A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
I don’t hate Michael Haneke or his films. I do hate watching them though. They generate interesting conversation and explore worthwhile themes, but the act of sitting through his movies could hardly be described as a ‘fun time’, in fact, they are often soul-crushingly depressing. Benny’s Video is no different. This was made crystal clear when the film begins with a pig being killed by a cattle gun – Anton Chigurh style. Not just this, but we see the main character watch it on videotape, rewind, then watch again in slow motion.
The issue I have with Benny’s Video however, is that the message of the dehumanizing effect of the media is told in a didactic way, and the second…
This is a much more heavy-handed passive aggressive attack on modern media, especially the TV screen, a theme that i find within the majority of his works, but i prefer it so much more when he's being subtle about it. It appears to me, that his films fluctuate up and down the scale of how in your face they can be with their messages, i for one much prefer the cryptic nature of them as in Cache or Seventh Continent, as compared to Funny Games and Benny's Video.
It's rather soulless, Haneke wants you to see the weaknesses within yourself, to see a vast problem emerging, a difficult feat to force into the viewer, and for me this film was…
Benny’s Video is the second part of Haneke’s “Glaciation Trilogy” (which also includes The Seventh Continent and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance) and is primarily concerned with the isolation of youth and our exposure to violence. Though I’m a fan of Haneke’s more recent work, I find a lot of his earlier films to be preachy, sometimes even hectoring, and he and I fundamentally disagree on the issue of violence in cinema. It is therefore with a genuine sense of surprise that I can admit that I quite liked Benny’s Video.
The film follows a 14-year old boy, Benny…
Benny's Video continues to deal in the dominant themes of Haneke's career, particularly regarding home invasions of influential outside elements into the otherwise sheltered domesticity aesthetic of the family. Benny's Video is both an early life depiction of unchecked consumer curiosity gone wild, and also loosely at home in an Omen-esque Viennese sub genre where not relating to your children becomes something more ominous.
Technically, there are some lovely moments here. Opening with and repeating the playback of a pivotal moment in a pig slaughter immediately submerges us into the world of a well-to-do Viennese teen, seemingly harmless but obviously and disturbingly entranced by violence. Later, there is an interesting scene when an earlier scene is rewinding within…
The scene comes in the second act when the mother lets out a chuckle during what is supposed to be a very serious scene..Herein lies Haneke's brilliance of showing how individuals hide behind the facade of normalcy and how media desensitizes the human soul to violence. Not as powerful as The Seventh Continent which it has shades of,still worth a watch.
I’m guessing there’s a small bit of irony to be found in the fury I’m feeling over opening the file for my ramblings on Benny’s Video and instead finding only the introductory paragraph and then 13 pages of copy for cordless light-filtering pleated paper window shades I’d written for my job. I sure could use some emotional glaciation right about now.
Of course, now I’m left wondering if, in my haste to cut out of work and get to a screening of The Force Awakens, I submitted 400 words about a teenage psychopath with a penchant for pig slaughter to my editor for use as a product description on Walmart.com. And I’d be lying if I said part of me…
I'll have to watch it again to catch what I missed, but for now, it's far too intimate and personal to work as an effective indictment of media violence.
Michael Haneke seems to endlessly wonder at what might be happening behind every closed door.
His films mostly take a cynical approach to the question, mining the dark side of human behaviour and presenting more questions as a result.
His study of a sociopathic teenager who, while home alone for the weekend, murders a girl he just met and records the entire process is no surprise coming from him.
Benny's Video, though only his second film not made for TV at the time, has all of Haneke's trademarks; most noticeably benefiting from his borderline stationary pacing and tunnel-like focus on the psychological.
Because though the events of the film alone could make for an interesting piece, Haneke isn't prepared to…
There's a lot to process and it certainly is an interesting film, but what's there to do when you just don't agree with the filmmaker's ideas?
Aside from its social commentary on our relationship with today's media, this film is also an exploration of the strange threshold between reality and irreality. Benny's act of murder was inexplicable but at the same time utterly imaginable. The characters are simply a reflection of us in real life, if we took our dark impulses one step further.
Papa don't preach!
Somewhere between an afterschool special and a warm up for Funny Games.
30 countries 2016 #18 Austria
Haneke, always so dark and terrible
Things I do not "get", a short list: cheeseboards, the band Pavement, One Direction, jean shorts, hamsters, Michael Haneke films.
this movie still has it. a fairly cold film that leaves you with tons of rocks in your shoes that you're not going to be getting out of your shoes for a while. expect to be infuriated.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…