tavernier wrote:You've seen The Castle but not Time of the Wolf? Wow - that must be a first!
Bootleg of The Castle
Big fan of Kafka and Borges here! Time of the Wolf
has been on my rental list for months, but wasn't a priority; I'll move it up the list.
I think all of Haneke's films are experiments - some work, others fail. But even his failures (and I agree with some of what you said) are fascinating.
That's the impression I get from his filmmaking, that it is adventurously, yet recklessly experimental, which I have no problem with. It's the relentless pursuit of the worst in man that doesn't sit well with me - nowadays, anyway; I am really going off Ingmar Bergman, too, certainly the 60s and early 70s. Can't find God, Ingmar? You're looking the wrong place, dude. Grimness in Cinema has its place, but so goes the overcoming
of grimness. It's easy to make films that have that tone and those themes. My citing of Kieslowski is the best case I can make in this regard. Even in A Short Film About Killing
there is a semblance of hope, of regret and tragedy. Haneke's films can't be viewed as tragedy, unless you then view of all modern life as an absurd tragedy, like Sartre, but unlike Sartre, Haneke seems pretty much apolitical to me. Of course, he doesn't have
to provide or allude to a solution to the entropic, grim state of play in 21s Century planet Earth. I don't view things entropically, I view things eschatologically, that what we call 'History' is a process taking place in Eternity and that this process is coming to an end, as all processes do. The world has, if you take time, admittedly a long
time, to look at History, you will begin to see that it was/is a battle, not between Good and Evil, but Habit and Novelty, as Alfred North Whitehead viewed it and the late Terence McKenna borrowed those terms for his controversial, yet mind-blowing theory of Time
, which he explained to Art Bell, HERE
in 1997. The reason that mankind and the world is so screwed up at present, is that we are undergoing a monumental change, not a physical
metamorphosis, but a mental one. I'm sure you think I'm nuts - I wonder this too, as did McKenna - but it's better than nihilism and is frankly a more rational worldview! All of History - the building of the development of human language and writing; the Giza Pyramids; the enlightenment of the Buddha; Jesus; The Crusades; Ghengis Khan; the Renaissance The Thirty Years War; Napoleon; Beethoven; the two World Wars and bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Vietnam and the Moon landing are unequivocally not
individual and ulitmately meaningless events. We are being drawn towards something
. All of mans' tools and machine are pale imitations, a grasping towards the ultimate
tool/machine. McKenna refered to it as the 'transcendental object at the end of Time'. It isn't a physical
object, though; he thought that it would be, or be something like
, the UFO - an unattainable, seemingly irrational object or achievement. He spoke of us wearing our souls on the outside
Rambling nonsense, eh? It certainly can seem that way! My point is that Haneke's worldview is overly simplistic. He seems to have no view of History, of what it is, or what man is. This is a charge that could be levelled at most people, of course, but he's in the crosshairs at present! So, you have all these narrow, simple, knee-jerk views of Man, Time, History, the World, God, etc. And there is the view that the we - the human race - need to be shook out our jaded, heartless complacency. And so you get these artists like Francis Bacon, Sartre, Chuck Palahniuk that try to shock or unnerve us with 'stark truths' about the nature of modern man. Well, it doesn't seem to work, does it? Pessimism is rarely infectious and when it is, it doesn't really solve any problems and man is a great problem solver - we're the greatest problem solvers in the Universe! Unfortunately, we also have a knack for creating problems, too. We need something to wake us up collectively
to this. This is part of what History is - the progression towards total problem solving
and departure for problem creating
, in other words, the end of ignorance. Sounds to good to be true, doesn't it? Well, the other option is we one day create the final problem that cannot be undone: the annihilation of ourselves, perhaps even all life on Earth. "Man would rather will nothingness than not will," claimed Nietzsche.
So, you have Haneke's films, these stark, dark, depressing, shocking, disturbing films. What is the viewer supposed to come away with after watching The Seventh Continent
or Benny's Video
? Change his ways - his attitude to other people? To what direction? If you don't give man hope, he just withdraws into a melancholic funk. At least Palahniuk says "get mad", smash it up. So, Haneke's overtly dark, disturbing and shocking films 'appeal' to some people; my question is simply why? Actually, you can skip all that stuff on Time-History - as I'm sure you all will
- and just answer that question!
Food for thought, though, although I apologise for broadening the scope of this film forum, but I am not of the school that says film - all Art - should be discussed within its own confinds; I apply it to life - to religions, to philosophies, to History and
the Future! To the full human experience, the immediate and the possible. This is surely what Haneke wants. Not discussions on his camera movements and style.