“HAPPY END”, Michael Haneke’s new film, features murder, suicidal depression and myriad forms of torture—none of which will surprise anyone who has seen the Austrian writer-director’s previous work. Mr Haneke may be acclaimed as one of European cinema’s most intelligent and formally inventive auteurs: his previous two films, “Amour” and “The White Ribbon”, both won the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Festival. But no one would accuse him of making feel-good entertainment. For the past three decades, the 75-year-old’s provocative dramas have been unsparing in their depiction of bloody violence, and unwavering in their focus on man’s inhumanity to man, especially within supposedly respectable bourgeois circles. From the self-mutilating heroine in “The Piano Teacher” to the home-owners who open their door to two sadistic strangers in “Funny Games”, his characters’ lives rarely have anything like a happy end.
In person, however, Mr Haneke is a relaxed and good-humoured interviewee who is…Continue reading
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