“People don’t like to be confronted with reality. They like to be confronted with a consumable reality. Even the most brutal violence is shown in a way that you can consume it so that you are thrilled, not touched” – Michael Haneke on Funny Games.
Funny Games possibly has no right being one of my favourite movies of all time. Funny Games possibly has no right being one of anyone’s favourite movies of all time. Its very conception, its very purpose for existing, is to give its audience exactly what they don’t want. It’s something of an anti-film – it takes the ‘rules’ of moviemaking and unflinchingly subverts them until their entrails are revealed to be rotten and blackened, standing as the foremost exemplar of post-structuralism in the history of cinema. Gone are the conventions of genre, of structure, of character and of narrative. The very notion that films are first and foremost meant to be forms of entertainment is completely upturned. Funny Games is first and foremost a thesis; then it’s a piece of art; and, in a very distant third place, a piece of entertainment. Continue reading