Code Unknown

Overview

German-born filmmaker Michael Haneke continues the bleak, formalist experimentation of his 1994 breakthrough 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance with this similarly fragmented tale of racism, intolerance, and hatred in modern-day Paris. The focus of the narrative is split between three sets of people: the French actress Anne (Juliette Binoche), her husband and in-laws; a Romanian woman, Maria (Luminita Gheorghiu), who struggles to raise money for her family back home; and Amadou (Ona Lu Yenke), a teacher for ...
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Overview

German-born filmmaker Michael Haneke continues the bleak, formalist experimentation of his 1994 breakthrough 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance with this similarly fragmented tale of racism, intolerance, and hatred in modern-day Paris. The focus of the narrative is split between three sets of people: the French actress Anne (Juliette Binoche), her husband and in-laws; a Romanian woman, Maria (Luminita Gheorghiu), who struggles to raise money for her family back home; and Amadou (Ona Lu Yenke), a teacher for the deaf who is at odds with his resolute African clan. The catalyst for the stories begins on a streetcorner, where Anne's brother-in-law Jean (Alexandre Hamadi) insults Maria, who is begging for change; incensed, Amadou picks a fight with Jean, resulting in negative repercussions for the triptych of protagonists. Throughout, Haneke punctuates the action with his unique editing and use of sound. After its Cannes debut, Code Inconnu made its North American premiere at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A humanist screed wrapped in a formalist adventure, Michael Haneke's Code Unknown represents a great leap forward for Austria's best-known contemporary filmmaker. This audacious near-masterpiece finds Haneke again casting an Olympian eye on his fellow man. Where his previous film, Funny Games, was conspicuously devoid of empathy, Code Unknown is decidedly more generous in outlook and tempered in tone. The movie's departure point is a bravura nine-minute tracking shot that links together the main characters on a busy Paris street. From there, the story lines branch off into fragmented bits -- perhaps a visual equivalent for the fractured world Haneke seeks to understand. As can be expected from the media-obsessed Haneke, the movie explores the power of images and the artist's complicity in perpetuating social attitudes. While such self-reflexivity is familiar in Haneke's cinema, what is not is the movie's poignancy. A contemporary global bulletin in its own right, the movie depicts a world afflicted by racism, xenophobia, apathy, miscommunication, and solipsism. Bookended by scenes at a school for deaf children, the movie all but explains its title, a reference to the seemingly lost language of kindness and compassion. "Have you ever made somebody happy?" a character asks at one point. It's a question this fiercely moral movie asks its audience as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/6/2002
  • UPC: 738329025120
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Letterbox
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 96,631

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Juliette Binoche Anne
Luminita Gheorghiu Maria
Helene Diarra Aminate
Sepp Bierbichler The Famer
Technical Credits
Michael Haneke Director, Screenwriter
Françoise Clavel Costumes/Costume Designer
Yvon Crenn Executive Producer
Emmanuel de Chauvigny Production Designer
Kris Portier Debellair Casting
Karin Hartusch Editor
Jürgen Jürges Cinematographer
Marin Karmitz Producer
Jean-Pierre Laforce Sound/Sound Designer
Alain Olivieri Asst. Director
Andreas Prochaska Editor
Guillaume Sciama Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles [3:19]
2. One Paper Bag [10:54]
3. No Way Out [8:49]
4. Spiritual Counsel [7:36]
5. Maria's Homecoming [3:04]
6. Georges's Homecoming [8:46]
7. Dinners With Friends [9:03]
8. An Anonymous Note [10:15]
9. Questions of Guilt [4:05]
10. Retiring the Herd [4:52]
11. Metro Voyeur [7:54]
12. Funeral for Francoise [2:52]
13. "What Can I Do for You?" [7:01]
14. Near Tragedy [5:46]
15. Life Underground [6:22]
16. Displaced [11:17]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Start Film
   Scene Selection
   Trailer
   Additional Trailers
      The Piano Teacher
      Time Regained
      Thosewholovemecantakethetrain
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