Funny Games
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The idea is to engage (or rather manipulate) the audience, essentially changing them from mere observers to bystanders, and eventually accomplices to a crime.

In the beginning, we are led to believe that Paul and Peter are simply two psychopaths who take pleasure in torturing an innocent family. They claim that they have a traumatized childhood which makes them do it, but this is revealed to be false motive. As soon as Paul starts to break the fourth wall (i.e. directly speaks to the camera), it becomes clear that the reason for torturing the family is for the benefit of the viewer: he explicitly asks for the audience's thoughts about who will survive, and their opinion on how to proceed. And when asked why they just don't kill the victims, Paul answers that it is because the movie isn't yet at feature length. In one of the final moments, when there seems to be a glimmer of hope for the victims, Paul 'rewinds' the movie, showing that there will only be a bad outcome for the victims.

It is thus revealed that the killers have no personal motive at all; all the physical and emotional torture is not in service of the plot or characterization, but purely there to confront the audience with violence for the sake of violence. One could therefore argue that director Michael Haneke is the actual tormentor, and the audience the victim. In interviews, Haneke has stated that he wanted to provoke viewers by making them uncomfortable with violence as a source of entertainment. Haneke feels very strongly about movies that are merely for entertainment, especially when they employ a sensational use of violence. In Funny Games, the audience cannot hide behind the fact that the violence is necessary for the plot, or that it is justified because the bad guys get punished in the end. He specifically mentioned the hypocrisy of viewers who comment negatively on violence only after watching a movie, reasoning that if they really have so much problems with it, they should stop watching instead of complaining afterwards. So what he tried to do is making the viewer uncomfortably aware that violence is not inherently funny

r73731


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