Sunday, February 22, 2009

Funny Games

Shawn and I saw the original at Film Forum back in the fall of '97. In fact, this was definitely one of the first films I saw there. I remember that Shawn didn't particularly care for it. I liked it a lot more than she did. It fit in so nicely with other movies from that era like Man Bites Dog in a "Let's make a completely sadistic movie but then have characters address how sadistic it is thus making you,the audience, feel guilty for enjoying the violence."

As a kid, I was terrified of the idea of a home invasion. So this film really resonated with me upon first viewing. I was completely caught up in the suspense of the fate of the family held hostage. I was riveted even if I thought Haneke's filmmaking kind of reeked of arrogant scolding.

I really like Haneke's movies. Even his slighter films lead to interesting discussions. His last film, Cache, was extremely divisive amongst my friends who saw it. I like movies that lead to such strong reactions.

This remake more than held my attention but it didn't blow me away or anything. I'm sure that if I hadn't seen the original, I would have been more invested in where the story was heading. Instead, I just enjoyed the sadistic silliness. Usually Michael Pitt irks me but he's perfect in this film. Such well behaved murderous preppies! This movie makes me want to rewatch Hitchcock's Rope as well as Ozon's See the Sea. Rope for obvious reasons - preppies killing for the sake of it in an existential reverie kind of way. See the Sea for the upper class getting terrorized at their vacation homes by psychotics.

Directed by Michael Haneke
2008
Cinemax

1 comment:

shawn said...

I don't remember seeing that movie at all. I considered watching it recently, but figured I wouldn't enjoy it. Maybe somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I am still traumatized.