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  1. #1
    Senior Member jackandthebeast's Avatar
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    Default Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon"?

    So I just saw the trailer for Michael Haneke's new film, "The White Ribbon," and was wondering if anyone has seen it and how it compares to "La Pianiste and the 2008 version of "Funny Games," both of which are favorites of mine. I've also seen "Cache," but although the ending was intentional, I didn't find the lack of closure satisfying.
    No details please, but if you've seen "The White Ribbon," what was the overall vibe of the movie, and did you find it compelling?

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    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    I liked it and recommend it in general - though White Ribbon reflects the same approach to resolution that Cache did. I thought it was well directed and the decision to shoot it in black and white was the right one IMO: it really added to the stark sense of realism and the oppressive atmosphere that Haneke created. And if you liked Cache's pace, use of mysterious catalysts and exploration of privilege (and its psychological and social effects), then you'll probably like White Ribbon. However, while I personally appreciate Haneke's desire to leave the audience without resolution/certainty, I think he should have committed to that and left a lot of the dialogue/scenes that seemed gratuitously expositional out. On the other hand, these scenes might make it more satisfying to you as a viewer. I hope that helps, without being too specific.
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    Senior Member jackandthebeast's Avatar
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    I guess I should be more specific. I'm interested in the cohesiveness in the paradigm of a film. I like movies where everything in the film contributes to an overall presentation of a perspective, usually though the aesthetic and the emotional progression of the interaction between the characters. I loved "Cache" up until the end, but because I didn't find out the motivations of the character actually threatening the protagonists or his relationship to them (because he was never revealed), there was no sense of a unified perspective, so no ultimate satisfaction from the film, even if the back story with the other character was fairly fascinating.
    So if the lack of uncertainty in "The White Ribbon" doesn't inhibit the presentation of a perspective, I shouldn't mind it.
    I guess that was really what I was asking.
    Thanks for responding, by the way. I guess Haneke is a little more obscure than I thought he was.

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    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackandthebeast View Post
    I guess I should be more specific. I'm interested in the cohesiveness in the paradigm of a film. I like movies where everything in the film contributes to an overall presentation of a perspective, usually though the aesthetic and the emotional progression of the interaction between the characters. I loved "Cache" up until the end, but because I didn't find out the motivations of the character actually threatening the protagonists or his relationship to them (because he was never revealed), there was no sense of a unified perspective, so no ultimate satisfaction from the film, even if the back story with the other character was fairly fascinating.
    Then you will probably be disappointed because, while The White Ribbon certainly points you in the direction of the guilty party/ies, it never makes it explicitly clear. There is no big reveal about who is behind the catalysts. Nor does it tell you how or if anything resolves (including a crucial subplot), except to imply (at the beginning of the narration) that it has historical significance (which will be somewhat obvious, but is still just implied).

    It does have the aesthetic and emotional progression that Cache did, but might disappoint you in the same ways too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackandthebeast View Post
    So if the lack of uncertainty in "The White Ribbon" doesn't inhibit the presentation of a perspective, I shouldn't mind it.
    Haneke doesn't like to give his audience 'satisfaction' - so his films won't have the type of plot resolution that we tend to associate with cohesion. But I would say that the film has a particular message/perspective about oppressive social structures/institutions, violence/terror and history even if the narrative itself isn't quite complete.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackandthebeast View Post
    I guess that was really what I was asking.
    Thanks for responding, by the way. I guess Haneke is a little more obscure than I thought he was.
    It's no problem. I don't know if this helped - maybe someone else will be able to help you more if I'm still missing the mark.
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    Senior Member jackandthebeast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post

    It's no problem. I don't know if this helped - maybe someone else will be able to help you more if I'm still missing the mark.
    No, you gave me exactly what I wanted to know:

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post
    It does have the aesthetic and emotional progression that Cache did, but might disappoint you in the same ways too.
    Based on this, I think I should still watch it, but I know not to expect it to meet my expectations for it.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post
    Haneke doesn't like to give his audience 'satisfaction' - so his films won't have the type of plot resolution that we tend to associate with cohesion.
    "La Pianiste" and "Funny Games" are pretty cohesive to me in terms of plot (there are shifts in "Funny Games," but they are fully explored), so I thought there might be a possibility. Of his other films, do you know of any that are more in the vein of those two than of "Cache"?

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    Senior Member jackandthebeast's Avatar
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    Oh, and how very NTJ:
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post
    Haneke doesn't like to give his audience 'satisfaction'

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    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackandthebeast View Post
    "La Pianiste" and "Funny Games" are pretty cohesive to me in terms of plot (there are shifts in "Funny Games," but they are fully explored), so I thought there might be a possibility. Of his other films, do you know of any that are more in the vein of those two than of "Cache"?
    Heh. Maybe I just found Funny Games unsatisfying because I wanted to know why everything was happening and what message I was supposed to glean from it. The arbitrary cruelty kind of threw me. But I haven't seen any other Haneke films, unfortunately - I had only read in an interview that Haneke likes to disappoint his audience and not give them the answers. I hope you enjoy the White Ribbon.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackandthebeast View Post
    Oh, and how very NTJ:
    Ha! Quite possibly.
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    Senior Member jackandthebeast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post
    Heh. Maybe I just found Funny Games unsatisfying because I wanted to know why everything was happening and what message I was supposed to glean from it. The arbitrary cruelty kind of threw me.
    The arbitrary cruelty threw me too- I was completely sucked in by the conception of violence as a joke in the film, and even attracted to one of the tormentors until the little boy got killed and I realized that "Tom and Jerry," "Peter and Paul," etc. were actually a real threat. But then I admired the film's capacity to trick me; and the staging and development of the plot was also very intriguing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSprout View Post
    But I haven't seen any other Haneke films, unfortunately - I had only read in an interview that Haneke likes to disappoint his audience and not give them the answers. I hope you enjoy the White Ribbon.
    Thank you; and you might want to check out "La Pianiste" if nothing else. It's less overtly cruel, although it definitely stresses the darker elements of humanity. I found it disturbing yet extremely affecting, and would consider it my favorite film after "Secretary," in many ways also being its dual.

  9. #9
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    Default the white ribbon

    I'm interested in the cohesiveness in the paradigm of a film. I like movies where everything in the film contributes to an overall presentation of a perspective,
    the whole point of this movie is to do just that. represent the pre-personal stage of psychological development of people in these times (and culture) by viewing the world through their eyes. these people do not know why they do what they do and they are even less capable of understanding why other people do what they do. they are childs and being a grown up is a pretentious game they learn to play and they don't even know why they play it. that is the common theme in all characters except, partially, the woman who enters personal development, who awakens from the slumber, who has a lover in a different town and wants to leave, but can't, if i remember correctly. i hope that is not spoiling anything, in my mind its a tiny side story of the film, not to say its not important as contrast.

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