Austrian Michael Haneke is undoubtedly one of the greatest geniuses of the seventh art. His visceral and always questioning films on complicated themes of our society always bring a unique and not always pleasant experience to the spectator. However, his select filmography may seem small to some, having directed “only” 12 feature films in over 40 years of career. With this in mind, we have made a list of films that follow an atmospheric and plot pattern similar to what Haneke conceives in his works, but which, of course, are not directed by the Austrian. They are powerful films in their different plots and will certainly provide something close to the sensation of watching a Michael Haneke film. Let’s go to the list!
10º – Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)The film brings the events that preceded a massacre in a school, showing the daily life of the teenagers responsible for the act. Sad and disturbing in its central arch of history, ‘Elephant’ has a whole aesthetic that takes advantage of videogame games in vogue at the time. Its director, the creative Gus Van Sant, admitted in an interview that used much of the game ‘Tomb Raider’ and the popular “FPS” as inspiration for the creation of the plans inserted in the film, making a kind of criticism to the youth of that period. A great film that deserves to be watched with more caution.
9º – Paradise: Faith (Ulrich Seidl, 2012)Ulrich Seidl delivers here the best film of the controversial trilogy of paradise. A film that questions the ethical and moral pillars intrinsic to a society, pouring good doses of hammer on the spectator. We will have provocative themes present in the work, such as fetishism and the concept of faith as an escape from the perverse. ‘Paradise – Faith’ will still make its thematic connection in history with a great classic by Chantal Akerman, the masterpiece ‘Jeanne Dielman’.
8º – Crime and Punishment (Aki Kaurismäki, 1983)Based on a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the film tells the story of an ordinary worker who decides, without apparent motivation, to murder a rich man. The film gains its substance by exploring the events after such an act, showing the existential dilemmas of man, his relationship with a witness who witnessed the murder and the figure of life in its most visceral roots. A more serious work of the fantastic filmography of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, ‘Crime and Punishment’ makes explicit the unpredictable character of the human being, pondering about time, the weight of the past, the absence of the present and aversion to the future.
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