I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…
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 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…
Michael Haneke delivered one of the most disturbing scenes in cinema history! With his propensity for exposing the ugliest most foul characteristics of mankind he was able to sink us even deeper into the quagmire of depravity by making us an accomplice to a horrendous crime!
Pay close attention to the film most fail to catch on to a significant plot twist! Hint: It's totally diabolical!
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’s great success is that it forces you to think about how people, not least teenagers, can be influenced by the violence they see at the cinema, on TV and in the everyday World without hammering you over the head with an aggressive lecture. The film is slow, subtle and suggestive, and it treats the subject matter with immense seriousness. It explores notions of unconditional parental love and, perhaps more importantly, how cinema can be used to manipulate an audience. Haneke makes no bones about the fact that Benny has done something awful but he then spends the rest…
Deals with similar themes addressed in the first part of Haneke's "Glaciation Trilogy," such as alienation from modern society and the large focus placed on money and material wealth. Though Benny's Video yields lesser results, largely due its almost clichéd story, which, as David Ehrlich best put it, "feels like the movie that Haneke's laziest critics always assume that he's making."
It's still interesting in the most Haneke-ian way and thematically rich to pick apart. But, the controversial director's critique of a society obsessed with violence in the media would better be developed in Funny Games, where he caused the viewer to think about their participation in what they consume.
Benny's watching the Toxic Avenger at the start of this!!!! I'm just going to pretend that Haneke is a Troma fan oppose to the more likely fact that he is attacking it for its desensitizing and humorized violence. Toxie yaaaay!
I've always heard critics and movie buffs say that Haneke is the anti-violence, using it graphically to confront, show consequence and how horrible real violence is. I haven't always agreed with this. Exploitation fans seem to treat "Funny games" like its fun violent cinema. I personally love the self harm scene at the end of Piano Teacher. I've seen violent film makers cite the death in Cache as one of their favourite movie deaths (it is spectacular). This film however…
Aside from it's somewhat simple narrative, Benny's Video feels every bit as polished and finished as Haneke's later films and even retains that sophisticated, all-too-real suspense that showcase some really dark moments.
Haneke uses this film to concurrently tackle the fascination of death with the necessity to capture life through photography. The outcome is an interesting concept, but ultimately a fairly underwhelming experience, both in terms of narrative and visual reward.
Benny's Video is an unattractive film; largely by way of its subject matter and its claustrophobic, traumatic atmosphere. This is undoubtedly a representation of the young, warped mind of the titular character; an uncomfortable role for the viewer to fill. In retrospect, Haneke's films have become somewhat synonymous with disturbing ideas. This early entry in the auteur's canon shows directorial promise, but is something of a dress rehearsal for the more grandiose pictures to come.
Exploration of the connection between media and violence through a young videophile, whose fascination with the recorded killing of a pig leads him to murder a girl. In the wake of this act, the boy's parents grapple with what their son has become and how to cover up for him as the boy himself remains unphased.
Benny's Video is one of many meditations on the effect of violent media on the youth, but it distinguishes itself by utilizing a broader scope. Rather than solely watching horror or action films, Benny's collection includes news footage of conflicts overseas and home videos of his family's farm that reveal the violence already surrounding his life. The media is therefore not portrayed solely as…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of Haneke's earlier works, this one paints a rough sketch of an emotionally distant child whose media-caused detachment drives him to ultimately murder a young girl. Benny is in many ways a typical 14 year old: He smokes cigarettes, goes to vibrant night clubs, listens to loud rock music, passes notes to his classmates, etc. But his true passion is obviously videos, to the point where he would rather look at a video feed of the outdoors than have his windows open. His parents provide him endless funds to his hobby, in place of real attention of course; They are often away or having parties or working while Benny festers in his room in front of a video screen.…
Less a film about the impact of violence in the media on children than a portrayal of the shittest parenting ever, Benny's Video started off well but after the teenager acts on his impulses, momentum is lost and the rest of the film doesn't really go anywhere. Much like the director's trademark long, static camera shots, Benny and his family are detached and emotionless throughout and this makes it impossible to draw any information out them. Haneke has returned to the same themes later in his career and dealt with them much more successfully, with Benny's Video it's like he is still fumbling for the right approach and not ever fully grasping it.
Micheal Haneke's very subtle message to parents that you should spend time with your kids once in a while.
Benny seems like a normal 14 year old kid. He spends most of his time alone watching violent movies (especially one he filmed himself where a pig is killed). He is fascinated by death and one day he takes his fascination one step further when he kills a girl.
For every Michael Haneke movie I see, the more I like him. His movies stays with you for a very long time. Benny's Video is one of those "disturbing movies" that I've been wanting to see for a long time. It's the second part in Haneke's "emotional glaciations" trilogy and it's once again a disturbing look into the dark corners of the human psyche.
Arno Frisch who plays Benny is fantastic…
A list of films about filmmaking. Suggestions are more than welcome.
Documentaries (and batteries) not included.
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…