Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Europe's Obsession with Israel

Election day in Israel is a day off for most people. We took advantage of it to see Michael Haneke's magnificant new film, Amour. It's easily one of the best films I've ever seen, though - a word of caution - it's not the kind of film you watch with popcorn.

I'm blogging about it for a profound marginal reason. The entire film takes place in one apartment in Paris; indeed, most of the film is about two people, with one significant guest actor and 4-5 others who each get less than 60 seconds. The outside world is occasionally glimpsed through the windows, but even then, there are light curtains across them. The theme of the story and its power draw from the relentless narrowness of the story, from which there's no way out.

Except for one brief scene, in which George is reading the newspaper to Anne: an item about a visit by Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington.

Of all the story of humanity, the single time the outside world penetrates it's about Israel. The audience in the theater all burst into laughter, which is probably not the effect Haneke had in mind. I don't think it's funny, however. Nor do I think it's really and truly merely a coincidence.

1 comment:

Silke said...

Haneke learned his trade making TV-dramas for a German public TV-Station (SWR). Just saying ;-)

• Erst mit 46 drehte er seinen ersten Kinofilm, bis dahin machte er Fernsehspiele für den Südwestfunk. („Da lernt man das Handwerk.“)


and when I consider myself I am obliged to ask the question who is the fixator and who the fixated?

BTW I watched Haneke's White Ribbon for about a quarter of an hour and then decided I'd rather not. I didn't like the Nouvelle Vague back then and it seems my taste hasn't changed.