Michael Haneke

Austrian film director and screenwriter

Michael Haneke (born 23 March 1942) is an Austrian film director and screenwriter.

QuotesEdit

  • I know very well the sorts of pressures you're under in television. I don't work in television anymore myself, but I'm constantly hearing from colleagues who present scripts to networks and are told, "The script is too complex. You have to keep it simple because the audience is dumb. You can make more money for the advertisers that way."
    • as interviewed by Richard Porton, "Collective Guilt and Individual Responsibility: An Interview with Michael Haneke," Cineaste, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Winter 2005), pp. 50-51
  • Film is an artificial construct. It pretends to reconstruct reality. But it doesn't do that—it's a manipulative form. It's a lie that can reveal the truth. But if a film isn't a work of art, it's just complicit with the process of manipulation.
    • as interviewed by Richard Porton, "Collective Guilt and Individual Responsibility: An Interview with Michael Haneke," Cineaste, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Winter 2005), pp. 50-51
  • All of my films constitute a reaction against mainstream cinema. Every serious form of art sees the receiver as a partner in the undertaking. In fact, that's one of the preconditions of humanistic thought. In cinema, this fact, which should be self-evident, has been overlooked and replaced by an emphasis on the commercial aspects of the medium.
    • In response to the question, "You're well known for not wanting to impose interpretations on your films. Is this because you believe that audiences have become accustomed to being spoon-fed and told what to think?"
      • as interviewed by Richard Porton, "Collective Guilt and Individual Responsibility: An Interview with Michael Haneke," Cineaste, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Winter 2005), pp. 50-51
  • Today's conventional cinema, or mass cinema, doesn't take the receiver seriously as a partner. It sees the audience member as a bank machine, whose only function is to spit out money.
    • as interviewed by Richard Porton, "Collective Guilt and Individual Responsibility: An Interview with Michael Haneke," Cineaste, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Winter 2005), pp. 50-51
  • My films are intended as polemical statements against the American 'barrel down' cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.
    • From "Film as catharsis". Haneke, Michael – "Film als Katharsis": in Austria (in)felix: zum österreichischem Film der 80er Jahre – Bono, Francesco (ed.), 1992. ISBN 3-901272-00-3
  • Pornography, it seems to me, is no different from war films or propaganda films in that it tries to make the visceral, horrific, or transgressive elements of life consumable. Propaganda is far more pornographic than a home video of two people fucking.
  • I do think that our perception of reality is fragmentary, and in 20th-century literature, it's totally normal to not describe reality as something whole and completely transportable and explicable. That's been accepted in novels. But genre films always pretend that reality is transportable, which means that it is explicable.

External linksEdit

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