michael haneke


apparently not a Haneke self-portrait

So I interviewed Michael Haneke about his new film The White Ribbon, which just opened in the United States and won the Palme D’Or at Cannes last May. You know Haneke, I think: Cache, Funny Games, The Piano Teacher, Code: Unknown, Benny’s Video… yes, you know Michael Haneke. Perhaps you even agree with me that he’s one of the world’s greatest living directors.


We did the interview in a hotel in midtown Manhattan. He was slender and well-dressed with a beard the color of Malamute fur. As others have observed, he’s disarmingly pleasant in person—even jolly. If he weren’t so thin, he could be Santa Claus.

Even if you’re prepared for it, it’s remarkable to note first-hand how the cruelty, despair, humiliation and horror of his films have no counterpart in his demeanor. Actually, more than anything, he seems professorial.

Our Q & A is below. I’ve condensed some of my questions and remarks to streamline/clarify, and so you don’t have to read as much from me, but I’ve preserved just about every word Haneke said, intelligibility of the tape allowing. His English is fairly good, but unless otherwise noted, he’s speaking through a translator.

Nick Antosca: Are you afraid to die?
Film & Massive People / 25 Comments
January 4th, 2010 / 10:08 am



Dale Peck as a child

And here’s Denby’s list of the best movies of the decade. The only ones that I really love are There Will Be Blood and Caché (even if it’s probably in my top 20 rather than top 10).  He also includes The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which I had extreme difficulty sitting through.  I don’t care if the movie is about a guy who’s lost the use of his body and can’t even really open his eyes.  I don’t want to spend the first twenty minutes looking at a lens smeared with Vaseline.

My list, which you should feel free to dismember, is after the jump.

Film / 325 Comments
December 16th, 2009 / 3:09 pm