2.4 stars. That mean old Haneke seemed awfully proud in interview when I saw him talking about killing all those fish. He'd kill the actors too if he could get away with it - you'd better believe it! This is a fierce diorama, but without hope, why make a political film? I guess this is the ground zero from which Haneke has slowly built a tentatively humanist (though very pessimistic) cinema.
The film could be slightly shorter. The voyeuristic insight into the family routine takes 3/4 of the film, but once destruction starts, a growing feeling of discomfort sucks you in until that devastating ending. Hanekes's first feature-film is a powerful introduction to several recurring themes present in his other films.
A rather laboured nihilistic intrigue that successfully builds up a rhythmic procedure of mundanities but fails to ignite much interest - intellectual or emotional - once the pattern is repeated time and again. There's a certain elan in the detached spareness and some level of comment on the robotics of life as led, but it could have been told at half the length without compromise; a question of length not pace.
Gives new meaning to the phrase "Going to Australia". What's up with the spoiler in the description, MUBI? Very glad I didn't come here first. I knew something bad was going to happen, so I watched carefully for signs. I noticed you didn't see their faces for quite a while and the ritualistic nature of what was going on. There was so little feeling going on. In the end it struck me as being a bit heavy handed.
A rejection of normalcy and mundanity, 'The Seventh Continent' is nerve wracking. Haneke does more than turn the mirror to face society; he subdues us into prolonged eye contact with ourselves, shatters the mirror as we're dozing off and stabs us in vital organs with the shards.
Damn, what a great way to make me speechless! Haneke's debut is a cinema delight: it has a fresh vision of its imagery, it delivers striking performances and it's good from second one to its ending - all done with a mature hand for provocative statements. The aquarium, the toilet, the blindness, the slapping, the agony - so present, so common, so daily. Seventh Continent shocks: it's gutsy and powerful.