THE CASTLE - Michael Haneke s film of Franz Kafka s The Castle pairs one of the most influential voices in 20th century literature with one of the most visionary filmmakers of the new millennium. A film as complex, vivid, and intriguing (New York Times) as Orson Welles The Trial, The Castle is both an ingenious, perversely faithful interpretation of the master of alienation s novel. A land surveyor identified simply as K is summoned to a remote mountain village by the local government, known as (and housed in) the castle. Unable to convince underlings of the legitimacy of his position, he tries to take his case to castle officials. THE PIANO TEACHER - Winner of three major awards at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, the film features a tour-de-force performance by Isabelle Huppert as Erika Kohut, a sexually repressed music professor who becomes obsessed with one of her young students (Benoit Magimel). One of the most shocking portaits of sadomasochism in film history. FUNNY GAMES - The summer home of a vacationing couple and their son is infiltrated by a seemingly urbane pair of men who proceed to hold the family hostage and initiate a series of violent and diabolically sadistic games. In his characteristic style, director Haneke leaves most of the bloodshed to the viewer s unbounded imagination, making this film a more harrowing experience than any splatter film. CODE UNKNOWN - On a bustling Paris street corner, four separate lives intersect, setting in motion a stunning film by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher, Funny Games). Interweaving the stories of an actress (Juliette Binoche), her journalist boyfriend and an illegal immigrant, the film crafts a compelling portrait of life in a fractured, lonely world. BENNY S VIDEO - The bored 14 year old son of an affluent Viennese family escapes from his mundane life into the titillating solitude of his video-equipped bedroom, where he re-lives a number of shockingly violent acts on playback. Without lapsing into didacticism or waiving his own complicity, Haneke makes one of the cinema s most powerful investigations into the nature of our mediated world and the seemingly insatiable human appetite for bloody spectacle. THE SEVENTH CONTINENT - With no explanation, young Eva Schober pretends to lose her eyesight and soon after, her blasé middle class Austrian family begins to unravel. In Haneke s feature film debut, all of the acclaimed director s signature elements are already visible: an unflinching eye towards modern alienation in the mode of Bresson and Antonioni; a challenging, elliptical narrative style; and an unsettlingly anti-psychological approach into the darkest hallways of human behavior. 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE - Following a savage Christmas Eve killing spree by a university student, a series of disjointed vignettes leading up to the massacre unfold like a puzzle one which leaves many questions unanswered even when completed.
Haneke is perhaps the most important European filmmaker currently active. --Robin Wood, ART FORUM