Thursday, February 2, 2023

Michael H DIrector plays Ovid.TV starting today

Haneke and translator at NYFF 2012
Glorified DVD box set extra begins with Michael Haneke filming the Oscar winning Amour before going backwards through most of his films before returning once more to Amour.

Made by the man who has filmed Haneke making most of his films, this movie is a collection of some of that footage mixed with interviews with the man and some of the people who work with him. Its a portrait of the artist by a fan that will only be of interest to people who are equally rapturous about the subject and his films.

As I've said on numerous occasions I find most of Haneke's films lazy variations on the same dark theme about how life is cruel dark and unfair. I also find his style provocative instead of inventive. I am not a fan and I'm always amazed when people speak so rapturously about his films, since to my mind he's master of the obvious. I went into the film hoping to find a reason to revisit the films that have, with the exception of Amour, failed to thrill me. Sadly I found none.

To me the interview portions of the film are awfully repetitive since each was filmed after each production and have him saying the same things over and over again: that he will not explain or analyze his films, that he likes to be direct even if it isn't pleasant and that life isn't fair and he wants to show it and the suffering it  brings. I kind of wish that Haneke had simply sat down to one interview now and talked about all his films in one go. Some people in the audience loved it, I on the other hand wanted to hit fast forward since Haneke inflates himself in each interview so he comes off pompous.

The cool part of this film are the making of sequences. Watching Haneke direct is a blast and while he comes off as a man very much in control, the pomposity of the interviews is missing. It's clear he's a man who loves his job. I loved these sequences since we really get to see something we don't see every day.

Ultimately this is a film only for hardcore Haneke fans. Unless you know his movies you'll have no idea what they are talking about or what any of the things we see being filmed are.  Worse only a fan will sit still while the same points are made about film and his films. It's not a bad film as such but running over 90 minutes this is a too long extra that belongs in a box set of the directors films and not at a film festival.

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