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Haneke’s Theory of Violence

Haneke’s Theory of Violence

An Austrian film director and screenwriter, Michael Haneke is best known for films such as Caché, Funny Games and The White Ribbon. In this interview, he talks about his intolerance of violence in real life and yet why he thinks that the best scenes are the ones that make you as an audience look away from the screen.

Haneke’s films depict loneliness of the modern life and other social issues. In this interview by Cine-Fils magazine, he throws light on his early memories of witnessing violence and why he thinks that it has had a profound impact on the way he perceives violence.

Haneke is widely known for his cinematic examination of violence and the various underlying phenomena. His opinion that violence, when not shown directly, can make a deeper impact than the violence that is clearly depicted on screen, garnered a lot of attention.

While talking about Michael Haneke’s portrayal of violence in Cinemas, The Cinemaholic wrote, ‘Haneke’s violence isn’t physical – it is emotional, psychological and more disturbing’. The writer further goes on to elucidate that unlike other films in Hollywood that glamourize violence, Haneke’s films mock our obsession with brutality, leaving a deep repugnance for the same.

Haneke is well-known for some contradictory opinions about renowned filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino. He disregards the portrayal of violence in a comical form as he believes it takes away all the negativity and cruelty associated with it.

Haneke’s in-depth curiosity about depiction and perception of violence by the human mind is clearly reflected in this interview when he makes some thought-provoking statements such as “looking at horrible situations is fascinating because the spectator is not directly concerned”.

Haneke’s films are not the ones you will love but a collection of magnificent art that stays with you long after you have watched it.


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