14 March 2013 5:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Anyone who admires the formidable director Michael Haneke should see Yves Montmayeur's bracing documentary portrait

Yves Montmayeur's documentary portrait of Michael Haneke, made originally for television, is a must-see for anyone who admires this director. The opening sequence pretty much justifies the admission price on its own: Haneke giving Jean-Louis Trintignant a "walk-through" rehearsal for the chilling dream sequence in his latest film, Amour. (Despite the title, Haneke is not asked for his opinion on Antonioni's 1975 film The Passenger, originally entitled Professione: Reporter, though it is surely an influence.) Montmayeur attempts to question Haneke closely about his work, but the director is adamant in his refusal to interpret, much less defend his movies, though he will talk in general terms about how they challenge our consumption of violence, or our attitude to suffering or injustice. The documentary incidentally shows that Haneke's chucklingly jolly side with interviewers is a defence mechanism. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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