Benny's Video ★★★½

Expected to like this less upon revisiting it… Intellectually, it has obvious shortcomings, but I appreciate Haneke’s deadpan, deep-rooted cynicism and the way that this early work fits into his oeuvre. It presages not only Funny Games, which plays like one of Benny’s fantasies thanks to the recasting of star Arno Frisch, but also points toward Cache in its sinister gamesmanship. Though it’s simpler in its approach than those films, it extends our understanding of them, saving its most savage critiques for Benny’s parents. Maybe Haneke said everything that he needed to say in his first trilogy?