Cheerfully wishing his audience a “disturbing evening” at a London retrospective of his films, director Michael Haneke insists that he is an optimist at heart, despite all of the relentlessly bleak carnage and deeply disturbing imagery so vividly painted and seared into the mind of anyone who has had the uncomfortable experience of viewing his work.
Practically born into show business, to an actress mother and director father, in Munich in March 1942, Haneke spent his early years in a working class suburb of Vienna before an early attempt at fame as an actor and pianist. Failing to achieve early success, Haneke attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy and psychology, and became a film critic and stage director before making his eventual debut as a television director with After Liverpool in 1973. Setting in motion a television career specializing in literary adaptations and small screen films, Haneke would work successfully in that medium until his feature debut… read more
I really like Haneke, but that quote is such bullshit. When I buy a ticket for a movie, I am willfully participating. I WANT to be manipulated. To equate the way a film emotionally manipulates the viewer - often to beautiful and life-affirming effect - with rape, is so ridiculous. I'm a proponent of Haneke and his style of filmmaking, but this just makes him sound like a whore for controversy.