Michael Haneke’s Cannes Palme-d’Or-winning allegory about the rise of evil in pre-WWI Germany is absolutely stunning to look at - every frame. And there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling a little stunned by the end, as the credits start to silently roll. The Time Out Critics’ Film of the Year.
Surveying the sinister goings-on in a provincial northern German village in the months preceding the first world war, this mesmerising film focuses on the deeds and misdeeds of an extended cast of village characters, in which no-one is presumed innocent. A creeping sense of menace builds as both adults and children become suspects in the unravelling violence. Reminiscent of Edgar Reitz’s Heimat in its study of smalltown provincial paranoia and the concept of individual and collective guilt, not to mention in the camera’s affection for the village and surrounding countryside, this Haneke film is more subtle and less direct in its efforts to tease or provoke than films like Hidden or Funny Games. If you haven’t caught it yet, you must see it on the big screen, and also appreciate on The Lexi’s system the attention to sound (and silence) in the film – surely an Oscar contender in this category?
From Fri 17 May
Sundance Grand Jury Winner