“I think that any director–any author, in fact–is more interested in the existential questions; the political component is secondary,” explains Austrian director Michael Haneke in this edition of Reverse Shot Direct Address. “Whether you’re making a film or writing a novel, you’re dealing less with the political and much more with the personal questions, the personal dramas. The political aspects are supplementary, an additional value that you hope rises from the personal.”
This statement certainly applies to Haneke’s latest film, “The White Ribbon,” which received the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and is currently in U.S. theaters. The film chronicles a series of menacing events plaguing a German village on the cusp of WWI which have a particular effect on the town’s children, while exploring the link between a rigid moral structure and the rise of fascism.
Haneke discusses the film, his working philosophy, and the idea of “ethical filmmaking” in the video featured below.
The flipside of Reverse Shot’s ongoing Talkies Series, Direct Address pieces are simple and unadorned in form, featuring in-depth Q&As in which interview subjects directly address the camera in close-up.
Reverse Shot Direct Address: Michael Haneke
Produced by Eric Hynes, Jeff Reichert, Damon Smith
Interview by Damon Smith
Camerawork by Ana Maria Hermida
Sound by Michael Garofalo
Edited by Eric Hynes, Jeff Reichert, Damon Smith