I’ve been hearing quite a few remarks on how the original Funny Games is a Masterpiece and that the remake is complete shit. Considering the two are so alike, and practically the same Film, with only a Language difference. I’ve only seen the U.S. version and I thought the acting was good, the visuals were good…I had no problem with it. I’m assuming that’s because I haven’t seen the original, but maybe there’s something more to it. Anyone care to share some thoughts on either of the Films and the differences between them?
The boys in the original version look more ordinary, more like they could be anyone around the neighbourhood.
Naomi Watts is too attractive to be the archetypal mother.
Is there any thread or review that makes the most compelling case for Funny Games (the original or the remake) being a masterpiece? If not, I’d like to hear one. The argument that the film makes people question their interest in violence and horror (or am I getting that wrong?) just doesn’t seem very convincing to me. Did the film really make advocates question our interest in violence, and what we get out of seeing the protagonists prevail? And, more importantly, did the film lead to any interesting insights into the question?
I don’t understand…are you expecting some one to answer all of those questions for you?
I think he is. They do not sound too rhetorical.
Yeah, that would be nice.
Jazzaloha – I haven’t seen either version of Funny Games, but I think I can still answer some of your questions.
Namely, can Funny Games convert advocates of film violence? I think the answer is NO. Of the Haneke films that I’ve seen, this is his game. He plays it like he’s writing a thesis paper on a subject. He drains every possible kinetic element out of of his film design so that he can supposedly ask the audience to reconsider their expectations for film narrative. Personally, I think it’s sort of a joke. (and not a good one.) In some ways, I think Haneke thinks far less of his audience than almost any director I can think of. His films seem to be talking down to us more than anything.
Which, in turn, raises a pretty serious question – Why did he do a remake of Funny Games and not really change anything of consequence? Why did he make an English language version. Is he really taking a pot shot at American attitudes towards violence? If so, he’s a pompous ass in my book.
I loved the original, getting heavily into Haneke after Cache, I watched all I could. Funny Games is full of Haneke moments and conceits, and I’m pretty sure he knows he was not putting forward anything revolutionary in it. It’s a horror film at heart, but uses the device to comment on the comfortably middle class when confronted by an ugly, if extreme reality. I think the style was more suited for a European pacing and as much as I love his work, I think it lacked something when he re-heated the souffle in English with exactly the same editing and set ups. A good American director might have been a plus for once? If you’d only seen the English version I don’t think it would have the same impact. And once seen I don’t think you could backtrack to the Austrian easily.
Well, I don’t think I was tempted to do wrong after I watched the Film if that’s what you mean, but I think it still had a very powerful impact on me, even the second time I watched it. I think it, more or less, puts random crime and murder into a more focused environment so that the Viewers can actually get a good look at the real thing, and not be distracted by all the phony side sex and teenage arguments, like so many American-made horror Films these days do. The movie comes as an overall shock, or at least it should, to most People. But, at the same time, I think it’s putting our sick obsession with murder and death right under our noses, in a not so subtle way.
I’m not sure exactly where I’ve seen People say that the original was a Masterpiece and the 2007 remake was shit, but I know I’ve seen it a good 5 or 10 times around here.
I saw the remake and have not seen the original yet. I keep hearing the same too that the original was amazing but the remake was absolute crap. I thought the remake was pretty good, but the actors were only ok. I can’t wait to watch the original.
They’re both equally horrible. I guess I favor the American version because Naomi Watts is hot, but that’s all either of these movies have going for them.
Michael Haneke is the film world’s Joseph McCarthy, and both Funny Games may be his most emblematic works in that respect.
I’ve actually had similar questions because Haneke directed both of them and intentionally tried to make the same movie with the US version. I haven’t seen the original so I can’t really comment but I have always wondered why some people call the original great and the remake crap.
In regards to Jazzaloha’s questions, I think the main discussion the came out of these films were not about our obsession with violence; no, it seemed most of the discussion focused on Haneke himself and how much of a brilliant filmmaker he was (or how much of asshole filmmaker he was). My impression is that a movie like Funny Games, no matter what version, is mostly an ego trip for Haneke. And in that regard, both films were giant successes.
Hey someone tell me how to make a title bold when you post
to italicize: _ title _
Only don’t have a space between the word and the underscores.
to bold: * title *
Only don’t have a space between the word and the asterisks.
“My impression is that a movie like Funny Games, no matter what version, is mostly an ego trip for Haneke.”
wrong unless you really feel that a copy-cat film is equal to an original idea,if yes….i feel sorry for your criticism..
“And in that regard, both films were giant successes.”
true,because Haneke acted like an idiot and fell in his own trap promoting an Americanized version to stupid “American” people who couldn’t have the decency to search for themselves,watch and decide whether they like the 1997 film or not……
We were discussing this in worst movie thread but the thing I felt was a letdown in the remake was Tim Roth and just how incredible weak he was. Ulrich Muhe in the original got the balance between weakness and powerlessness down perfectly. I just felt so frustrated everytime I saw Tim Roth in that film and i usually love TIm Roth.
I disagree that Haneke doesn’t understand the idea of violence though. Funny Games US was meant to net mainstream US audiences who would normally see HOSTEL or something but I don’t think it lit the US box-office on fire.
The only difference I noted was Tim Roth and Naomi Watts. I like both, but it seemed they weren’t into their characters as much as the original film’s actors were… or something. I simply felt like I was watching a movie and performances, whereas in the original, I felt for the characters as if I was there with them. And for the record, I saw the US version first.
Both films are alright… I just still find it ridiculous that Haneke had to make the same film twice for ‘dumb Americans’. It should have been unnecessary, but I understand why he did.
Actually I take that back that it was for mainstream US audiences. i think it was all mainstream audiences who like those films. its not an American thing.
“Naomi Watts is too attractive to be the archetypal mother.” Couldnt agree more.
Casting had a huge impact on realism, it might be the same shot by shot but they did look different. German is another tool to create realism for non german audiences.
Mikel nailed it.
Language & casting play the largest part in the tension, the skin-crawl that the remake lacks.
Also, wasn’t the ten-minute mother-crying scene cut-down in the remake? I’d have to get double-checked on that. It felt shorter though. And that scene is easily the most important, heart-grippingly “force-the-audience-into-shocked-realism” scene in the entire film. All the power of Haneke’s trademark “violence is bad”* is in that one shot/scene of her weeping behind the couch uncontrollably. The longer the scene is, the more effective.
“The longer the scene is, the more effective” youve got it ∞ !
Its like if you stare at an apple after a while you will be in a different state..for me another memorable scene was around the tension and shooting of the chubby clown that is thrown to the wall…how the tension is reflecting, waiting and a subtle move and boom!!
I don’t think you’re supposed to like the US version. The way I see it, Haneke is sort of commenting on the surge of glossy Hollywood remakes of older or foreign films, jumping on his own movie before someone else gets at it, and bringing the movie to a wider audience. Multitasking.
I thought Michael Pitt was appropriately loathsome, for once. The actor in the original was much better, though.