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Discuss the work of Michael Haneke in relation to realism - Essay Example

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Discuss the work of Michael Haneke in relation to realism

Haneke is a well-read European intellectual. He has his roots in the theatre and is also proficient in classical music. His musical talent shows in his films too. He was born in 1942 and his career is like an anomaly. He worked in German and Austrian television for 20 years. Then he made his first feature film The Seventh Continent. Since then he has made nine distinctive theatrical films.
Michael Haneke uses the technique of staged realism instead of depicting reality in an attempt for developing staged constellations. This magical technique also includes the viewer. His films have a model structure. The purpose of the structure it is to address the viewer as a white Western subject, a person who is guilty in Hanekes opinion (Niessen, 2009). His technique of addressing the viewers is not on an individual basis, he talks about the whole Western society. The film and technique confronts;
Michael Haneke’s filming technique usually include characters with abstract white bourgeois names and features. The protagonists are usually portrayed as morally corrupt and self-alienated. Peter Brunette explains this technique in his book Michael Haneke (2010). The alienation from self and others which the modern society is routinely producing and the loss of humanity in a collective basis, the grinding attenuation of human emotion, and the loss of human communication with the technological advancement, all have distorted the relationship between reality and its representation.
The reinforcement of this stereotypical image is to make the viewers uncomfortable because they would consider themselves being portrayed in the movie. This is achieved by leaving the matrix open by the film’s abstractions (Niessen, 2009). The small problems that individuals face in his movies are usually representations of larger issues of the Western culture.
Hence, the characters become the symbol of Western social issues. Hanekes movies attract wider audiences. Haneke ...Show more


Mimicking the reality is not enough, an artwork has to reproduce it. It means returning the facts borrowed from reality and adding qualitative measure of artifice. During this process realism…
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