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Tag: Michael Haneke

Film Review: Happy End

Reviewed by Lee Hill

Earlier this year, Michael Haneke lost out on a possible third Palme D’Or for his latest film, Happy End. In the hothouse and often clubby critical atmosphere of the festival, some commentators dismissed the film as a “greatest hits” package. The big prize was won by Ruben Östlund for The Square, a younger director who shares Haneke’s preoccupations with modern anxiety, the shaky moral and intellectual foundations of Europe’s neo-liberal middle class and how rationality is often undermined by self-interest. In recent years, Haneke’s films – particularly The Piano Teacher, Hidden, The White Ribbon and Amour – have achieved the kind of critical attention and more than respectable international box office enjoyed by the likes of Fellini, Antonioni and Bergman in their sixties heyday. This success of these films is remarkable given their chillingly unrelenting examination of man’s battle between social piety and raw desire.

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