Even before the recent events that occurred in Charlottesville, a certain scene from Michael Haneke’s 2000 film, Code Unknown (Code Inconnu), had been repeatedly playing on a loop in my mind’s eye. I quietly admitted to myself recently that the scene in question is without a doubt the most telling and poignant dramatic escalation I have seen in twenty-first-century cinema and it seems to show … Continue reading Politics of Sequence in Code Unknown (2000, Michael Haneke)
Much has been written about the stark comparisons between the cinema of Michael Haneke and the culture theories of the Frankfurt School of philosophy. In the 2010 book, A Companion To Michael Haneke, Roy Grundmann devotes a whole essay in the volume to Theodor Adorno and the “aesthetic fragmentation” of several of Haneke’s films whilst various articles and essays spend time drawing comparisons to Haneke’s … Continue reading Repetition, Adorno and 71 Fragments Of A Chronology Of Chance (Haneke).
Part 1. The Seventh Continent. Unlike Freud’s vision of how the Death Drive manifests, Haneke uses the idea as an attack on a number of his usual tropes. Aspects of modern life such as the dreary drag of the 9 to 5 to the middle class obsession with materialism and ownership/possession all come under fire and blame for the Death Drive take over. The Seventh … Continue reading The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke) and the Freudian Death Drive – Part 2
Introduction Michael Haneke’s debut feature set the tone for the majority of his interests that would be explored over the next few decades. The Seventh Continent (1989), though part of the Glaciation Trilogy, stands on its own for questioning a very specific and brutal form of philosophy; that of Freud’s Death Drive principles. Though Haneke would address philosophical issues in a lot of his films (this … Continue reading The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke) and the Freudian Death Drive – Part 1.
One of Friedrich Nietzsche’s more famous and strangely popular idioms is his “Death of God” theory presented through the madman in his 1883 work The Gay Science. Though it has been used for all sorts of philosophical and theological purpose, often twisting it to fit whatever schematics the debater wants to shape it into, the idea itself can apply to several pieces of cinema, all … Continue reading Collapsing Belief Systems and The Nietzschean Death – (Winter Light, The White Ribbon, The Turin Horse).
It hasn’t taken long for the medium of VHS to enter the realm of retrograde chic. During the 2010 Liverpool Biennal Contemporary Arts festival, one of the main pieces that stood out was actually an independent sculpture made entirely for VHS cassettes; spools of tape spilling out onto the floor while Videodrome-like screens played fuzzy images of recorded images. The medium now occupies that same … Continue reading Hidden (2005) And The Mysteries of VHS Aesthetics – Michael Haneke