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71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)
"71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  26 October 1995 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,299 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 16 user | 28 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

71 scenes revolving around a recent immigrant, a couple that has just adopted a daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.

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Title: 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Cosmin Urdes ...
Marian Radu (Romanian Boy)
Lukas Miko ...
Max
Otto Grünmandl ...
Tomek
Anne Bennent ...
Inge Brunner
Udo Samel ...
Paul Brunner
Branko Samarovski ...
Hans
Claudia Martini ...
Maria
Georg Friedrich ...
Bernie
Alexander Pschill ...
Hanno
Klaus Händl ...
Gerhard
Corina Eder ...
Anni
Dorothee Hartinger ...
Kristina
Patricia Hirschbichler ...
Sabine Tomek
Barbara Nothegger ...
Fürsorgerin
Lucia Steindl ...
Petra
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Storyline

71 scenes revolving around a recent immigrant, a couple that has just adopted a daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.

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Drama

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Release Date:

26 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third part of Michael Haneke's "Glaciation Trilogy" also including The Seventh Continent (1989) and Benny's Video (1992). See more »

Connections

Follows The Seventh Continent (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls: Impactful, Subtle, and the Perfect Finale

After watching Der Siebente Kontinent and Benny's Video in rather rapid succession, it took me an inexplicably long time to get around to this, the third in Michael Haneke's Glaciation Trilogy, the director's exploration of isolation and alienation in modern society.

Following the unrelated stories of an array of everyday Austrians, 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls explores the weeks immediately before a bank shooting that leaves four, including the gunman, dead.

A written introduction tells us the eventual outcome of the film's events, leading us immediately to conclude that the climactic crescendo to which we will build is not so much the film's subject as a means by which to explain it. What follows is a ninety minute procession of apparently unrelated stories unfolding before us, detailing the lives of everyday people. From a lonely old man to a couple fostering an aloof child, a border hopping street urchin to an austere and religious security guard and his wife, the film covers many lives and relationships. The transitions between these are marked by a black screen, with occasional footage of news stories interjected throughout. These show us the chaos and anarchy of the characters' world, bitesize glimpses into everyday horrors. Perhaps the only discernible thing connecting them is the mire of insanity which occupies their television screens, something best remembered for later. Each miniature story is compelling and interesting, a fine achievement given the limited screen time each gets with such an array of characters to be explored. Some, of course, engender more interest than others, the old man and student characters two which I found myself particularly drawn to. Haneke, unsurprisingly, constructs long and unconventional shots, beautiful in their individuality. An early morning ritual scene recalls Der Siebente Kontinent, the camera's focus on actions rather than faces an important technique in establishing the life of this particular family. A long and winding scene featuring the elderly man on the phone to his daughter is, though entirely banal and mundane, one of the film's strongest moments, its ability to so simply yet comprehensively detail a character quite wonderful. Though one might argue that the film appears to go in no clear direction for most of its running time, this is a clear part of its slowly unfolding eventual plan. It is only in the last ten minutes of the film that we see anything more than a fly-on-the-wall documentary of regular lives and are introduced to the film's true message: one that is impactful, subtle, and the perfect finale for a trilogy that delightfully explores its chosen theme.

Creating portraits of a wide number of characters, each more intimate than many films' main characters, 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls is a very fine final act in a very fine trilogy. Just as subtle, removed, and non-judgmental as its predecessors, this is a comprehensive and thought-provoking social commentary which will doubtlessly benefit from multiple viewings, perhaps even more so than its cinematic siblings.


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