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Talking Movies

Documentary probes the enigma of Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke is reluctant to interpret his own films – but now a documentary shines a light on the director and his works, reports Tom Brook.

In recent years Haneke’s bleak and often disturbing films have won mainstream praise and plaudits.  The director won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for The White Ribbon in 2009 before collecting that award again in 2012 and carrying off the Oscar for best foreign picture the following year.

Yves Montmayeur, whose documentary Michael H Profession: Director has been doing the rounds of the film festivals, has been following Michael Haneke for twenty years, filming behind the scenes on most of his movies. The film shows the austere director’s surprisingly playful style on set.

Haneke does talk on camera in this documentary but he is reluctant to offer interpretations of his films: he wants his audience to think for themselves. And so despite the insight the film into his creative process, he remains a remote, unknowable figure.

Tom Brook speaks to Yves Montmayeur and film critics to find out more about a towering figure in European cinema.

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