Skip to content

Michael Haneke

Benny’s Video * Michael Haneke (1992)

I always think twice before watching a Haneke film because, when it is good, I feel bad. This early work is not good enough to make me feel bad though!
Benny from the title is a boy who watches a lot of videos and makes videos himself. At some point his video-reality interferes with reality and his and his parents have to think of a way to prevent problems. Besides ‘that scene’, “Benny’s Video” is just a drama, perhaps even a bit of a ‘coming-of-age’.

Caché * Michael Haneke * 2006

I don’t watch Haneke’s films often, because the director has the ability to make me feel pretty awkward after seeing his films. This is -of course- exactly what he intends. “Caché” is the first film of Haneke that didn’t have that result and (therefor?) I also think it is Haneke’s least interesting work. The idea (and last name of the main characters) seems to be taken from David Lynch, but is not worked out convincingly. Suggestions are raised and the film suddenly ends, leaving the viewer with questions. Nothing bad about that in my opinion, but besides some very nice stylistics, “Caché” disappointed me a bit.

La Pianiste * Michael Haneke * 2001

As those of you who know the Austrian director Michael Haneke, this man has the unique ability to make you feel pretty awkward with his films. He usually puts magnifying glass on something small and making you think about it. “Funny Games” (1997, but up for a remake it seems…) really made me wonder why I would watch a violent film. “La Pianiste” didn’t exactly have that result, but Haneke still shows something ‘just below the surface’.
Erika Kohut is a professor on a music academy. Icecold, businesslike, emotionless and stern. She proves to have another side too, going to sexshops watching porn and getting turned on by the dirty cloth of her male predecessor. When a student falls in love with her, she shows an more wicked side, a longing for extreme ‘sexual’ acts. When this violence finally does come down to her, it is not exactly what she thought (or is it?).
A film with a message, making you think, partially because it is put so extremely. That I might have given too much of the story, doesn’t mean that there is no use in seeing it anymore, because a Haneke film you have to undergo. There are undertones, layers, images and scenes that complete the idea of this film. An uneasy watch but that is exactly what Haneke is after. Don’t confuse this film with “The Pianist” of Polanski by the way!

Code Inconnu * Michael Haneke * 2000

I think most of you already know Michael Haneke for his ‘controversial’ movie “Funny Games”. It was said that this new movie has the same idea and effect, but I don’t agree with that.
“Code Inconnu” is a strange movie with different stories either or not touching eachother in the course of the film. The scenes usually end very abruptly which starts to irritate after a while. From some characters you will be able to find out what the story is, of others you get not enough information.
“Code Inconnu” is quite a ‘heavy’ movie, pretty depressive, especially in some of the stories. You will see a woman being kicked out of France after being picked up by the police over an event she could do nothing about, a boy fleeing his father and going to his sister in Paris, the sister who has a strange husband who is a soldier in the near-East, and more.
The film as a whole also ends very abruptly, so do not go and see it if you prefer understandable stories and stories with a clear beginning and end.
Overall I don’t even know if I liked it or not…