Tanner Babcock

Michael Haneke

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Year Title Rating
1989 The Seventh Continent 8/10
1992 Benny's Video 7/10
1994 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance 5.5/10
1997 Funny Games 8/10
1997 >>The Castle .../...
2000 Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys 5.5/10
2001 The Piano Teacher 7.5/10
2003 >>The Time of the Wolf .../...
2005 Hidden 6.5/10
2009 The White Ribbon 7.5/10
2012 Amour 8/10
2013 >>Mozart - Cosi fan tutte .../...
2017 >>Happy End .../...

Review last updated: October 23, 2018

Michael Haneke is a dangerous filmmaker, a very cold one, whose characters experience intense detachment, dissolution of love, and dissociation. His films have a remarkably brutal approach to storytelling - see the infanticide of Funny Games, the suicides of Seventh Continent, the euthanasia of Amour, and the abject pitiless pointless tragedies of The White Ribbon. Visually, he is consistent, disciplined, focused. His films include many close-up action shots of everyday mundane tasks. This technique is essential for his detached, alienating, and deeply disturbed perspectives. This also tells us something about ourselves and society. How often in your life are you just staring blankly into space while you peel potatoes, go grocery shopping, eject VHS tapes, play piano? The monotony is so mind-numbing it makes you want to destroy everything you own and flush all of your money down the toilet.

Haneke's work, for me in particular, being a depression junkie, and a fan of Bergman sad boy punch-in-the-gut despair, is especially sublime and satisfying. He's a dangerous, abusive intellectual with violent ideas a la von Trier, but unlike von Trier, his ideas are less quickly shocking and more deeply unsettling. A lot of his work deals with suburban unrest; home-grown psychopathy spawned from privileged, sheltered, middle class lives. A very unique and talented filmmaker, whose work I believe is massively influential and will become more appreciated in years to come.