Michael Haneke assesses his oeuvre


“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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