``

Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

October 19 - 29

Michael Haneke: A Cinema of Provocation

Known to American audiences mainly through the relatively recent successes of Code Unknown (2000), The Piano Teacher (2001), and Caché (2005), Michael Haneke has been steadily making films since the beginning of his extraordinary career in the mid-1970s. Born in Germany and raised in Austria, Haneke began his career in theater and television, directing for the stage and writing treatments for teleplays. By the time he shifted his creative energies to cinema in the late 1980s, he had already accumulated an impressive body of feature-length television dramas including Three Paths to the Lake (1976), Lemmings (1979), Variation (1983), Who Was Edgar Allan? (1984) and Fraulein (1985). Many of these have now been subtitled to be included with Haneke’s cinematic features in this comprehensive retrospective, for the first time giving American audiences the opportunity to view Haneke’s larger body of work. What emerges is a striking consistency of thematic concerns and a creative vision that transcends the limitations of a given medium. Haneke’s films all deal in one way or another with modern society’s descent into lovelessness, alienation, and lethal coldness that get passed on from one generation to the next and amplified in the process. He conveys these themes through highly restrained cinematic forms and an austerely mesmerizing spectatorial address. Having worked predominantly in France since the turn of the millenium, Haneke has recently returned to the multi-strain narratives of his early TV work to craft stories that analyze first world social anatomies in relation to the legacy of colonialism and issues of citizenship and migration. At the same time, Haneke continues his quest for new aesthetic strategies to use media violence as a tool to critique media violence, most recently explored in his first American film, Funny Games, a remake of his 1997 shocker, which will be released theatrically this fall. – Roy Grundmann

This program is curated by Roy Grundmann, Film Studies Program Director and Associate Professor of Film Studies at Boston University as well as director of a three day international Michael Haneke conference at BU, October 25-27 (www.bu.edu/haneke). This program is organized by Boston University, the Goethe-Institut Boston, and the French Consulate, Boston, and partially supported by the Elysee Treaty for Franco-German Cultural Events in Third Countries.  Additional screenings will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Please visit mfa.org/film for more details. Special thanks to Warner Independent Pictures.


Special Event Tickets $15
LIMITED SEATS - ARRIVE EARLY!
Friday October 19 at 7:30 pm

A Conversation with Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke, Appearing in Person

Michael Haneke discusses his extensive career as a filmmaker from his early German and Austrian television films to his most recent film, a remake of his own 1997 shocker, Funny Games. Moderated by Roy Grundmann.

 

Funny Games U.S.

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
US/UK/France 2007, 35mm, color, 108 min.

In this shot-by-shot remake of one of Haneke’s most disturbing works, an upper-middle class family is terrorized by two clean-cut thugs while vacationing in the Hamptons. In the wake of low-budget horror successes such as Hostel and Saw which use game play as gratuitous tools of terror, Haneke’s remake could not be more timely.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Saturday October 20 at 7 pm

Lemmings: Part 1 – Arcades

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Regina Sattler, Christian Ingomar, Eva Linder
Austria/West Germany 1979, video, color, 113 min.
German with English subtitles

 

Lemmings: Part 2 – Injuries

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Monica Bleibtreu, Elfriede Irrall, Rüdiger Hacker
Austria/West Germany 1979, video, color, 107 min.
German with English subtitles

This two-part drama examines the fate of Haneke’s own generation which came of age after World War II. The first part depicts the generational gap between 1950s teenagers and their parents while the second shows this same group of characters twenty years later as they have grown up to be dysfunctional and suicidal adults. Regarded as the most significant of Haneke’s early works, Lemmings contains incipient treatments of many of the themes he would later elaborate on in his theatrical features.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 21 at 3 pm

Who Was Edgar Allan? (Wer war Edgar Allan?)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Paulus Manker, Rolf Hoppe, Guido Wieland
Austria/West Germany 1984, video, color, 83 min.
German with English subtitles

In this adaptation of Peter Rosei’s post-modern thriller made for German television, an art history student who becomes obsessed with and mysteriously linked to an American. Despite the aesthetic limitations of small-screen presentation, Haneke’s sophisticated mise-en-scène fully exploits the film’s stylish Venice locale.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 21 at 7 pm

Fraulein: A German Melodrama

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Angelica Domröse, Peter Franke, Lou Castel
Austria/West Germany 1985, video, b/w and color, 113 min.
German with English subtitles

Described as an answer to Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun, Fraulein tells the story of a German woman and a former French prisoner of war living in 1950s Germany. Instead of playing a role in rebuilding her country, Haneke’s heroine remains preoccupied with her personal affairs. Shot predominantly in black and white (with a color sequence added toward the end), Fraulein asserts Haneke’s place alongside the masters of the New German Cinema.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 21 at 9 pm

Variation

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Elfriede Irrall, Suzanne Geyer, Hilmar Thate
Austria 1983, video, b/w and color, 98 min.
German with English subtitles

Haneke depicts the emotional story of an adulterous relationship between a journalist and a teacher. The film poignantly explores the difficult dynamics between people who love one another but still can’t keep from hurting one another. Variation has been described by its director as being closer to John Cassavetes than to Hollywood melodrama.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Monday October 22 at 7 pm

The Rebellion (Die Rebellion)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Branco Samarovski, Judith Pogany, Thierry Van Werweke
Austria 1993, video, b/w and color, 105 min.
German with English subtitles

Despite his established career on the big screen, Haneke frequently returned to work on television projects in the 1990s include this adaptation of Joseph Roth’s novel. In it, he explores the fate of a returning veteran in post-World War I Vienna who struggles (like many of Haneke’s protagonists) in an increasingly bureaucratic and technocratic world.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Monday October 22 at 9 pm

Three Paths to the Lake (Drei Wege zum See)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Ursula Schult, Guido Wieland, Walter Schmidinger
Austria/West Germany 1976, video, color, 97 min.
German with English subtitles

A war photographer faces a moral crisis when she is forced to examine the implications of her work. On one level, Haneke’s dramatization of Ingeborg Bachmann’s prose monologue foreshadows his examination of visual documentation and the media in such films as Code Inconnu and Caché. On another level, Haneke uses Bachmann’s work to deal with the lost ideals of his own generation, who came of age in the 1950s and early 60s.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Friday October 26 at 7 pm

Benny’s Video

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Arno Frisch, Angela Winkler, Ulrich Mühe
Austria 1992, 35mm, color, 105 min.
German with English subtitles.

The centerpiece in Haneke’s acclaimed trilogy on actual incidents of
unexplained violence, the film tells the chilling story of a teenage boy who videotapes every aspect of his life. As he becomes desensitized to violent televisual imagery, his impulses become fatal in this refreshingly unsensational portrait of homicidal urges.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Friday October 26 at 9 pm

71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance

Directed by Michael Haneke
With G. Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Kino, Otto Grühandl
Austria 1994, 35mm, color, 96 min.
German with English subtitles.

Haneke’s analytical camera traces the everyday lives of a group of
strangers culminating in a tragic series of events on Christmas Eve. The fragments of their existence including an endless ping-pong match, a comic book theft and an extended family phone conversation are laid along excerpts of the evening news to form an extraordinary, terrible whole.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Saturday October 27 at 7 pm

The Castle (Das Schloß)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Ulrich Mühe, Frank Giering, Felix Eitner
Austria 1997, 35mm, color, 125 min.
German with English subtitles

A land surveyor takes a job at a mysterious castle, only to meet resistance from co-workers who have been organized by the company’s bureaucracy to impede his progress. He also is met with hostility from the residents of a nearby town who conspire with the castle’s workers. Haneke’s faithful adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel fragment successfully incorporates the writer’s prose into a startling cinematic vision.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Saturday October 27 at 9:15 pm

The Seventh Continent

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Dieter Berner, Brigit Doll, Udo Samel
Austria 1989, 35mm, color, 111 min.
German with English subtitles

The lives of three members of a middle-class family slowly unfold with mundane precision all the way to the startling end. Haneke, who captures every detail of his characters’ gaudy go-nowhere existence, has called this film the story of a lived consequence. The first film in the glaciation trilogy, The Seventh Continent presents a disturbing portrait of middle class life in a manner reminiscent of early Fassbinder.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 28 at 3 pm

The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel, Annie Girardot
France 2001, 35mm, color, 131 min.
French with English subtitles

Isabelle Huppert provides a shocking portrait as a middle-aged piano
teacher who suffers at the hands of her overbearing mother (Girardot). When she is pursued by a devoted student (Magimel), her life takes an unsettling turn as she reveals her masochistic desires. Huppert and Magimel received top honors at Cannes for their dark performances.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 28 at 7 pm

Funny Games

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Suzanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch.
Austria 1997, 35mm, color, 108 min.
German with English subtitles

In one of his most harrowing works, Haneke not only portrays upper-middle class society as weak and helpless in the face of danger, but disturbingly implicates his viewers in the unfolding of the violent events. His protagonists are a nuclear family who are visited by two cold-blooded thugs. One of Haneke’s most controversial films and one of the most provocative films ever made.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Sunday October 28 at 9 pm

Code Unknown (Code inconnu)

Directed by Michael Haneke
With Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Ona Lu Yenke
France/Germany /Romania 2000, 35mm, color, 118 min.
French with English subtitles

The lives of a struggling film actress, a Kosovo War photographer, his wayward brother, a Romanian beggar, and an African émigré come crashing together after a fateful event on a Parisian street corner. Haneke offers a scathing critique of the response to immigration in contemporary Europe in this intriguing, multi-faceted work.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700