Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties? Written by
First i've got to say that, to me, Isabelle Huppert is one of the best french actress you can find nowadays. Benoît Magimel also shows his talent like he's never done it before. Their acting here is indeed astounding. But this movie is nothing but sickening. I am sorry i can't be objective, as i hate everything Haneke shot so far. I especially can't stand the mute credits (ridiculous signature he's satisfied with) and the french dubbing of the austrian actors. Looks like a bad TV series... I don't like the way he gets the audience trapped either. Very simply, very "cowardly" i would say. Only with sex. Of course that's the main topic of the movie, but i guess he's definitely the kind of director who cannot show everything without getting pathetic. He pitifully make attempts to describe Erika's sickness with "easy scenes". Yes i think scenes like when she's in the sexshop or when she lets herself be raped (cause i think she does) are "easy scenes". I expected those from the beginning. And there is no need to precise i did not read the book though. There no surprise at all during all the film. The worst about it it that it didn't make me at all want to read that book. It seems Haneke only kept the pervert aspect of it, and, though i don't know why, i'm sure there's more involved in it. That's what i meant by "sickening movie". I really don't mind sex on screen (i'd even say i kind of like it) when the director is talented and more importantly, remains humble... Problem is, Haneke is the most arrogant and pretentious movie-maker i can think of...
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