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A Portrait of ‘the Minister of Fear’, Film Director Michael Haneke

English: Michael Haneke Français : Michael Han...

“Making waves… is what Haneke has become famous for. Over the last two decades, the director has developed a reputation for stark, often brutal films that place the viewer — sometimes subtly, sometimes explicitly — in the uncomfortable role of accomplice to the crimes playing out on-screen. This approach has made Haneke one of contemporary cinema’s most reviled and revered figures, earning him everything from accusations of obscenity to a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art next month. “Funny Games,” the movie Haneke was shooting in New York and Long Island, is the American remake of a highly controversial film by the same name that he directed in 1997. It was from its beginnings targeted at the American moviegoing public — and no other word but “targeted” will do. “Funny Games” is a direct assault on the conventions of cinematic violence in the United States, and the new version of the film, with its English-speaking cast and unmistakably American production design, makes this excruciatingly clear. More surprising still, Haneke remade this attack on the Hollywood thriller for a major Hollywood studio, Warner Independent Pictures, and refused to alter the original film’s story in the slightest.” (New York Times).