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The Sadistic, Hitchcockian Art Of Michael Haneke

Sunday’s New York Times Magazine profiles in depth the Austrian film genius Michael Haneke, a director with a stunning sense of sadistic suspense who’s just made his first English film, a remake of his Funny Games, this time starring Naomi Watts.

Haneke, if you don’t know his films, is oft compared to Hitchcock.  He pushes the envelope of suspense and violence in a head-spinning, brain-busting way that makes us reconsider what we dub modern society. Hence, he’s considered controversial (to say the least).  Haneke’s most famous film, The Piano Teacher starring Isabelle Huppert, won the Grand Prize at 2001’s Cannes Film Festival.

Says masterful writer John Wray of this Minister of Fear, "Over the last two decades, the director has developed a reputation for
stark, often brutal films that place the viewer — sometimes subtly,
sometimes explicitly — in the uncomfortable role of accomplice to the
crimes playing out on-screen. This approach has made Haneke one of
contemporary cinema’s most reviled and revered figures, earning him
everything from accusations of obscenity to a retrospective at the
Museum of Modern Art next month."  Learn more at the Times, which even has an A.O. Scott-narrated slide show.

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