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Michael Haneke is one of the most important directors working in Europe today, with films such as "Funny Games" (1997), "Code Unknown" (2000), and "Hidden" (2005) interrogating modern ethical dilemmas with forensic clarity and merciless insight. Haneke's films frequently implicate both the protagonists and the audience in the making of their misfortunes, yet even in the barren nihilism of "The Seventh Continent" (1989) and "Time of the Wolf" (2003) a dark strain of optimism emerges, releasing each from its terrible and inescapable guilt. It is this contingent and unlikely possibility that we find in Haneke's cinema: a utopian Europe. This collection celebrates, explicates, and sometimes challenges the worldview of Haneke's films. It examines the director's central themes and preoccupations& mdash;bourgeois alienation, modes and critiques of spectatorship, the role of the media& mdash;and analyzes otherwise marginalized aspects of his work, such as the function of performance and stardom, early Austrian television productions, the romanticism of "The Piano Teacher" (2001), and the 2007 shot-for-shot remake of "Funny Games."
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About the Author

Ben McCann is lecturer in French studies at the University of Adelaide. David Sorfa is senior lecturer in film studies at Liverpool John Moores University and managing editor of the journal, Film-Philosophy.

Reviews

Following a string of successful, and highly provocative films that have won significant critical acclaim and no little commercial success, Haneke has become one of the most debated auteurs of recent years. Sorfa and McCann have assembled an impressive array of scholars in this volume, which provides both a timely and accessible introduction to Haneke's work for those as yet unfamiliar with him, and makes a significant contribution to high-quality scholarship on the director. A valuable addition to the Directors' Cuts series, it is sure to become a well-thumbed tome on library bookshelves around the world.--Owen Evans, Edge Hill University Following a string of successful, and highly provocative films that have won significant critical acclaim and no little commercial success, Haneke has become one of the most debated auteurs of recent years. Sorfa and McCann have assembled an impressive array of scholars in this volume, which provides both a timely and accessible introduction to Haneke's work for those as yet unfamiliar with him, and makes a significant contribution to high-quality scholarship on the director. A valuable addition to the Directors' Cuts series, it is sure to become a well-thumbed tome on library bookshelves around the world.--Owen Evans, Edge Hill University

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