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Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 1997)
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filmsRpriceless
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 10.02.2003 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Thanks for the Haneke quote, filmsRpriceless--really fascinating stuff. By the way, I too am anxiously awaiting Time of the Wolf and think it has terrific potential. Did you happen to read the profile in this month's issue of Sight & Sound?

Eric


Yes, as a matter of fact I did. Reading it just made me want to see it more.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.09.2003 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched it, but I'll ramble on at a later time, because I've got to go see Love, Actually soon. Talk about contrast.

I agree with a lot of the things that night watchman has said. Intellectually, it is often brilliant. On most all other aspects, though, it fails to a certain degree. The camera-wink is one occassion where it goes wrong. All that this does is takes the audeince out of the movie. The emotional-punch loses significance, because the experience has, in a sense, been fractured.

As an exercise, I suppose I admire it. If I respect it is questionable.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking about Funny Games, and so revisited this thread. Re-reading, I'm struck by how the disagreement pivots on whether the meta-moments take a viewer out of the movie or not. Detractors of course say that they do, to the narrative's detriment, while defenders report such moments did not ruin the suspense or realism for them.

Right now I'm most intrigued about why these moments provoked such strongly disparate reactions. Why did Matt and I not fall out of the story, while NW and Danny did? Any thoughts?

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it is greatly affected by whether you consider yourself to be the watcher of a film or the experiencer of a situation?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe, but I think what fascinates me is that I was able to have both sensations simultaneously. I felt like I was both immersed and distanced, which provided me with a very full, satisfying experience. Is it possible for the mind to groove on both wavelengths simultaneously?

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you accept experiencing, even though you are only in a theatre or at home. Of course, accepting it depends on the movie. Smile
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matt header
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it's a stretch to use this analogy, but when I'm at a concert I often find myself easily entertained by both the live music and the audience around me. I can totally be jamming to the groove the band has going on, really be into the music - but at the same time, I can look at the sky and be amazed by the clouds, or have a screeching discussion with the guy next to me. It's a longshot, but this way of experiencing art and the situation simultaneously - recognizing that there's great music being played and being pulled into it, but also realizing the context in which the music is being played - reminds me of "Funny Games." That movie deliberately tries to point out its context - it reasserts its horror-movie plot and standard film conventions many times. But while I noticed the framework of "Funny Games" (which Haneke certainly intended) I was also drawn in by the story, by the pure narrative/emotional art that was being enacted (something Haneke may or may not have intended). I can certainly see the "Funny Games"' meta-trickery hurting the emotional or entertainment impact of it, but for me, the interaction of the two wavelengths - the narrative and the meta - worked in tandem, strengthening the other.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderfully stated, Matt! I agree entirely, and think you nailed it on the head.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why thank you, good sir!
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 01.14.2004 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have anything valuable to add to the discussion, but I'm with Matt and Eric on this one.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.17.2004 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Perhaps it's a stretch to use this analogy, but when I'm at a concert I often find myself easily entertained by both the live music and the audience around me. I can totally be jamming to the groove the band has going on, really be into the music - but at the same time, I can look at the sky and be amazed by the clouds, or have a screeching discussion with the guy next to me. It's a longshot, but this way of experiencing art and the situation simultaneously - recognizing that there's great music being played and being pulled into it, but also realizing the context in which the music is being played - reminds me of "Funny Games." That movie deliberately tries to point out its context - it reasserts its horror-movie plot and standard film conventions many times. But while I noticed the framework of "Funny Games" (which Haneke certainly intended) I was also drawn in by the story, by the pure narrative/emotional art that was being enacted (something Haneke may or may not have intended). I can certainly see the "Funny Games"' meta-trickery hurting the emotional or entertainment impact of it, but for me, the interaction of the two wavelengths - the narrative and the meta - worked in tandem, strengthening the other.


Hmm... Interesting analogy, but, of course, a truer one would include something like actors on the stage pretending to be audience members and talking about the band directly to the real audience. Or, maybe, the band talking about the actors playing audience members. In other words, experiencing the music while taking note of the venue and the band and the people around you is part of the concert experience. But Funny Games relies on making the audience aware of its own artificiality, i.e. the generic conceits its playing into. It seems like Haneke wants the best of both worlds; he wants to indulge himself in exploitation filmmaking, yet retain his intellectual superiority to the material. To an extent, I felt like the meta-narrative aspects were like Haneke saying, ?Well, I don?t really mean it.? It would be like the band in Matt's analogy playing rock music, and then commenting on how lunkheaded the audience must be for enjoying this stuff. How am I to groove to lead guitarist's riffs when he's rolling his eyes as his strumming?
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matt header
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PostPosted: 01.18.2004 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very good points indeed. I've read many negative reviews of "Funny Games" that cite a similar response - Haneke's desire to portray the cliches of the horror genre and comment on how audiences respond to them at the same time has been seen as condescending, cold, and arrogant by many viewers. Where many see pretentiousness - and where the night watchman imagines the bandleader commenting on the audience's lunkheadedness - I suppose I see a mutual in-joke. Were I to re-imagine the night watchman's reimagination of my original allegory (man, even this message board is getting pretty meta), the bandleader would grinningly say, "Hey, dudes, don't you hate it when some arrogant pothead lead guitarist does a ten-minute kick-ass guitar solo that seems right out of Lynyrd Skynyrd?," and then would commence with said guitar solo to the audience's enjoyment, and knowing chuckles. To me, Haneke is nudging the audience in the ribs, not looking down on them. But, of course, it is all a matter of perspective, interpretation, and personal taste; "Funny Games" has made as many enemies as it has friends.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.07.2006 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone seen this?



Haneke's directing it, so maybe it'll be interesting.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 11.07.2006 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Has anyone seen this?



Haneke's directing it, so maybe it'll be interesting.




Yeah, we all know how well George Sluizer's English-language remake of The Vanishing turned out. Smile
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