ONTD

8:15 pm - 11/16/2012

Michael Haneke drags "Schindler's List", "Downfall"



As part of The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtable series, THR's executive editor Stephen Galloway sat down at The Residences at the W Hollywood with a panel of writers that included Michael Haneke and John Krasinski in a conversation that featured a discussion of the fine line between humanizing and sympathizing with certain historical figures.

THR: OK, if you were going to show Osama bin Laden, to what extent do you humanize a guy like that? There was a very good German film, Downfall, about the last days of Hitler, and it was an extraordinary human portrait. The danger is whitewashing what he's done.

Michael Haneke: I have to say that I argued with Downfall writer-producer Bernd Eichinger about the film. I found it both repulsive and dumb. When you're dealing with a figure of such a deep historical context, what are you doing with him? You're creating melodrama. You're trying to move your spectators, but what emotions are you calling on? Your responsibility entails enabling your audience to remain independent and free of manipulation. The question is, how seriously do I take my viewer and to what extent do I provide him with the opportunity of creating his own opinion? Am I trying to force my opinion on the spectator?

THR: Would you make a film about Hitler?

Haneke: No. It's impossible for me, turning this into entertainment. That's why I have problems with Steven Spielberg's film about the concentration camps [Schindler's List]. The mere idea of trying to create suspense out of the question of whether the showerhead gas is going to come is unspeakable. For me, the only film about the Holocaust that is responsible is Alain Resnais' Night and Fog. Resnais asks the spectator: What do you think about this? What does this mean to you?

Chris Terrio: I'm very interested in what Michael said about the suspense of the shower in Schindler's List because in a sense it's the same in Argo. I'm not sure about the ethical implications of taking real people's lives and trying to make it a nail-biter.

.





.

The Hollywood Reporter roundtables typically draw diverse groups of talented people. But the six men who gathered Oct. 2 at The Residences at the W Hollywood might be among the most eclectic bunch we've ever assembled. Journalist and Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal, 39, chronicles the manhunt for Osama bin Laden in his still-unfinished Zero Dark Thirty, while comedy kingpin Judd Apatow, 44, takes funny aim at his own family life in This Is 40. German auteur Michael Haneke, 70, brought along a translator to help him discuss his Palme d'Or-winning Amour with sitcom star-turned-scribe John Krasinski, 33, who wrote the anti-fracking drama Promised Land with Matt Damon. And veteran writer David Magee, 50, shared stories about his fantasy spectacle Life of Pi with Chris Terrio, 35, whose Argo marks his first feature screenwriting credit.

You can also watch the (NSFW) scene mentioned from "Schindler's List", followed by "Night and Fog", in full, below:

.



..

THR, The PLaylist
zigazazu 16th-Nov-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Michael Haneke is life and I could never go against anything this man says or does. He's pure perfection.
whiskybars 16th-Nov-2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
m
t
e
_xxtom 16th-Nov-2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
IA
backstabb1ng 16th-Nov-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
bless this comment and your icon
maryhurt 16th-Nov-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
srsly. 97's funny games is one of the most amazing things I've seen in my life. and not just in films. .
annablume80 16th-Nov-2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch it. I've seen some of Haneke's other films and liked them, but I'm sort of scared of watching "Funny Games" (even though it stars three of my favourite German actors, who sadly have all died since making the film).
maryhurt 17th-Nov-2012 12:22 am (UTC)
don't be. and don't let the opening song scare you off. all the ~games are psychological, there's absolutely no gore.

do eeeeet. you won't regret it :)
malorn 17th-Nov-2012 12:29 am (UTC)
It's a difficult movie to watch for sure. Unsettling, and I couldn't stop thinking about it days and weeks later.
mingemonster 17th-Nov-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
I've nver been able to bring myself to watch it. I adored the US version but idk if I'm up for sitting through a movie like that again
clairebeauchamp 16th-Nov-2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
true
zeerine 16th-Nov-2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
IA
This page was loaded Sep 22nd 2014, 6:24 am GMT.