Five Things You Didn’t Know about Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke was born to a pair of actors so it’s not too surprising that his life would revolve around and allow him to become involved in film. Unfortunately he didn’t become an actor like his parents and wasn’t able to gain any success as a singer, so he turned to becoming a film critic. He then became an editor and in 1974 made his debut as a television director. His film debut didn’t come until 1989 when he came out with The Seventh Continent, which earned him great acclaim and started off a career that would eventually gain him even more fame and garner more awards as time went on.

His films are something for the critical thinker and the more imaginative of society, but they’re interesting to try and figure out.

5. He tends to believe that detail and morality can kill a film.

Haneke has the belief that too much detail and a strong sense of morality don’t leave much if any room for the imagination and are constantly pushed forth to the mindless masses that demand such films. No offense to the man but after watching Funny Games I don’t think he has a lot of room to talk. The film was interesting for a bit and then just went off the rails.

4. His movies tend not to use a film score.

This is an interesting choice since it tends to invoke less emotion and create a more cerebral response in many people. It’s odd how music, or the absence of it, can change a movie in such a profound way, but the truth is that music can alter a scene quite abruptly. Not using a film score tends to make some films a bit more drab but it also puts more attention towards the subjects of the movie.

3. Many of his films center around psychotic/violent youths.

As I just mentioned, Funny Games is the film that makes this statement very true since it’s about two teenage boys that go from house to house playing a psychotic sort of game with their victims before killing them. A lot of Haneke’s most violent shots are performed off screen as well, as though the implied violence is far worse than anything that could be seen onscreen.

2. His films tend to have silent credits.

This is where a lot of people could take or leave the film score since by the time the movie ends people are thinking of getting up and leaving the theater, or they’re hitting the STOP button on the movie player. The sound in the credits is nothing special since it’s just more of the same music that you hear in the movie. Keeping this silent seems more a practical idea than anything.

1. He enjoys watching spaghetti westerns. 

This struck me as funny really since after learning what he prefers to do with his own films he still enjoys watching other movies that have film scores, have music during their end credits, and are made to satisfy the masses. Like it or not spaghetti westerns were created with a definite sense of morality. It might have shifted from time to time but it was still there.

The man is a genius though, no one can possibly deny that.


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