Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Michael H – Profession: Director (2013)
Good news, I've woken up a bit after my disastrous viewing of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue last night, but I have an admission... I have only seen two Haneke films; Funny Games and Caché. This is something I know I need to remedy. Why then did I decide to watch a documentary of a director I know nothing about? Who knows. As Michael Haneke himself might say - make your own minds up.
The documentary opens with Michael Haneke seemingly staring in a Michael Haneke film which looks like it's filmed on the set of his film, Amour. Very meta. Through interviews, illustrated with excerpts from his films, we learn that Haneke is the very antitheses of Spielberg in that he doesn't manipulate, he just documents, displays situations. There is no director's chair; he directs from the front and is a hard taskmaster. Haneke doesn't like to give his films meaning, that is up to the audience. Haneke documents and all else depends on the observer. We learn why he makes films. We learn how he makes films. We do not learn about him. That would be boring and not relevant.
A documentary is, I guess, the perfect form to portray a director who sees his job as a documenter, although any conclusions drawn are for us to decide upon. Haneke would never try to make us understand him as a director.
At times it seems like a high quality DVD extra but an extremely interesting extra none the less.
A highlight: a little girl playing air guitar to Haneke, whilst da-da-da'ing Smoke on the Water :)
Original letterboxd review