Nov. 23-25, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

Violent World & Unknown Code: A Tribute to Michael Haneke In-Person

Presented in association with the Consulate General of Austria in Los Angeles, the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, and the Austrian Film Commission

"The problem is not how do I show violence, but how do I show the viewer his own position in relation to violence and its portrayal?" -- Michael Haneke

Series compiled by Gwen Deglise.

Special Thanks: Michael Haneke; Martin Schweighofer / AUSTRIAN FILM COMMISSION; Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Bita Rasoulian-Mahmoudi / CONSULATE GENERAL OF AUSTRIA; Veit Heiduschka / WEGA FILM; Andrew Chang / ATTITUDE FILMS; Bruce Pavlov / LEISURE TIME; Jay Eareckson / CINEMA PARALLEL.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)







All guests are subject to their availability.

This weekend tribute is the first major Los Angeles retrospective of the films of one of modern cinema’s most accomplished moralists, Austrian independent director Michael Haneke. The series will feature the LA Premiere of his latest film THE PIANO TEACHER and brand-new prints of all of his other films.

Critically acclaimed in Europe but still to be discovered to the United States, Haneke took home the Grand Prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for THE PIANO TEACHER, a compelling tale of sexual repression that also won the film's stars, Benoit Magimel and Isabelle Huppert, the Best Actor and Actress Awards at the Festival. THE PIANO TEACHER is Austria’s official entry to the upcoming Academy Awards. CODE UNKNOWN: INCOMPLETE TALES OF SEVEN JOURNEYS starring Juliette Binoche will also have its LA Premiere during the series. Haneke has developed a reputation for exploring violence and people's responses to it. His work forms a portrait gallery of warped minds in a warped society -- infinitely more terrifying than your typical horror film!

Born in Munich in 1942, son of Austrian actress Beatrix von Degenschild and director Fritz Haneke, Michael Haneke earned master degrees in both philosophy and psychology and had an acclaimed TV & theatre career before he began making films at the age of 47. His firs, THE SEVENTH CONTINENT (1989) is part of a trilogy with BENNY'S VIDEO (1992) and 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE (1994), that portray what Haneke has called "my country's emotional glaciation." Haneke reveals the unbearable icy distance between people, the coldness of society and the violence in modern culture. His narratives are often fragmented and the viewer’s role problematic, even perverse, as in the nightmarish FUNNY GAMES, mesmerizing the audience into a voyeuristic trance. has created a disturbing body of work showcasing the day-to-day horror of urban alienation.

We’re very happy to welcome Michael Haneke in-person to the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian for the first major Los Angeles retrospective of his work, featuring brand-new prints of all his features!


Friday, November 23, 2001 - 7:00 PM

LA PREMIERE of the Grand Prix Winner for Best Actor and Actress, Cannes Film Festival 2001!

THE PIANO TEACHER (DIE KLAVIERSPIELERIN), 2001, Wega Film, 129 min. The Marquis de Sade meets Schubert in this fascinating tale of sexual repression, masochistic self-mutilation and morbid voyeurism! Erika Kohut (the brilliant Isabelle Huppert), esteemed professor at the Vienna Conservatory, escapes her monstrous mother’s (Annie Girardot) domination with visits to porn cinemas and peepshows -- until her student Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel) slowly dismantles her emotional fortress. A very disturbing movie with classical music galore. Discussion following with director Michael Haneke.

Friday, November 23, 2001 - 10:00 PM

THE SEVENTH CONTINENT, 1989, Cinema Parallel, 90 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. The first film in a trilogy that examines the role of violence and the media, THE SEVENTH CONTINENT introduces the episodic narrative structure later employed in CODE UNKNOWN. Engineer George (Dieter Berner) and Anna, his optician wife (Brigit Doll), dream of a better world and decide to break with their tedious everyday life in the most extreme way. The climactic last half hour ranks among the most truly terrifying in modern cinema. "The visual style is its state of mind… THE SEVENTH CONTINENT at first seems merely obsessive, then becomes truly mad." -- Vincent Canby. The New York Times


Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 5:00 PM

FUNNY GAMES, 1997, Attitude Films, 108 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. The handsome Paul (Arno Frisch, from BENNY’S VIDEO) and the overweight Peter (Frank Gierung) force themselves into the happy life of Anne (Suanne Lothar), her husband Georg (Ulrich Mühe) and their young son as they unpack for another idyllic summer at their lakeside paradise. A spinechilling, hyperrealistic portrait of an Austrian bourgeois family imprisoned by a pair of sadistic killers, FUNNY GAMES seldom shows any act of violence but grips our emotions with a brilliant, almost unbearable style. "A really sophisticated act of cinematic sadism" Stephen Holden, New York Times. Discussion following with director Michael Haneke.


Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 7:30 PM


CODE UNKNOWN: INCOMPLETE TALES OF SEVEN JOURNEYS, 2000, Leisure Time Features, 118 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. Anne (Juliette Binoche), an actress about to break into movies crosses paths with Maria (Luminita Gheorghiu), a young Romanian women begging in the streets, Amadou, a music teacher for the deaf and his taxi-driver father, in a multicultural Paris. If you only know Binoche from her work in BLUE and THE ENGLISH PATIENT, you have to see her stunning, deglamorized performance in CODE UNKNOWN. Composed of many long tracking shots, CODE UNKNOWN has an overwhelmingly powerful sense of immediacy and emerges as one of Haneke’s best fragmented narratives. "Haneke gives us the most intellectually stimulating and emotionally provocative piece of European cinema of recent times. " -- Richard Falcon, Sight and Sound. Leisure Time Features will be releasing CODE UNKNOWN in Los Angeles in 2002.

71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE, 1994, Wega Film, 96 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. Starting with the TV newscasts of a random shooting incident in a bank on Christmas Eve, 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE tracks a group of strangers whose lives lead to the climactic violence. A man endlessly playing Ping-Pong, a homeless kid stealing a comic book, a lonely old man refusing to get off the phone with his granddaughter, along with TV newscasts, form an astonishing whole. The last film of Haneke’s intoxicatingly dark trilogy that includes THE SEVENTH CONTINENT and BENNY’S VIDEO. Discussion in between films with director Michael Haneke.


Sunday, November 25 – 5:00 PM

BENNY’S VIDEO, 1992, Wega Film, 105 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. Fourteen year old Benny (Arno Frisch), his parents busy working, is left much to himself watching violent movies. Obsessed with recording mundane street life with his video camera, Benny ends up videotaping himself murdering a girlfriend. The quiet teen runs the tape for his stunned parents who choose to conceal his crime. The second film of Haneke’s trilogy, BENNY’S VIDEO suggests the anesthetizing properties of too much violent imagery with an unforeseen climax as creepy as it may be hopeful. With Ulrich Mühe. Discussion following with director Michael Haneke.

Sunday, November 25 – 7:30 PM


"THE CASTLE" ("DAS SCHLOSS"), 1997, Wega Film, 123 min. Dir. Michael Haneke. Instructed to work in a remote village as a surveyor, "K" (Ulrich Mühe) arrives to discover he is not expected, even though two useless assistants have been assigned to help him. Faithfully and chillingly adapted from Kafta’s unfinished novel, THE CASTLE takes place almost entirely in a landscape of nightmarish snowy nights, and is one of the best examples of European made-for-TV movies. "I didn’t want to make a conventionally absurdist adaptation. Rather, I wanted to underline the realistic elements of this grotesque parable." -- Michael Haneke.