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BN

Brunette, Peter

Michael Haneke

Intellectually demanding and emotionally brutal, Haneke’s films have been steadily gathering a devoted following. That process accelerated with the success of Cache in 2005, despite the fact that, as Brunette points out, Haneke’s work is generally too cerebral to appeal to a mainstream audience, too graphic and upsetting for arthouse viewers seeking uplift. Brunette offers detailed, expert analyses of Haneke’s 10 theatrical films, from the early works made in his native Austria through The White Ribbon, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Haneke is notorious for his films’ shockingly violent events, which are no less disturbing for often taking place offscreen, and that reached an apogee in Funny Games (and its recent Hollywood remake), in which two men sadistically torture a family they hold hostage. As the director states in one of two interviews that round out the volume, guilt underlies all his films, from that of the suicidal family in The Seventh Continent to that associated with the shame instilled in the children in The White Ribbon.

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