subjected to follow rigid rules and suffer harsh punishments, and where strange deaths occur. The Cannes jury . . . awarded Haneke's film the Palme d'Or for the best feature film.
Michael Haneke’s new film, “The White Ribbon,” will be released in the United States on Wednesday, December 30:

http://www.filmforum.org/films/whiteribbon.html

For Haneke’s perspective on the film’s historical content, see “Fascism, Repression, and ‘The White Ribbon’” by Stuart Klawans (published in the New York Times, October 30, 2009):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/movies/01klaw.html


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Old 04-25-2016   #4
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Re: Michael Haneke

I watched three of his movies: The White Ribbon (recently), Funny Games (long ago), and Le Pianiste (only halfway through). His criticism of the media's approach to violence as entertainment (the spirit of many US's popular movies) is very interesting.

Also, I think there are more to The White Ribbon than just facism or Nazi. In this interview http://www.kinoeye.org/04/01/interview01.php he wishes his film would be relevant to all countries in the world rather than exclusive to Germany.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 02-16-2017   #5
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Re: Michael Haneke

He's a brilliant man. Cache and Funny Games are near masterpieces, in my unimportant opinion. Like Lynch, Kubrick, and Polanski, he leaves things unanswered-- and that is important to me. As the great Borges said, quoted by our very own Ligotti, "The imminence of the revelation that is not yet produced is, perhaps, the aesthetic reality.’
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Old 05-23-2017   #6
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Re: Michael Haneke

Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace View Post
Also, I think there are more to The White Ribbon than just facism or Nazi. In this interview http://www.kinoeye.org/04/01/interview01.php he wishes his film would be relevant to all countries in the world rather than exclusive to Germany.
I did not care for White Ribbon but I found it powerful.

The White Ribbon - 2009 - 8/10
AKA - Das Weiße Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte


Unsettling story of corruption and secrets within a small village.
A malicious booby-trap opens the stage for escalating accidents, each growing more sinister.
Black n white film, set in 1913 (for you non-history types, one year before the onset of World War I).
The schoolteacher is our guide and narrator. He unearths truths, he guesses at others, he shares rumors - and lets us know rumors are just that. He is not omniscient, however, and they may frustrate some of you.
Uncertainty and mystery shroud almost every sequence.
I normally do not care for children in leading roles.
These are exceptionally directed. A strait-laced mix of guilt, evasion, secrecy.
Innocents could be the rare souls in this.
I did not enjoy watching this, I did not like it,
Nevertheless, this is an outstanding piece of cinema and I strongly recommend it.

Last edited by Zaharoff; 1 Week Ago at 10:04 PM.. Reason: Image restore
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Michael Haneke

Recently I've watched '71 fragments of a chronology of chance'. What a brilliant and cold film. Personally, one of my favourites Haneke's works. The large duration scenes like the ping-pong one defines all the tension and coldness in the entire complexity of the filme.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: Michael Haneke

One of the great lost works of film criticism may well be Robin Wood's planned monograph on Haneke.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Re: Michael Haneke

Just finished watching La Pianiste, which is my first Michael Haneke film. He is a director I’ve been meaning to check out for some time now, and I really liked La Pianiste. Extremely powerful and disturbing piece of cinema, some very unnerving and raw moments. Love the minimalistic and cold detachment of the camera to instill a sense of alienation. And some of the more intense moments have a certain awkwardness over them that just makes it seem more realistic. Highly recommended!
Now I’m glad I have Funny Games (the original) and Benny’s Video on my shelf.

"For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone."
- H.P. Lovecraft

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