Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I must first confess to a personal bias: ever since the release of Funny Games U.S., the complete body of work, past and future, of director/provocateur Michael Haneke has come to me with a definite “yeah? prove it” disadvantage. What, exactly, I want him to prove, other than the fact that he can stop being […]

There are so many words you could use to describe the work of Michael Haneke: bold, provocative, cruel, cold, intellectual, confusing, cryptic, frustrating, alienating, disturbing, exhilarating. He’s a bit of a wild boy like that. There’s one word that not only would I never have used, I’d have denied the possibility I might ever feel […]

Michael Haneke, the art house-beloved German director probably best-known for Funny Games and Caché, has something of a reputation as a provocateur (probably because of… Funny Games and Caché) that he doesn’t quite deserve. Not because his films aren’t sometimes provocations; but that is, I think, incidental. Better to say that his is a filmmaker […]

The short version is: no, Michael Haneke’s new version of Funny Games does not need to exist. Regardless of its inherent quality or lack thereof, it serves essentially no useful purpose. As to the useless purposes it serves, well, that’s the long version. In 1997, the German director made his first major international splash with […]

Over the weekend, I managed to catch Michael Haneke’s Caché, nominally a thriller, and quite the darling at Cannes. When I first saw it, I failed entirely to understand why it’s been receiving so much adulation, although as I’ve considered the film I find that it yields increasing rewards. It is frustrating in many respects […]