Posts Tagged ‘Michael Haneke’

Der siebente Kontinent (The Seventh Continent, 1989), directed by Michael Haneke

It is a major spoiler in itself to include this film into a trilogy of suicide, but this is the ultimate suicide film, so it is a must. Haneke’s early works are cruder, more direct and simple than his later complex meditations on the nature of violence. This is a film that hits you in the face, leaving you breathless, precisely through its direct simplicity which manages to convey complex existential Angst and suffocating compulsion to escape, no matter how.

The Virgin Suicides (1999), directed by Sofia Coppola

The gentle, calm, sunny yet threatening style of this film is its best feature. It is like a beautiful lake surface that manages to suggest the monsters that live beyond just by being so unbearably pretty. The story seems simple. Parents are trying to protect their young girls form what they think is the most eminent danger: sexuality. But the girls naturally resist and revolt against parental care in the most tragic and definite way imaginable.

Wristcutters (2006), directed by Goran Dukic

This film is the ultimate suicide nightmare. As it turns out, when you commit suicide you don’t just die. You end up in a place/world that is just like the one you tried to escape from, only worst. You have an even shittier job, even less things to look forward to and even less prospects of getting laid. And now it’s obvious that you cannot even kill yourself to end this, as it would presumably lead to an even worst … well, life. But as it happens, since this is still Hollywood, the possibility of love emerges anywhere. The premise of the film promises a lot but ultimately fails because it falls into the cliché of “life is still worth living after all”.

These are a few films that can function as the most efficient contraceptives and arguments against ever having children.

Kids, 1995, Larry Clark

An obnoxious and arrogant kid is convinced that the most effective alternative for a condom is to sleep with virgins. And damn, how wrong he is!

Gummo, 1997, Harmony Korine

Korine must have some phobia of children, because after contributing to the script of Kids, he made this even more disturbing and definitely more nihilistic film about children and teenagers so completely deformed by boredom than there is nothing remaining for them, not even hope.

Welcome to the Dollhouse, 1995, Todd Solondz

Rarely will you find a little girl so difficult to like or even feel sorry for. And you are also guaranteed to will feel bad for finding her so annoying.

+ one about how to mess up a child a for life: The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, 2004, Asia Argento.

+ one about how to shoot a pig: Benny’s Video, 1992, Michael Haneke

+ a silly horror featuring a dozen disturbing ways to say “Mummy!”: The Children, 2008, Tom Shankland

Films which include female genital mutilation and got a lot of hype for that, but in fact are excellent movies regardless of the auch-scenes:

SEOM – The Isle (2000, Kim Ki-Duk)

The slow-enfolding but aggresively passionate love story on a lake-house. Immense loneliness, sadeness and desperation probably don’t make good premises for a “healthy” relationship, and this is what I see as the film’s main, insightful question: when one has a troubled relationship with oneself, how will this reflect on his/her relationship with others?

LA PIANISTE – The Piano Player (2001, Michael Haneke)

The directing genius of Haneke combined with the acting genius of Isabelle Hupert provide an excrushiating, obsessive portrait of a middle-aged woman torn by her own mazochistic desires.

ANTICHRIST (2009, Lars von Trier)

This film is so painfully beautiful and stylish that it took my breath away. The incredible black and white, slow-motion love scene at the beginning haunts me still.The story of a troubled couple on the verge of madness comes through with Trierian power due to the actors, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Defoe.

+ a bonus: DESERT FLOWER (2009, Sherry Horman) The true story of a Somalian nomad turned international model and UN spokesperson against female circumcision.