Thursday, March 14, 2013

That's Amour, eh?

Someone else has probably already beaten me to that title, but I thought of it now, so I'm using it just the same to show off how amazingly clever this post is going to be.

If Amour is bullshit, well, at least it's providing plenty of fertilizer for film club posts.

Adrienne wrote, "I don’t think Haneke is judging these two"

Haneke absolutely is judging these two.

Your sentence bugs me because it's guilty (see how I just judged you!) of associating judgment entirely with its negative connotation. Judgment, though, is a great thing. Judgment is something necessary to wisdom. And it's very possible to judge something, even "harshly," and come to the judgment that the something you have been evaluating is quite wonderful. For instance, I judge your "Amour is bullshit" post to be overall quite good even as I quibble with one sentence.

So, back to Haneke. He puts these two characters through a terrible trial. This is presented matter-of-factly. We see characters acting out this struggle in the way that they do and occasionally we get alternate perspectives (from the former student, from the daughter) that challenge the primary perspective. We are obviously drawn into the suffering. Haneke succeeds wonderfully at communicating the weight of suffering.

At the end of the trial, the husband puts a pillow over his wife's face and kills her. I view this as a moral failure (on the character's part; Haneke's failure comes later), though maybe an understandable one. Haneke views it as a beautiful release of tragic necessity. If Haneke had ended the film at the close of the pillow scene (or with the husband's death), then I would have agreed with you that Haneke has left the audience to judge. He is successful at this in other films. Here, he gets sentimental.

Haneke does not leave judgment (of the characters) in the audience's hands, but guides them by the hand through HIS judgment by filling out the ending with bird-brained symbolism and a straight portrayal of the murder/death as a freeing release for both husband and wife, both reconciled in happiness and wholeness in death, Haneke's cinematic heaven.

The pillow scene is what it is. It is the final 5-10 minutes or so after the pillow that really irk me.

Finally, no, your blog post counts as one post and not two. Next time, you'll have to split it up into Parts 1 and 2.

Jeffrey, where you at? Yo' boy Mikey Hankey needs your help.

Chris, I've run out of pillow jokes. Please, help.

Okay, I do have one more.

Me: Knock, Knock.
Brandon: Who's there?
Me: Pillow.
Brandon: Pillow who?
Me: Michael Haneke's Pillow all over your face.
Brandon: Hahahahaha
Me: [applying pillow to Brandon's face]
Brandon: Hahahammammfmmfmfmffff........
Me: Academy award, please.
Brandon: [silence]

That's the best I could come up with. See? I'm losing touch with what's funny with the kiddos. Maybe for my next post, I'll compose a song about seeing Jason's and Ben's boobs.

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