Tuesday, November 17, 2009

inaugural michael haneke film festival

Does it count as a film festival when it's conducted in my living room and really just involves me re-watching all of his films in preparation for the release of his new one, The White Ribbon (English language trailer here)?

The other night I watched the English-language remake of Funny Games. Newsflash: not a comedy! In fact, it's probably one of the most brutal and confronting films of the modern era. Haneke constantly challenges the viewer to switch it off, and then forces us to question why we didn't. I think this film may be even more important now than when it was originally released in 1997, and I wonder if Haneke didn't remake it for an American audience at the time that he did in response to the rise of "torture porn" horror genre films and the "pornography of violence" played out night after night on CNN since about 9am on 11 September 2001.

Next up is a re-watch of Cache (or Hidden), which I remember enjoying yet being utterly baffled by. Perhaps a re-watch will reveal the alleged "lightbulb moment" contained in the film's final scene, although it's most likely a red herring.

It must be my month of divisive and confronting film-makers, as I'm off to Popcorn Taxi in a couple of weeks for a preview screening of Lars Von Trier's highly controversial Antichrist. Although it apparently contains a talking fox, I somehow doubt there will be many light-hearted moments in this one either.

2 comments:

Emily said...

Clare's off to see White Ribbon this week - not me, though, I can't do suspense at all!

theherocomplex said...

Ah! Antichrist is...quite a stomach-churner. It's a beautiful movie but PAINFUL to watch.