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Benny's Video (1992)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 11 February 1993 (Norway)
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.

Director:

Michael Haneke

Writer:

Michael Haneke
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arno Frisch ... Benny
Angela Winkler ... Mutter
Ulrich Mühe ... Vater
Ingrid Stassner Ingrid Stassner ... Mädchen
Stephanie Brehme Stephanie Brehme ... Evi
Stefan Polasek Stefan Polasek ... Ricci
Christian Pundy Christian Pundy
Max Berner Max Berner
Hanspeter Müller Hanspeter Müller
Shelley Kästner Shelley Kästner
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Austria | Switzerland

Language:

German | English | Arabic | French

Release Date:

11 February 1993 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Bennys video See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Arno Frisch, best known for his performance in Michael Haneke's Funny Games (1997). See more »

Goofs

When Benny leaves the phone booth in Egypt, the cameraman is visible in multiple window reflections. See more »

Quotes

[to Benny]
Vater: You mustn't lie. Is that clear? You can't afford to.
See more »

Connections

Features Spitting Image (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fundamentally flawed, disturbing film.
9 August 2012 | by HawkensianSee all my reviews

'Benny's Video' is a genuinely unsettling film whose premise concerns a scene that is particularly disturbing and visceral. The film concentrates on Benny, a seemingly sociopathic teenager, and his regimented, staid parents known simply as 'Mother' and 'Father'. Benny lives a materially charmed life, having an array of electronics bought for him by his affluent middle class parents. This technology allows him to indulge in his interest, or rather obsession, with videos, both watching and recording them.

The film's message is a relevant one, it suggests that the media has a detrimental, and in this case fatal, desensitising effect. However, it suggests this in a rather hyperbolic fashion. The film loses its credibility through how explicitly and rather insularly it conveys its message. In my opinion, it's clear that Benny is a warped individual with an innate lack of remorse, no film or news report can rid someone of their senses to the point of sociopathy. Benny is a contemptible person, and he's purposely constructed that way, but he isn't someone who's the product of desensitisation; his cold, empathy devoid persona is that of a genealogically tarnished mind.

Narratively speaking, the film's first hour or so engrosses you with its unpleasantness and realism. The film places the viewer in a 'what if?' situation that's somewhat reminiscent of films such as 'Deliverance', but it isn't as resonant owing to the abhorrence of the film's events, the psychopathy of Benny and the steely reserve of his parents. During the last 40 minutes of the film, there is something of a pacing problem, I felt the film lost the edge and tension it had created; this isn't a particularly pressing issue, but the film certainly felt longer than 105 minutes.

I found 'Benny's Video' to be a fundamentally flawed film; it would've worked if it had a more balanced, rational message at its core. Some lobbyists, in the haze of their ignorance and typically political agendas, would vehemently agree with this film. I am of the opinion that there is a substantial difference between watching something and doing something. Violent media can, at the very most, be a mere substitutional factor amongst many factors that could somewhat exacerbate the pace of an unhinged, unwell mind.

www.hawkensian.com


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