Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 2008)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Grimfarrow
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:35 am
Location: Hong Kong

Funny Games (Michael Haneke, 2008)

#1 Post by Grimfarrow » Fri May 19, 2006 4:11 am

What?

From Screen Daily:
Haneke plans English remake of Funny Games

Revered Austrian auteur Michael Haneke is to take his English-language bow, it was announced in Cannes yesterday. He is remaking his 1997 film Funny Games, but the setting will now be the Hamptons. Naomi Watts is to star.

The film is about a middle-class family on holiday who are terrorised by two young men.

Chris Coen of Halcyon Pictures, Hamish McAlpine of Tartan Films and Hengameh Panahi of Celluloid Dreams Productions are jointly producing the remake. Johanna Ray is the casting director.

Watts is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and attorney Steve Warren. Michael Haneke is repped by Francois Samuelson of Intertalent.

Tartan will be releasing the film in the UK. Celluloid Dreams will handle world sales.

User avatar
The Invunche
Alleged Socialist
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:43 am
Location: Denmark

#2 Post by The Invunche » Fri May 19, 2006 4:15 am

Watered down, I guess.

Noir of the Night
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:57 pm

#3 Post by Noir of the Night » Fri May 19, 2006 10:21 am

Wow.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#4 Post by denti alligator » Fri May 19, 2006 10:39 am

My only question is: why?
I mean, to reach a broader audience? which audience?

User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

#5 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri May 19, 2006 2:48 pm

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say they'd watch Funny Games if only it had English dialogue and a Hollywood star.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#6 Post by denti alligator » Fri May 19, 2006 3:13 pm

No one could be as creepy as Arno Frisch.

User avatar
tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

#7 Post by tavernier » Fri May 19, 2006 11:53 pm

Jimmy Fallon and Will Farrell as the terrorists

User avatar
pianocrash
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:02 am
Location: Over & Out

#8 Post by pianocrash » Sun May 21, 2006 12:43 am

This seems like the situation would lead to more pros than cons, in the long run. Even if it turns into a debacle (fill in the blank), Haneke gets his name in the U.S. market, gets a healthy paycheck, and more exposure in every way
possible. Not only that, he'll have access to more bankable stars, even if the film is a complete failure. It's not Sluizer remaking The Vanishing, after all. Or is it? Even if it bombs, he can still go direct operas for a few more years.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#9 Post by denti alligator » Sun May 21, 2006 10:51 am

I agree, in part.
And I think Haneke is incapable of pulling a Sluizer with this.
Utterly incapable.

User avatar
Gordon
Waster of Cinema
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am

#10 Post by Gordon » Sun May 21, 2006 12:23 pm

Get Ken Russell to do it. Or maybe a Carry On... film.

Haneke's films aren't for most people - they are about most people. Or so it seems. And who the hell wants to see that? You might as well show an obese man taking a shit for 90 minutes. So, you show a nihilistic world on film. For what purpose? Certainly not entertainment and he's kididng himself if he thinks his films will be a wake-up call for a decadent, jaded humanity. Actually, I saw The Seventh Continent and I laughed my ass off at the end - the wanton destruction and farcical suicides - which strongly resembled Chris Morris', Jam (aka. Blue Jam). Has that dark, dark 'sketch' show been shown on American TV? It's absolutely hilarious, but very disturbing, especially the Blue Jam version, which has manipulated colour schemes and deliberately slowed-down and out of sync dialogue. The Seventh Continent is pure Chris Morris.

Haneke tries to provoke an authentic response in the jaded, pop-culture-obsessed, violence-accepting viewer, but who is he kidding - no one accepts violence in real life, only in movies. And the irony is that certain people will seek out his films purely to see the violence. And I think that's Haneke point, ie. he doesn't want you to view Funny Games. It will be to your credit if you reject his film. Who the hell wants to watch a family be tortured to death? Just simply image it: it's horrible, why subject yourself to actually watching it. And then what? Go to an Italian restaurant? Why not make a film simply showing a man selling crack on the streets for 90 minutes? Or a surgeon aborting foetus after foetus for 90 minutes. His films are Cinema at its worst, to me. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a shot in the arm, controversial art, provocative statements, but you need to have some kind of hope, a glimmer of the great human potential. Imagine Dekalog but without the humanity, the mystery, the love, the warm humour. That's Haneke. He's presenting a totally pessimistic view of humanity. He needs to stop reading the newspapers and watching TV so much; the irony is that it is he who is the product of media conditioning. If you go out into the world today and meet people, talk to them, observe, I think you'll find that the majority are compassionate, caring, open-minded, tolerant. Just look at the reaction to 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, the Madrid bombings, the London bombing. People care and the human race is slowly coming together as one, but if you simply watch TV and read the papers you won't get that picture. The Media's worldview is horseshit, fucking bollocks and so is Haneke's; believe it and you're a chump.

"Innumerable confusions and a feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transition."
- Marshall McLuhan

Exactly! Don't worry, be happy, bee-atches! :D

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#11 Post by zedz » Sun May 21, 2006 5:28 pm

I can actually see the appeal an American remake would hold for 'Happy' Haneke. The original is largely predicated on subverting the expectations of the genre, so the more the film resembles the genre it's subverting (i.e. American, with recognisable stars), the more effective the subversion. And, as opposed to Cache, Funny Games actually fulfills its primary generic obligations (it's terrifying) at the same time as it's subverting the ancillary ones, so Haneke should be able to keep the money men happy while picking his scab of choice.

User avatar
ltfontaine
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:34 pm

#12 Post by ltfontaine » Mon May 22, 2006 11:15 am

I can actually see the appeal an American remake would hold for 'Happy' Haneke.
And (as much as I hated the original Funny Games) a fresh-faced yank version might be ideally suited to rendering the zeitgeist of Bush's America.

User avatar
tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

#13 Post by tavernier » Mon May 22, 2006 3:04 pm

Gordon McMurphy wrote:Get Ken Russell to do it. Or maybe a Carry On... film.

Haneke's films aren't for most people - they are about most people. Or so it seems. And who the hell wants to see that? You might as well show an obese man taking a shit for 90 minutes. So, you show a nihilistic world on film. For what purpose? Certainly not entertainment and he's kididng himself if he thinks his films will be a wake-up call for a decadent, jaded humanity. Actually, I saw The Seventh Continent and I laughed my ass off at the end - the wanton destruction and farcical suicides - which strongly resembled Chris Morris', Jam (aka. Blue Jam). Has that dark, dark 'sketch' show been shown on American TV? It's absolutely hilarious, but very disturbing, especially the Blue Jam version, which has manipulated colour schemes and deliberately slowed-down and out of sync dialogue. The Seventh Continent is pure Chris Morris.

Haneke tries to provoke an authentic response in the jaded, pop-culture-obsessed, violence-accepting viewer, but who is he kidding - no one accepts violence in real life, only in movies. And the irony is that certain people will seek out his films purely to see the violence. And I think that's Haneke point, ie. he doesn't want you to view Funny Games. It will be to your credit if you reject his film. Who the hell wants to watch a family be tortured to death? Just simply image it: it's horrible, why subject yourself to actually watching it. And then what? Go to an Italian restaurant? Why not make a film simply showing a man selling crack on the streets for 90 minutes? Or a surgeon aborting foetus after foetus for 90 minutes. His films are Cinema at its worst, to me. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a shot in the arm, controversial art, provocative statements, but you need to have some kind of hope, a glimmer of the great human potential. Imagine Dekalog but without the humanity, the mystery, the love, the warm humour. That's Haneke. He's presenting a totally pessimistic view of humanity. He needs to stop reading the newspapers and watching TV so much; the irony is that it is he who is the product of media conditioning. If you go out into the world today and meet people, talk to them, observe, I think you'll find that the majority are compassionate, caring, open-minded, tolerant. Just look at the reaction to 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, the Madrid bombings, the London bombing. People care and the human race is slowly coming together as one, but if you simply watch TV and read the papers you won't get that picture. The Media's worldview is horseshit, fucking bollocks and so is Haneke's; believe it and you're a chump.

"Innumerable confusions and a feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transition."
- Marshall McLuhan

Exactly! Don't worry, be happy, bee-atches! :D
So you're saying you don't like Haneke's films?

User avatar
Gordon
Waster of Cinema
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am

#14 Post by Gordon » Mon May 22, 2006 4:35 pm

Seems I went overboard. Again. 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance is fascinating; a great experiment, as is The Castle. I really must see The Time of the Wolf soon, as it sounds and looks (from screenshots I have seen) intriguing.

The problem is that I cannot stand films - stories - devoid of hope. Also, pessimism with humour is attainable, otherwise I, for one, would have killed myself years ago! :lol:

User avatar
tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

#15 Post by tavernier » Mon May 22, 2006 4:38 pm

Gordon McMurphy wrote:Seems I went overboard. Again. 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance is fascinating; a great experiment, as is The Castle. I really must see The Time of the Wolf soon, as it sounds and looks (from screenshots I have seen) intriguing.

The problem is that I cannot stand films - stories - devoid of hope. Also, pessimism with humour is attainable, other I would have killed myself years ago! :lol:
You've seen The Castle but not Time of the Wolf? Wow - that must be a first! 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.

User avatar
Don Lope de Aguirre
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: London

#16 Post by Don Lope de Aguirre » Tue May 23, 2006 6:21 am

Haneke's films aren't for most people - they are about most people.
So, you show a nihilistic world on film. For what purpose?
but who is he kidding - no one accepts violence in real life, only in movies.
(but Haneke makes 'movies')
Just look at the reaction to 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, the Madrid bombings, the London bombing. People care and the human race is slowly coming together as one, but if you simply watch TV and read the papers you won't get that picture. The Media's worldview is horseshit, fucking bollocks and so is Haneke's; believe it and you're a chump.
I admire your passion and your belief in human goodness but I think you've called it wrong...more than once!I want to start by saying that I am a big, big admirer of Haneke and I always have been. I think your dislike of Haneke is reflected in the way you see and choose to see the world (is this not what Cache is about?)... Yes, you can say 'Hurricane katrina' but there was a lot of more negative issues associated with response times and race etc, etc. You could also mention the war in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Zimbabwe and so on. It is all a question of approach.

Human beings have an innate capacity for violence. However you choose to approach this is up to you (if i remember correctly Hoberman called Clair Denis' brilliant 'J'ai Pas Sommeil' "misanthropic").

As for this Engl. lang. thing... I'm completely thrown! I don't believe that Haneke for one second cares about stars and the Holy Grail that is the U.S. market and all of that rubbish. Why should he? I suspect, if he goes ahead with this project, he has something big up his sleeve. A surprise is in store, no doubt... :shock:

User avatar
Gordon
Waster of Cinema
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:03 am

#17 Post by Gordon » Tue May 23, 2006 6:30 pm

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, finally.

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 :wink: - and just answer that question! :lol: 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.

User avatar
pianocrash
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:02 am
Location: Over & Out

#18 Post by pianocrash » Tue May 23, 2006 11:45 pm

What is the viewer supposed to come away with after watching The Seventh Continent or Benny's Video?
Haneke's films are analyses of the barbarism capable within the human condition, while his stark, no-end-in-sight endings (no redemption) are meant to be just that. The uplift, the humanity, the resolution, is life itself. Did you forget that you're watching a movie? This is just another part of how his films work, as in the viewer is as necessary a component to the film as are the contents of the film itself. There is probably no other director working today that can bring forth the illusion of reality so directly, as to convince a greater part of the viewing audience to pass his work off as completely devoid of spirit and hope. Haven't we had enough ephiphanies these past 100 years of film already?

Anonymous

#19 Post by Anonymous » Thu May 25, 2006 1:15 am

Naomi Watts? Count me in!!! :D

I am somewhat of a Haneke fan so I'm hoping he's going for a broader audience and not just courting Hollywood with this - which would really water down the 'message'. A movie about pop-violence that actually subverts the viewers expectations by not emphasizing the violent acts - yeah I think it could work again. I mean, its been what 10 years since the original? As someone who is generally opposed to remakes, I hope this one works out.

BTW, I'm not kidding about Naomi Watts - I think she's an apt choice.

User avatar
Don Lope de Aguirre
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: London

#20 Post by Don Lope de Aguirre » Thu May 25, 2006 5:43 am

I am deeply sceptical about the use of the word 'remake' (even though I have probably used it myself... :) ), particularly an 'eng lang remake'. These have always struck me as stupid beyond belief. I 100% expect more from Haneke.

Perhaps it will be some sort of 'revision' or...[insert inadequate phrase]

User avatar
souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#21 Post by souvenir » Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:34 pm

I haven't seen all of Haneke's films, but my problem with Funny Games is that Haneke is mocking the audience for enjoying violence yet the audience (at least in North America as I can't speak for the rest of the world) for his films are mostly arthouse/independent film lovers who rarely enjoy the violent orgies shown at most multiplexes. Funny Games disturbed and unsettled me, but I think that's because I don't enjoy watching violence, real or imagined. I watched this film because it had a good reputation, not because I desired to see violence or be shocked and I feel a little insulted, as though I am being judged or looked down upon by Haneke for watching a film he created.

Also,
SpoilerShow
Haneke comments on the DVD interview that audiences applauded when Anna shoots the one intruder and then, as the rewind happens, the audience realizes it was applauding a murder. Aside from this being legally inaccurate since a murder must be an unlawful killing, I see nothing wrong with an audience applauding someone who, after being tortured and witnessing her husband and son being killed, kills one of the torturers for self preservation. It's odd to me that Haneke feels a need to manipulate the audience into thinking it's wrong to hope that Anna kills her torturer.
As for the potential remake, I have a feeling that Haneke's "message" will probably go over the heads of the people he's trying to reach and any success will be a result of the horror/suspense aspects that younger moviegoers seem to eat up.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#22 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:19 pm

SPOILERS (for original at least!) and Time of the Wolf
souvenir wrote: have a feeling that Haneke's "message" will probably go over the heads of the people he's trying to reach and any success will be a result of the horror/suspense aspects that younger moviegoers seem to eat up
I don't know - couldn't the success of the original perhaps have been put down to that as well? After all that was the earliest Haneke film I saw in 1999 and part of its distribution in the UK over earlier works like 71 Fragments or The Castle could probably be due to the sensationalist and violent aspects being played up in its UK marketing to the general public outside the 'arthouse' environment. As a horror fan as well I would resist suggesting that the audience for these films would not be able to understand a 'difficult' or 'arty' film. I would suggest that it is decades of teen-friendly 'PG-13' horror, a narrow-but-lucrative focus by major studios that could be more to blame for the poor perception of horror fans. Horror and intelligence doesn't have to be mutually exclusive! I remember that the first I heard about Funny Games was in a 1997 edition of the horror magazine Shivers which gave a full page to its review! I think that at least in the UK Benny's Video got shown as well, which might prove that dealing with a serial killer could help with distribution, subtitled or not. In fact subtitles, by supposedly limiting the audience to 'arty types', probably allowed Funny Games to be released in the UK in 1997 while James Ferman, BBFC Director at the time, was still sitting on any release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for its own scenes of 'sustained and intense terrorisation'.

Sorry I'm probably going to repeat a lot of what was said above now! A remake does seem an interesting (although also worrying!) tack for Haneke. Perhaps the film being a glossy, US-based remake is an important reason why he wanted to remake it - it pushes the privileged, gated community under attack from the have-nots feeling of the original.

I don't know if the general public would agree with this quite yet (perhaps since Kong?) but I consider Naomi Watts a star! Her announced casting makes me wonder if the people playing the husband and child will be 'name' actors as well. Then if you had the known actors under attack from two relative newcomers it could create an interesting classical vs indy Hollywood stand-off, as well as a kind of All About Eve-esque establishment/mentor vs upstart/young turk dynamic.

That could add an extra resonance to the remote control scene as the woman becomes empowered through violence and a true action-movie heroine only to have the rug pulled out from under her.

It makes me wish that Macaulay Culkin was still 11 and could play the part of the child - imagine him a huge star fresh off the Home Alone films and how it would have worked with him in the role during the scenes of the child's escape from the house and cat-and-mouse games, before surprisingly being overpowered and mercilessly killed off. The audience would be expecting all the tricks of the kid hilariously beating his opponents, but find him stymied at every turn. It makes me wonder if Home Alone was in Haneke's mind during that sequence in the original.

I'm feeling ambivalent about the remake so far. I have the feeling it could be a brilliant restating of the original's themes - on the other hand it could turn out to be like the remake of The Vanishing! As with that film any softening of the themes would seem to damage the integrity of the argument the film puts forward, whether you consider the message about violence heavy handed and obvious or not. I have nightmares worrying about someone saying to Haneke "couldn't Naomi grab the knife and cut her bonds under the water, with the last shot being of her following the two killers into the next house with the knife in her hand ready to dispense her own brand of vigilante justice and save the day?"

I actually agree somewhat with Gordon's view of the film, although I do like Funny Games. Nihilism without hope can be rather pointless. I would recommend giving Time of the Wolf a try though. The destruction and violence that is found in something like Funny Games and Fight Club as they revel in the 'sexiness' or excitement of showing and doing the forbidden and a kind of adolescent kicking out against power and social control by extreme acts does bring the films, characters and audience to a deeply pessimistic worldview without proposing any constructive alternatives. They sort of concern themselves with defining the problem in an uncompromising way.

Time of the Wolf does seem to be a start towards doing what you are asking for in that what should be the sexy part of the film (equivalent to the violence in Funny Games or the f-you to the powers-that-be in Fight Club), the major event that has thrown the world into chaos, is never explained, understood or overcome by the characters. The killing of the father at the start of the film is the catalyst for the drama but it does not seem to be pre-meditated and the emphasis is on the effect on the rest of the family, how they pull themselves together and work with others. The moment when near the end of the film Isabelle Huppert confronts the man and his family who killed her husband, rages at him, but can do no more seems to dramatise what Gordon McMurphy was saying - where do you go from there? Sure you can confront that person but to what end? Kill him in front of his family, as he did to you - an eye for an eye? Put him in prison? For how long - how long before everything is better again? What is the point of Beatrice Dalle sniping at her husband, etc? As well as the fact that society in the sense of prisons has broken down and so while Huppert's character can confront him in front of everyone there is nothing they can do so he is not punished in a classical sense and he and his family even become part of the makeshift society at the station.

This acceptance and moving on seems to be what informs the beautiful final scene of the boy 'sacrificing' himself for everyone and in turn being saved. It's not much but it is a start.

User avatar
Andre Jurieu
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)

#23 Post by Andre Jurieu » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:37 am

souvenir wrote:Aside from this being legally inaccurate since a murder must be an unlawful killing...
Ok, but the acts of killing and murder can still be viewed outside of the legal system as simply actions that can be evaluated based on one's personal morality. Once the act of killing has occurred, one can deem for themselves, based on their own personal morality what constitutes "murder". That a society deems what actions do and do not constitute as "murder" is a related definition, but the definitions do not necessarily have to be the same. It's just that, in the end, the personal morality/definition is overruled by the legal definition once the action is evaluated in public by the rest of society. However, I would argue that personal interpretation remains important since it effects how a society creates its legal definition.

Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between "killing" and "murder", other than the determination of premeditation vs accident. The whole "lawful excuse" is sort of a legal definition that one can incorporate into their own personal definition based upon their own determination of the term. In the case of Funny Games, it's obvious that Anna is a "killer" as she does kill another human being, and I could see how someone could consider Anna a "murderer" even if she has a "lawful excuse". The lawful excuse means she could be deemed innocent in the eyes of the law/society afterwards, but the viewer can make his/her own judgements of the character based on personal morality. She certainly means to cause this man harm, and while she wouldn't be put in jail for her actions, one could still claim that she did "murder" her attacker. It wouldn't hold up in court, but it could probably hold up in one's mind.

User avatar
souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#24 Post by souvenir » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:30 pm

Andre Jurieu wrote:Ok, but the acts of killing and murder can still be viewed outside of the legal system as simply actions that can be evaluated based on one's personal morality. Once the act of killing has occurred, one can deem for themselves, based on their own personal morality what constitutes "murder".
While what you say may be accurate, I would argue that someone who believes that murder and killing are synonymous is simply incorrect since there are clear differences. The term "murder" is a legal entity that requires an unlawful killing. It is a criminal charge, whereas "killing" or "homicide" are acts of taking away another's life.
Andre Jurieu wrote:Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between "killing" and "murder", other than the determination of premeditation vs accident. The whole "lawful excuse" is sort of a legal definition that one can incorporate into their own personal definition based upon their own determination of the term.
Murder does not require premeditation, that's only first degree murder. Second degree murder only requires malice aforethought, which is accomplished by (1)intent-to-kill without the added ingredients of of premeditation or deliberation; (2) intent to do serious bodily injury; (3) depraved heart; or (4) commission of a particular felony. The difference is that murder requires an unlawful killing, while the term "killing" refers to depriving someone of life and is not, in itself, a legal question at all.
Andre Jurieu wrote:She certainly means to cause this man harm, and while she wouldn't be put in jail for her actions, one could still claim that she did "murder" her attacker. It wouldn't hold up in court, but it could probably hold up in one's mind.
How could someone begrudge Anna, in a real-life situation, killing one of her attackers? I cannot comprehend how killing him would in any way be frowned upon by any reasonable person.

User avatar
Andre Jurieu
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)

#25 Post by Andre Jurieu » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:32 pm

souvenir wrote:While what you say may be accurate, I would argue that someone who believes that murder and killing are synonymous is simply incorrect since there are clear differences.
Well, I didn't say one would think they were synonymous terms (I'm sure one could). I'm just saying that someone who is interpreting the concept for themselves might not make a clear distinction between the two actions. To them, there may not be that much of a difference. There are clear differences when one is evaluating the term in terms of legal definitions, but that's not really necessarily the case once you expand the scope of the interpretation.
souvenir wrote:The term "murder" is a legal entity that requires an unlawful killing. It is a criminal charge, whereas "killing" or "homicide" are acts of taking away another's life.
But the term "murder" is not just a legal entity. It is a criminal charge, but it's not just a criminal charge. It is also simply a term within our language that requires interpretation, just like "car" or "art". Someone could accept the legal definition as their own interpretation, and it's probably wise to do so, but that's not actually required for each individual. One could call someone else a "murderer" and not actually have a legal claim against them, but they can still believe that their stance is correct.
Murder does not require premeditation, that's only first degree murder. Second degree murder only requires malice aforethought, which is accomplished by (1)intent-to-kill without the added ingredients of of premeditation or deliberation; (2) intent to do serious bodily injury; (3) depraved heart; or (4) commission of a particular felony. The difference is that murder requires an unlawful killing, while the term "killing" refers to depriving someone of life and is not, in itself, a legal question at all.

Again, this is a legal definition, that probably should be incorporated into one own personal definition. However, if we are just going by legal definitions then it would sort of imply that only the legal definition is valid and that when murderers go on trial and then go free because the prosecution cannot prove "malice aforethought", then they can no longer be considered murderers, since we all must adopt the legal definition. Yet, many people continue to call such people "murderers" because the label fits their own personal definition of the term, rather than the legal definition.
souvenir wrote:
Andre Jurieu wrote:She certainly means to cause this man harm, and while she wouldn't be put in jail for her actions, one could still claim that she did "murder" her attacker. It wouldn't hold up in court, but it could probably hold up in one's mind.
How could someone begrudge Anna, in a real-life situation, killing one of her attackers? I cannot comprehend how killing him would in any way be frowned upon by any reasonable person.
I'm actually not begrudging her nor am I frowning upon her actions. I'm just saying she could be considered a murderer. That's just a simple application of cold logic and not a value judgement. I'm not saying she is wrong to murder this man, I'm simply labelling her actions. This seems to be a case where we are saying that labelling someone as a "murderer" is automatically labelling them to be a bad person. Essentially it seems as though it's being assumed that I'm saying that if one breaks a legal law then it means they are a bad person. That's not really the case. Good people are capable of breaking the law and committing crime for reasons that are rational and understandable. They may still be legally accountable, but I'm not saying their actions were indisputably incorrect. Anna killing/murdering the man who has tortured and slaughtered her family, if this were a real life situation, seems to be a reasonable event under the circumstances, and I don't really think I could say she took inappropriate actions. I don't really think Haneke is saying that Anna's actions are inappropriate. I also don't believe he is worried that she is legally accountable for her actions. What he is saying is that viewers must deal with the concept that she is a killer/murderer. She does deliberately intend to kill this man, she does intend to cause serious bodily injury, and she may have a depraved heart (who would blame her under the circumstances). So the viewer has to decide if she is actually a murderer, since the images make certain we understand she is a killer. Haneke never really conclusively judges the actions of his characters, but rather asks the viewer to re-evaluate the general assumption of their perspective when making these types of judgements.

Post Reply