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Funny Games

Overview

In this exploration of our violent society, writer and director Michael Haneke takes a disturbing look at how depictions of violence at once reflect and shape our culture. A well-to-do German family -- father Georg Ulrich Mühe, mother Anna Susanne Lothar, and son Georgie Stefan Clapczynski -- are settling in for the weekend at their vacation retreat near the lake. While Georg and his son head out for some sailing, a courteous young gentleman named Peter Frank Giering appears at the door, asking if he can borrow ...
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Overview

In this exploration of our violent society, writer and director Michael Haneke takes a disturbing look at how depictions of violence at once reflect and shape our culture. A well-to-do German family -- father Georg Ulrich Mühe, mother Anna Susanne Lothar, and son Georgie Stefan Clapczynski -- are settling in for the weekend at their vacation retreat near the lake. While Georg and his son head out for some sailing, a courteous young gentleman named Peter Frank Giering appears at the door, asking if he can borrow some eggs. When he breaks them, Anna offers him some more, but the conversation soon takes an odd turn; Peter goes from pleasant to sniveling to confrontational, and he's soon joined by his friend Paul Arno Frisch. When Georg returns, he demands that Paul and Peter leave, but the two strangers refuse; Paul and Peter react with violence against Georg and his family, and they soon have the family tied up and begin torturing them. Peter and Paul occasionally refer to the camera in a manner recalling Bertolt Brecht, and near the end of the film, they even demand the opportunity to replay a scene so that they may mete out more punishment against their victims. The score includes classical selections by Mozart and Handel as well as performances by avant-garde composer John Zorn.
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Special Features

An interview with Michael Haneke (2005, 18 min, in French With English subtitles); Theatrical trailer; Optional English subtitles; Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Michael Haneke's Funny Games initially takes on the rhythms of a typical thriller. The elements are familiar -- an air-brushed upper-class family, a glittering house in the country, the sudden intrusion of brutality. As it becomes clear early on, however -- about the time one of the movie's villains winks at us after murdering the family dog -- there is more on the movie's mind than your garden-variety mayhem. As difficult to sit through as it is to dismiss, Haneke's movie is a hectoring critique of the violence that pervades pop culture, and how much of a role we play in perpetuating such moral bankruptcy. With his winking killers, who name themselves after pop-culture icons Tom and Jerry at one point, Beavis and Butt-Head the next, Haneke seeks to lay bare the audience's complicity in media depictions of violence and sexual exploitation. That the movie is unrelenting in its punishment and extravagant in its sadism is the point. Stripping the sexy sheen off violence, Haneke forces us to consider the charge we get from cool gunfights and Bruckheimer-esque explosions. The problem with Haneke's vision is its blinkered high-mindedness. Excessively brutal, shamelessly moralistic, and irredeemably didactic, Funny Games can only accomplish its sadistic mission by outright underestimating its audience's intelligence and sensitivity. That the movie does have something of value to say about the casual debasement of human beings in pop culture makes Haneke's haughty presumptuousness all the more unfortunate.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/16/2006
  • UPC: 738329046224
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susanne Lothar Anna
Ulrich Mühe Georg
Arno Frisch Paul
Frank Giering Peter
Stefan Clapczynski Georgie
Doris Kunstmann
Christoph Bantzer
Wolfgang Gluck
Susanne Meneghel
Monika Zallinger
Technical Credits
Michael Haneke Director, Screenwriter
Walter Amann Sound/Sound Designer
Lisy Christl Costumes/Costume Designer
Veit Heiduschka Producer
Jürgen Jürges Cinematographer
Christoph Kanter Production Designer
Hanus Polak Jr. Asst. Director
Andreas Prochaska Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Funny Games
1. Funny Games/Opening Titles [:06]
2. Safe and Secure [5:31]
3. Asking a Favor [5:17]
4. Some Kind of Game [6:28]
5. Georg Intervenes [3:32]
6. A Guessing Game [5:12]
7. Dealing With Visitors [3:40]
8. First-Name Basis [3:00]
9. A Friendly Wager [7:50]
10. Kitten in the Bag [2:07]
11. Schorschi's Gambit [6:06]
12. Unsafe Haven [5:56]
13. TV Time [3:22]
14. Alone it Seems [4:37]
15. A Plan of Action [10:12]
16. Anna's Effort [7:50]
17. The Loving Wife [6:02]
18. The Praying Game [7:08]
19. A New Captain [3:05]
20. Funny Games/Closing Credits [4:07]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Funny Games
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Interview With Director Michael Haneke
      Theatrical Trailer
      Haneke Filmography
      Subtitle Options
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
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