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- New video interview with director Michael Haneke
Top Customer Reviews
Benny has an obsession/fascination with videos and violence. He likes to visit the local video store. One day while browsing through some videos he spots a girl standing outside the store and ends up approaching her. He takes her home to show her his 'video' and then things get out of control.
Soon the parents end up accidentally discovering the extent of what happened on that video. They become conflicted. They weigh the options, discuss things and soon they come up with a plan... Seeing the parents deliberate over this decision about what to do with Benny and the victim was distressing. The question is.. What would you do if your son did what Benny did?...The realization and the twist at the end is scary. You find out what Benny is all about and what this kid is capable of even with his own flesh and blood and it's not what you think. This movie also shows the lengths parents may go to protect their child.. good or bad.
Also this movie seems to have had another meaning to it such as media having an impact on people's lives. Television, isolation and how violent images may effect someone. I think it was much more than that. The parents, desensitization, emotional emptyness, Benny himself and more. Also a point such as being aliented from the real world can possibly make one numb to it..
As far as violence or disturbing images I can't say I was overly shocked or suprised as to what happened in this movie because I already know Haneke's style.Read more ›
BENNY'S VIDEO is the story of a teenage boy whose sense of reality is so buffered by visual media that the act of killing someone ("to see what it's like, probably") functions to fill a void caused by seeing life only through lighted frames.
Benny, as played by Arno Frisch (who, five years later, would play one of the preppy young psychopaths of FUNNY GAMES), can't even be said clearly to be a disturbed young man. That's what is so unsettling about the movie: after bringing a young girl to his room and videotaping her, the video image of his crotch clearly shows that he had probably brought her there for the usual things unsupervised teenagers do. Events could just as easily have gone in that direction. But, tellingly, the girl is also so numbed by television that the killing is just as much her idea as it is Benny's. They both crave something real. Benny produces a butcher's gun, a sort of prod that fires .22 caliber bullets at close range; he boasts about stealing it and says that all the farmer had to say about its theft was that his family was lucky they didn't come a week later or they would have gone home without any ham. The prod is passed; dares and taunts go back and forth . . . and then something very real does happen.
I once saw Bob Keeshan ("Captain Kangaroo") interviewed by Johnny Carson, when he recounted an experience from his childhood in the 1930's.Read more ›
Outside of the jarring murder, the most frightening aspect of the film is Benny's parents' readiness to cover up their son's mistakes in order to wash their own hands clean of their lack of responsibility and neglect. As usual, Haneke points the finger at his audience, making bold statements about the environmental effects that shape emotionless killers. His condemnation of media violence and parental control cannot be viewed without considering the hypocritical nature of his claims when the film, itself, relies on shocking violence to prove its own point. This same duality would be extended in his later (and superior) effort FUNNY GAMES.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a shocking masterpiece. This film always catches me off guard. The coldness of Benny is unwavering. The reality of the performances is terrifying. Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by Robert Bruce
Benny's Video is the second film of Austrian director Haneke's "emotional glaciation trilogy" which begins with The Seventh Continent (see my review) and ends with 71 fragments of... Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by Zarathustra
Watching `Benny's Video' I almost find myself desensitized. It is a rare feat to get me to feel absolutely cold emotionally. Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by Andrew Ellington
Header says it: fails on two levels: not only as a horror flick, but as an intellectual take on why humans
have this urge/need/desire/propensity to murder for (apparently) no... Read more
Young Benny enjoys renting movies and amateur video recording alone, while his parents remain totally unaware of his voyeuritic interests. Read morePublished on February 10, 2008 by Carlos M.
Austrian director Michael Haneke is adept at puncturing your mind, challenging your power of judgement, and then lingering deep in your memory. Read morePublished on December 5, 2007 by C. Christopher Blackshere
If you liked Haneke's recently acclaimed CACHE, I suggest you go back and watch his earlier masterpiece, BENNY'S VIDEO, that came out way back in 1992 and explores many of the same... Read morePublished on January 15, 2007 by G. Mitchell