Sunday, April 28, 2013

Talking Tribeca: Michael H. – Profession: Director

I’ve had the pleasure of screening some feature-length and short selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 17th-28th.

Michael H. – Profession: Director
Directed by Yves Montmayeur
About the Film

This documentary offers a fascinating look inside the mind of Austrian director Michael Haneke, who earned Oscar bids this past year for Best Picture nominee “Amour.” Starting with that most recent work, this film works backwards and spotlights several key moments, both from the finished film and from the set, that help to explain Haneke’s process and why he makes the disturbing, daring films he does. Haneke proves to be an extremely difficult subject, telling his interviewer that he doesn’t want to answer questions that make him interpret himself and generally offering a negative attitude towards the process of reflecting back on his career. A rare word of praise from him is saved for actress Isabelle Huppert, who echoes his sentiments, explaining just how much she admires him. Juliette Binoche, on the other hand, notes that she wishes his films had a little more hope and light. For someone who has seen only a few of his films – “Caché,” “The White Ribbon,” and “Amour” – this was an enlightening experience that helped to put those films I have seen in a greater context. Haneke is an indisputably compelling director, and though I would never want to have to work with him on set, it’s clear that he is a talented and deeply interesting visionary.

See it or skip it? If it plays either in theaters or as a TV film, see it, as long as you find the content of his films not to be too disturbing.

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