Is this Leos Carax? Or is it an accessible intellectual Godard? What if Baudrillard made movies?

Haneke’s concerns are philosophical. His movies are meditations on particularly existential themes. Here, our main character is forced to watch himself several times; literally, someone is secretely surveilling him, and sending him the tapes. Self-awareness, reflexivity, as visceral as it is intellectual.

But that’s the story. What I’m interested in is the form. Haneke is one of the only ones out there re-inventing, and posing questions.

We now understand that his steadicam shots are no stylistic business. _Code Unknown_ was some kind of ultra-realistic documentary on emotionally intense situations. The steadicam worked along with the content. Here, the content is slightly different, and the steadicams still work. We had this in _La Pianiste_ as well. I called it ‘objectively observable stances’. We literally walk in the story and through it. This effect feels ethereal. It suspends reality. I believe “Hanekean” is now a word.

The ultra-realistic aesthetic: sober, subtle, discrete, exactly like our own lives. It is primarily environmental. Residential streets, building halls, downtown streets, high school facades, teenage boy’s room. It is quite stunning to see. It is Rohmer, but where his mundane is playing the front, Haneke’s plays the back, and the sides.

Go see this. I cannot think of any reason not to.


Categories: Notes

3 replies »

  1. any recommendations of films to see at the festival du nouveau cinema this week? i feel like theres a ton of great stuff, just don’t have a clue where to start, as my “cinematic education” hasn’t really gotten off the ground. i took film art at mcgill two years ago…didn’t really do much for me, besides loath early scandanavian cinema.

    books to read?

  2. I definetely recommend Code Unknown and The Piano Teacher to start off with. You will clearly understand that his movies are primarily essays. The mystery-suspense twist of Cache might give you the wrong idea about his motives.

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