„Of course the audience prefers to encounter a well packaged lie. The truth hurts, that’s why we don’t want to see it.“
He presents those sides of real life that we prefer to avoid. Hoffmann & Campe are now publishing all this major scripts in one volume. Why Michael Haneke is one of the last superb filmmakers.
An elderly woman has a stroke. From now on she is imprisoned in her own body, bound to a wheelchair and her bed, dependent on care; she has to endure the shame of wetting herself, having her hands washed by strangers. Everything trickles away, freedom, dignity, language, everything that made life worth living, but he is still there, Georges, her husband. And with him love. He has promised her that he would not let her be taken away. And now she is pleading with him to put an end to it all. That is LIEBE, Michael Haneke’s eleventh film, a stroke of genius. In 2012 he received an Oscar for the film, although the Austrian writer-director works on a level far removed from any Hollywood formula. His films are free of clichés and void of sentimentality. „In the mainstream you have rules“, claims Haneke, „Nothing can happen to animals or children. But in reality something does happen to them.“ And it is all about this reality. Haneke‘s films are hard and cruel and at the same time hold a warm beauty. They show us life, how it is, not more beautiful, not better. During the process, the visionary avoids trying to convey any messages. In a Haneke film there are no answers, but issues are raised.
Haneke grew up in Wiener Neustadt in a family of actors. Allegedly he wanted to give up school at an early age to be an actor himself, but then studied philosophy, psychology and theatre studies in Vienna. At the age of 47 he presented his first cinema film, DER SIEBENTE KONTINENT, disturbing, it arms us for the ruthless truth that will shower down on us in his coming works. To name but three: In BENNYS VIDEO a teenager kills a girl for pure sensationalism in 1992 and films the crime. In an attempt to get the boy out of the situation he has got himself into, his parents become liable for prosecution themselves. A level of loyalty that the protagonist himself will not reciprocate. In 2001 in DIE KLAVIERSPIELERIN Haneke adapted the novel of the same name from the Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Elfriede Jelinek. Without any frills he stages the story of the internally blunted piano teacher, who is drilled by her control-addicted mother to become a pianist and who fails in her endeavours to have a sadomasochistic relationship with one of her students. DAS WEISSE BAND – EINE DEUTSCHE KINDERGESCHICHTE deals with mysterious occurrences and traumatizing attacks on children made compliant from an overbearing upbringing in a protestant village. The film, demanding, difficult, but ingenious, was awarded with the Golden Palm in Cannes in 2009.
Hoffmann & Campe have now packed all major scripts from the 76-year-old between two book covers in DIE DREHBÜCHER. Plus: The completed script to FLASHMOB, not yet released. A special treat for cineastes and deep thinkers alike.
Photos Copyrights: Hoffmann & Campe, X Verleih