From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Michael Haneke (born March 23, 1942 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany) is a controversial Austrian filmmaker and writer best known for his bleak and, for some, 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. His next film is Happy End.
- "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", ISBN 3901272003
Rejecting what is considered to be standard conventions of timing, the build up of suspense and logical plotting, Haneke is not worried about inducing boredom, irritation and frustration. His films are considered to be very immediate without being simplistic. Arguably concerned with a society that no longer knows how to love—or for that matter how to hate—his films are in many ways an attempt to resharpen the audience's feelings and responses to the world.
Recurring themes include:
- the introduction of a malevolent force into comfortable bourgeois existence, as seen in Funny Games and Caché;
- a critique directed towards mass media, especially television, as seen in Funny Games, where some of the characters are aware that they feature in a movie, and Benny's Video.
- the inability or unwillingness to communicate directly from one person to another, or an unwillingness to involve oneself in the actions and decisions of others, even those in the same living conditions, as seen in Benny's Video, 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls and Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages.
- characters named George and Anna (or some alternate version of those names)
- The Seventh Continent (1989)
- Benny's Video (1992)
- 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)
- Funny Games (1997)
- Code Unknown (2000)
- The Piano Teacher (2001) Won the Grand Prix at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival
- Time of the Wolf (2003)
- Caché (2005) (Hidden) Won the Best Director Award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
- Funny Games (US remake) (2008)
- The White Ribbon (2009) Won the Palme d'Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and 2010 the Golden Globe in the category "Best Foreign Language Film".
- Amour (2012 film) (2012) Won the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
- ...Und was Kommt Danach? (1974) (After Liverpool)
- Drei Wege zum See (1976) (Three Paths to the Lake)
- Sperrmüll (1976) (Household Rubbish)
- Lemminge, Teil 1: Arkadien (1979) (Lemmings, Part 1: Arcadia)
- Lemminge, Teil 2: Verletzungen (1979) (Lemmings, Part 2: Injuries)
- Variation (1983)
- Wer war Edgar Allan? (1984) (Who Was Edgar Allen?)
- Fräulein (1985) (Miss)
- Nachruf für einen Mörder (1991) (Obituary for a Murderer)
- Die Rebellion (1992) (The Rebellion)
- Das Schloß (1997) (The Castle)
- Lumière and Company' (1995) (segment "Michael Haneke/Vienne")