Tag Archives: Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke – La pianiste AKA The Piano Teacher (2001) (HD)

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Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory prestigious music school in Vienna. In her early forties and single, she lives with her overprotective and controlling mother in a hermetically sealed world of love-hate and dependency, where there is no room for men. Her sex life consists of voyeurism and masochistic self-injury. Lonely and alienated, Erika finds solace by visiting sex shops and experimenting with masochism. Ata a recital, she befriends Walter, a handsome young man, whom she seduces and with whom she begins an illicit affair. As Erika slowly drifts closer to the brink of emotional disorder, she uses the love-stricken Walter to explore her darkest sado-masochistic fantasies, which eventually lead to her undoing. Read More »

    Michael Haneke – Der siebente Kontinent AKA The Seventh Continent (1989) (HD)

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    Three members of a middle-class family are followed as their lifestyle slowly disintegrates. Nothing spectacular happens: it’s just the dreary un-ending grind of a go-nowhere existence. The film’s final scene emulates Fassbinder, as the threesome bid auf wiedersehn to everyone and everything in a gaudy, grotesque manner. It goes without saying that Der 7. Kontinent is not for everyone’s taste. Read More »

      Michael Haneke – Così fan tutte (2013)

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      Who loves whom in Così fan tutte, Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s cruelly comic reflection on desire, fidelity and betrayal? Or have the confusions to which the main characters subject one another ensured that in spite of the heartfelt love duets and superficially fleetfooted comedy nothing will work any longer and that a sense of emotional erosion has replaced true feelings? Così fan tutte is a timeless work full of questions that affect us all. The Academy Award-winning director Michael Haneke once said that he was merely being precise and did not want to distort reality. Read More »

        Michael Haneke – Amour (2012)

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        Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.

        The Austrian director of ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Ribbon’ offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat, right at the start, is at the theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future. Read More »

          Michael Haneke – Le temps du loup AKA Time of the Wolf (2003)

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          As you may know, Michael Haneke doesn’t make comfortable films; there was Funny Games, which I thought was almost physically painful to watch, and then he made The Piano Teacher, a shocking but compulsive experience starring Isabelle Huppert as a sexually repressed piano teacher who has a dysfunctional relationship with her mother. And the rest of the world. Time of the Wolf is disconcerting, although not quite in the same class as The Piano Teacher. Read More »

            Michael Haneke – La pianiste AKA The Piano Teacher (2001)

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            Michael Haneke’s latest torture mechanism is less funny game than daunting debasement ritual. Isabelle Huppert stars as Erika Kohut, an icy piano teacher who goes masochistic when handsome young Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel) wants to play with her cold ivory. Huppert responds to Haneke with such straight-faced precision that you might just buy into the director’s seemingly shallow provocations. Spousal punishment in Bergman’s Cries & Whispers came in the form of self-mutilation. Haneke, though, has Huppert paint a more squeamish picture of self-love that also contemplates the possibility of pleasure in pain. The director has an uncanny ability to force the spectator’s gaze and takes his time revealing Erika’s many fetishes. Though all-powerful in the classroom, Erika is slapped around by her busybody mother as if she were a constantly misbehaving child. Read More »