Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

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Hail_Cesar
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Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#1 Post by Hail_Cesar » Mon May 14, 2012 3:48 am

The Amour trailer is up!!!! Looks awesome!

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dadaistnun
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#2 Post by dadaistnun » Mon May 14, 2012 9:30 am

A trailer in a language I don't understand has me practically in tears. It's going to be such a treat to see these three actors working together.

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rohmerin
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#3 Post by rohmerin » Mon May 14, 2012 9:41 am

Wow! It looks great.
Practically they ask several times if anybody is at home. Mother, where are you? What is happening here?

Hail_Cesar
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#4 Post by Hail_Cesar » Mon May 14, 2012 11:18 am

Yes and a 20 sec Huppert says earlier when i got in it remembered me when I was a little girl when I was earring (listening to) you making love. It was giving me the impression you loved each other and that we'd stay altogether for ever. Most of the rest are questions, anybody here, what's happening ect. Except once; the woman says to Trintignant that he is a monster...

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jbeall
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#5 Post by jbeall » Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 pm

Not sure I want to see Haneke take on love 8-[ , but that's a fantastic cast.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2012 1:43 pm

I can't really think of anyone better to tackle the subject, actually. He's turned an unflinching eye on everything he's explored, for better or worse.

JPJ
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#7 Post by JPJ » Tue May 15, 2012 1:57 pm

Trintignant looks like he's a million years away from Corbucci's Il Grande silencio but who cares.Can't wait for this.

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Jeff
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Re: Cannes 2012

#8 Post by Jeff » Sun May 20, 2012 10:08 am

Universal acclaim for the film at Cannes. Sounds like the first Palme contender.
Geoff Andrew's Twitter wrote:#cannes2012 Fest's first masterpiece: Haneke's Love. Rich, honest, deeply moving study of coping with intimacy, illness, death. Perfection!
Dave Calhoun's Twitter wrote:Not one to reduce to a Tweet, but Haneke's Amour is staggering. Incredible compassion, reserve, resolve. Trintignant is wonderful.
Ian Christie's Twitter wrote:At last - a breathtaking Cannes moment. Haneke's Amour cuts to the quick: what's love really mean, in the end? And how to cope with the end?
David Poland's Twitter wrote:Haneke leaves twists and turns alone and offers the purest, cleanest, most truthful experience of aging to death you'll ever see in "Amour."
Also: Mike D'Angelo, Ira Deutchman, Sasha Stone, Ion Cinema, The Playlist, Peter Howell...

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bigP
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#9 Post by bigP » Sun May 20, 2012 10:48 am


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Finch
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#10 Post by Finch » Sun May 20, 2012 10:53 am

Artificial Eye have already picked it up so I'm hopeful this gets released sooner (like Antichrist & Melancholia) rather than later (Le Havre and Kid With A Bike took nearly a year to come to UK shores). Super excited and I've tended to be agnostic about Haneke with exceptions (Hidden, White Ribbon).

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Finch
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#11 Post by Finch » Sun May 20, 2012 3:53 pm

Slant
this is easily Haneke's most humane film. Grounded by heartbreakingly poignant performances from two of French cinema's most iconic actors, Amour contains none of the moralistic finger-wagging and gratuitous sadism that so many critics have found off-putting in the director's work. (Though I must admit that I am, by and large, an admirer of his films.) Confined almost entirely to Georges and Anne's apartment, Amour attends the escalating consequences when Anne suffers a stroke that paralyzes half her body. Haneke handles the material with his usual clinical detachment and precision, the camera (like Georges) observing dispassionately, but never exploitatively, while nurses bath Anne and change her diapers. The only tonal misstep, and it's a rather slight one at that, occurs with two scenes involving a pigeon that invades their apartment (shades of Reality's cricket!). These scenes objectify the film's themes of entrapment and release a trifle too handily.

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Gregory
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#12 Post by Gregory » Sun May 20, 2012 8:12 pm

Budd Wilkins wrote:Amour contains none of the moralistic finger-wagging and gratuitous sadism that so many critics have found off-putting in the director's work. (Though I must admit that I am, by and large, an admirer of his films.)
Why "admit"? And I should think even a "by and large" admirer would lift a finger to challenge or complicate these oversimplified and clichéd assertions about his films.

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MichaelB
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Re: Love (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#13 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 22, 2012 1:38 pm

Finch wrote:Artificial Eye have already picked it up so I'm hopeful this gets released sooner (like Antichrist & Melancholia) rather than later (Le Havre and Kid With A Bike took nearly a year to come to UK shores).
UK and Ireland release starts on November 16, which suggests a London Film Festival premiere.

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Aspect
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#14 Post by Aspect » Thu May 24, 2012 12:49 pm

Cannes 2012 Press Conference. I can't wait to see this film. One of the many highlights: a jesting Trintignant doesn't recommend working with the very demanding Haneke.

Grand Illusion
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#15 Post by Grand Illusion » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:43 am

Just got back from a screening coupled with a pre-film Q&A with Haneke. I am very frustrated by this film.

I'd like to say that this is not a film about death. It is a film about dying. The process.

In its successful tries at realism, the film couples Haneke's removed, objective camera with a naturalistic lighting. It brings a docudrama-style intensity to the mundane process of dying. Simple afflictions and preparations, such as paralysis and putting on a diaper, are treated with low-key simplicity.

The beauty and tragedy is in how Haneke demystifies dying, a process everyone goes through. And for 100 or so minutes, the film plays by the rules it sets up. It's nearly flawless execution.

And then I got frustrated...
SpoilerShow
The moment the husband grabs a pillow, I knew the film was about to lose me. When he smothers his wife, Haneke greatly oversteps his bounds and remystifies dying.

Amour sets up certain rules of being uncinematic in its portrayal of dying. Then it gives us an extremely cinematic way of killing someone. The pillow smother is something out of a gangster film. The person being smothered kicks and squirms, until motion is no more. It's very visual.

First, there's the technical problem. A pillow smother is almost impossible to do, since people can often breathe through fabric. But even if successful, once the body ceases motion, that does not mean that the person is dead. Due to lack of oxygen, the person could've slipped into shock or coma. Smothering by pillow is a movie trope. It's not a reliable way to off someone. And I feel this is important due to how close Haneke wants to play with realism.

But worse than the actual mechanics of a smothering by pillow, the move completely derails the film's raison d'etre. The film works for over 100 minutes to demystify dying and beautifully so. Yet the pillow smother begins the process by which Haneke re-mythologizes dying.

Cache works allegorically and terrifyingly as myth. The White Ribbon works epically as myth. Amour does not work as myth. Simply compare how they're shot.

At one point, the daughter character asks the husband, "What happens next?"

To which he answers, (paraphrasing), "The same thing that's been happening, until it stops."

It's a graceful and simple way to say how people actually die of old age in the real world. And it would've made a heart-breaking end to this tale.

Yet Haneke fires this film out of the real world as if from a cannon. Because in the real world, barely a single person dies by pillow smother. Even if the film wanted to finalize the process of dying by euthanasia, that could work. But it must work in the same way that the rest of the film does. By taking the ordinary and demystifying it.

Now, you may wonder why I am against un-realism. I am not. But a film is a success when it plays by its own rules. Haneke breaking his docudrama rules to spill over into melodrama is refusing to play by the rules that he set up. Imagine Denzel Washington in Training Day suddenly breaking into a bullet-time Matrix dodge. It just doesn't work within the rules of the film.

And a couple more missteps show that Haneke's intention is, against the will of the film itself, to mythologize the story. Because right after the husband euthanizes his wife, Haneke brings back the metaphorical bird in the house. On its own, this is fine, but Haneke continues to pile on.

Next Haneke begins filming the man's ritual (implied) suicide. The film becomes much like The Seventh Continent, as that family prepares for their demise. Again, this is not how most people deal with living or dying, and, as such, feels very counter to the objectives of the first 100 minutes of the film.

And then Haneke again egregiously oversteps by having the husband see his wife and leave the home with her spirit/memory. My own philosophical objections to this scene aside, the person who rejoins their lover's spirit/memory is just cinematic cliche at this point. And it plays that way.

There is a naturalism established early by the film, and it deserves much better than the movie cliches we are given at the end. Unfortunately, the greatest love is ultimately Haneke's love for myth-making, and it just doesn't fit here.

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Guido
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#16 Post by Guido » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:37 am

You speak to a lot of the issues I originally had with the film, and many of your thoughts echo my wife's opinion directly. Haneke's films for me always run the risk of functioning as entities removed from him; they seem to exist below a moralistic/patronizing perspective that he has carved out for himself and himself alone. Large chunks The White Ribbon suffered from this, in my opinion; its structure bears such an affected, self-conscious kind of mythologizing, to use your word, and so runs the risk of being condescending.

Amour feels different somehow, but I still can't quite put my finger on how it achieves such a different tactic. Perhaps the lack of weighty historical imperatives has given him a little room to breathe. I don't know.
Grand IllusionShow
And then Haneke again egregiously oversteps by having the husband see his wife and leave the home with her spirit/memory. My own philosophical objections to this scene aside, the person who rejoins their lover's spirit/memory is just cinematic cliche at this point. And it plays that way.
SpoilerShow
One idea I had regarding this final scene, is that it could be read as a strange reversal, wherein the caretaker becomes, if only for a brief moment, the victim. Notice how Riva takes the reigns with her husband, telling him to hurry it up, get his coat, put his shoes on, etc. Throughout the entire scene, Trintignant remains curiously silent. It suddenly came to me as an idea that Trintignant had in fact been the one inching towards the death the whole time, with the preceding film having consisted of a space in which he is able to construct himself as the caretaker, as the one in charge of making ethical decisions. In this space there is the possibility of a kind of fabricated, glorified stoicism, but there is also the possibility of weakness/hyperbole, i.e. the pillow scene.

Grand Illusion
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#17 Post by Grand Illusion » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:40 am

Guido wrote:
SpoilerShow
One idea I had regarding this final scene, is that it could be read as a strange reversal, wherein the caretaker becomes, if only for a brief moment, the victim. Notice how Riva takes the reigns with her husband, telling him to hurry it up, get his coat, put his shoes on, etc. Throughout the entire scene, Trintignant remains curiously silent. It suddenly came to me as an idea that Trintignant had in fact been the one inching towards the death the whole time, with the preceding film having consisted of a space in which he is able to construct himself as the caretaker, as the one in charge of making ethical decisions. In this space there is the possibility of a kind of fabricated, glorified stoicism, but there is also the possibility of weakness/hyperbole, i.e. the pillow scene.
SpoilerShow
I absolutely agree with you that the idea that Trintigant is also creeping towards death is intended to be noticed by the audience. Especially in light of the second bird entering the home. But personally, I still can't help by feel that his final scene undercuts the power of this sentiment.

While consistent with the prior dream sequences, the visualization of a reunion of with his wife saps the act of dying of its power. After all, are the stakes not drastically lowered when Death is a way to reunite with Riva?

Also, Trintigant wants to die. Riva asks to die as well, which I believe happens way too early in the narrative. I think it's much more honest if characters don't want to die, at least until they are in extreme pain.

If a character doesn't want to die, yet ultimately must give in to the inexorable process of aging, that is a film that is beginning to be honest about Death. Because people don't just die when they want to or when they're ready to. People die everyday and fight tooth and nail not to.

What is so terrifying is ultimately that, unlike any other narrative complications, Death is the one thing that we will never be able to overcome. By presenting characters who (1) welcome it and (2) are visualized as reuniting, I feel it slips into mythologizing, which runs counter to the demystification and sheer banality of dying presented in the first half.

And while I agree Trintigant does inch closer to death throughout the film (indeed he is aging), the representation of that is such a false mythology in contrast to the harrowing naturalism of the first 100 minutes. Even the way he exits stage right is a denial of the process of aging.

But the indignity of dying is the violence of the body against itself. The indignity is not the violence of a pillow against your face. And the indignity is not walking hand-in-hand with a loved one into that cold night.
SpoilerShow
To digress a bit, this makes three Palme d'Or winners in a row which visualize some sort of reunion after death, whether through reincarnation (Uncle Boonmee), New Age beach Heaven (Tree of Life), or metaphorical dream sequence (Amour).

As stated, I think Amour's focus is on the process of dying (separate from Death itself). But that said, is it too much to ask for a film to be honest about Death? To represent it as something that happens even when we are not ready for it. That dying is not only horrible and painful, but it does not ultimately lead to reunion and reconciliation.

Or is the power of Death so overwhelming that even our alleged "cold and logical" filmmaker, Michael Haneke, must attempt to soften its blow?

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hearthesilence
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#18 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:45 pm

I think Grand Illusion really nailed it on this one. The final act really undermined what I liked about this film, and in some ways, it's surprising and strange coming from Haneke.
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(all of a sudden, he's getting soft?)
Still, I would agree that it's one of his better films - I've become a less and less of a fan these days, but if I were to see any of his films again, it would probably be this one.

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david hare
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#19 Post by david hare » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:09 pm

I watched this last night and again today and I believe this is Haneke's best film and an unqualified masterpiece.

I was interested to read Grand Illusion's problems with the last 20 minutes but for me this final act sets up a quasi mystical state, bathed in the earlier apparent "realism" in which Trintignant and every remaining visible character have entered a zone that is neither life nor death. The subtlety with which this establishes the next path, as it were, for Trintignant is devastating.

I think the picture is sublime. And this time around, after the very flaky propositions about art, cruelty and life gone wrong which Haneke had tried to set up in La Pianiste, and which are hopelessly inept IMO, now the the use of the music (in particular the Schubert Impromptus), wedded to the formal structure and the tone of the narrative give this film a plain grandeur that I haven't seen in a new film for years. Even the long opening Wide take of the audience invites the sort of contemplation of the human face, and the human animal, old and young that the rest of the film so devastatingly delivers through the actors. Isabelle hasn't been this good (or had a role this good) in years.

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tarpilot
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#20 Post by tarpilot » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:12 pm

Slant's two-star pan begins rather bizarrely
The misery of our own mortality is a rich subject for dramatic explication, and it's been previously mined, with varying degrees of success, by works as varied as Sarah Polley's Away from Her, David Lynch's The Straight Story, and Margaret Laurence's novel The Stone Angel.
(or maybe not; it just struck me as incredibly odd)

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willoneill
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#21 Post by willoneill » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:33 pm

I've been reading his reviews since he started working at Slant, and seriously, just ignore Calum. He's just pretentiously trying to be the new Armond White. It's half an act, and half his douche, stuck-up personality.

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jbeall
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#22 Post by jbeall » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:02 pm

NY Times review
It appears as if the Artificial Eye release will be in March 2013, way before this plays anywhere near me, so I'll have to wait until then. Or move.

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dad1153
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#23 Post by dad1153 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:18 am

Saw "Amour" at Film Forum right before "Django" because... why not? Seriously though, as someone that talked to and saw over Skype how my 89-year old grandmother's last year of life was reduced to basic end-of-life care carried out by my mother and relatives (and I do mean I saw EVERYTHING over the Skype cam), Heneke's clinical eye and detachment from his subject matter (brought magnificently to life by Trintignant and Riva, with Isabelle Huppert's minor role giving her the best work she's done in years) results in a harrowing viewing experience. At least three times the movie does a scene that had the mostly-packed house shouting or wincing back as one. Alas, the movie's final few scenes betray both the opening scene and the atmosphere of realism Heneke had built over time. It's a testament to how much Trintignant and Riva win you over that "Amour," despite not being able to stick to landing (or doing so in the most obtuse of ways
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by mimicking "Last Year at Marienbad"),
is still one of the best movies I've seen in 2012.

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Kellen
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#24 Post by Kellen » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:18 am

I really didn't know what to expect when watching this film; I never watched a trailer for it and barely read anything on it. This was my first Haneke film outside blips of Caché that i've caught on television. My grandmother passed away last year after complications from Cancer, we brought her up from Alabama to stay at her house so she could be with my mother. It's remarkable how this film depicted what happened with my grandmother almost step for step. When she arrived at my house I could carry on a conversation and over time things got worse and worse to where she was just making noises because she was in pain. I believe the running time of Amour was like two hours or something but honestly it felt a lot longer for (not in a bad way). I turned my head, winced, I must've cried around three times during the film this is probably the first time I remember crying during a film going back to when I was a kid watching lion king with my parents (sinba's fathers death got to me.) So many emotions ran through me during this film about life and death, what will happen when my mother is in this situation? How will I be able to handle that kind of thing? This was most likely one of the rawest experiences that I've had watching a movie. I'm a little unsure about Georges and his wife walking out at the end of the picture maybe someone could help me clear that up. Honestly, I have no idea what this rambling was supposed to accomplish, I guess I just wanted to type it to help digest what I just watched..


Also, How do Haneke's other films measure against this one? What would be a good one to check out?

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knives
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Re: Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

#25 Post by knives » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:34 am

I haven't seen this one so can't advise based on that, but from I've heard makes this great the closest relation is probably Code Unknown which is great. I also recommend The Piano Teacher which is rather different.

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