French label TF1 Video will release a Blu-ray box set with twelve films directed by acclaimed Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke. Amongst the films included in the box set the Oscar winning Amour (2012), Time of the Wolf (2003), The Piano Teacher (2001), and Code Unknown (2001). The box set will be available for purchase in France on December 4th.
Box set content:
The Seventh Continent a.k.a Der siebente Kontinent
The acclaimed Austrian director Michael Haneke's directorial debut is a disturbing study of a family in crisis. The storyline follows three years in the life of Georg (Dieter Berner), his wife Anna (Birgit Doll) and their daughter Eva (Leni Tanzer), during which time a psychological blindness leads to the family's self-destruction. The film explores familiar Haneke themes: the bourgeouis family unit, professional success and the price of conformism.
A graphically disturbing drama about a socially alienated teenager whose world-view is gauged through video cameras. The film questions the desensitising aspects of images of violence on television and the media in general, and the effect this has on the moral reasoning of the young. Benny (Arno Frisch) is an only child, intelligent, but a bit of a loner. He sits in his room most nights, with his video cameras and TV, watching horror films and listening to heavy rock music. Inviting a young girl his own age back to his room one day, he shows her a video, that he has filmed, of a pig being slaughtered. Producing the bolt-gun used in the killing, the pair then play a game of 'dare', which results in the girl being shot dead by Benny. When his parents eventually find out, he's taken off to Egypt while his father attempts to hide the evidence.
71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance a.k.a 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls
Thought-provoking film by acclaimed Austrian director Michael Haneke. The film begins with a horrific mass killing on Christmas Eve 1993 by a boy who callously kills several people then kills himself. The film then flashes back as the fragmented story follows the lives of strangers, all with different lives but all having the same sense of hopelessness, culminating into one fateful night.
The Castle a.k.a Das Schloß
Existential drama directed by Michael Haneke and adapted from the novel by Franz Kafka. Land surveyor, K. (Ulrich Mühe), arrives at a small village that houses a castle. Though he was invited to the castle by officials, authorities refuse to allow him to enter and befuddle him with increasingly bizarre bureaucratic obstacles. K. grows perplexed by this and ultimately feels alienated from the society he has entered into.
Funny Games (Original)
Anna (Susan Lothar) and Georg Schober (Ulrich Mühe) arrive with their son, Georgie, at their lakeside holiday home. Through their neighbour, Fred, they meet Paul (Arno Frisch) and his friend Peter (Frank Giering). However, once inside Anna and Georg's house, Peter and Paul begin to torture them, betting that in twenty-four hours they and Georgie will be dead. When Georgie manages to escape to Fred's house, he discovers that the neighbour and his wife have already been murdered: it seems that Paul and Peter are serious about continuing their 'game' to the finish.
Code Unknown a.k.a Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages
Walking along a Paris street, following a meeting with his brother's girlfriend Anne (Juliette Binoche), Jean (Alexandre Hamidi) contemptuously throws an empty paper bag into the open hands of Romanian beggar Maria (Luminita Gheorghiu). Music teacher Amadou (Ona Lu Yenke) witnesses this, and when he demands that Jean apologise to Maria, the two get caught in a scuffle which results in both Amadou's arrest and Maria's deportation. Michael Haneke's film takes this brief moment and follows the paths of all its main characters over the subsequent weeks, tracing the subtle ways in which different lives intertwine in modern-day Europe.
The Piano Teacher a.k.a La Pianiste
Isabelle Huppert gives an award-winning performance as a repressed, masochistic music teacher in this acclaimed film from director Michael Haneke. Erika Kohut (Huppert) teaches piano at the Vienna Conservatory, lives with her domineering mother (Annie Girardot), and privately engages in a series of degrading, masochistic acts. When one of her new students, the handsome Walter Klemmer (Benoît Magimel), tries to seduce her, Erika is first startled, but then agrees to the affair if it can be conducted on her own terms. What happens next threatens to make her self-destructive impulse even stronger.
Time of the Wolf a.k.a Le Temps du Loup
Isabelle Huppert stars in this tense post-apocalyptic drama, set in a world in which society has completely broken down. Anne (Huppert) flees the city with her husband and two children, hoping to find refuge at the family's country home. But when they arrive they realise they have made a terrible mistake, and must embark on a harrowing journey across a land devasted by disaster.
Hidden a.k.a Cache
Acclaimed French thriller from writer-director Michael Haneke. Georges (Daniel Auteuil) is a successful TV presenter, happily married to Anne (Juliette Binoche). Their idyllic, middle-class life is suddenly derailed when Georges starts receiving tapes through the post, from someone who has been secretly filming him and his family as they go about their daily business. Gradually the tapes become more intimate and personal, suggesting that the perpetrator is someone who knows Georges well. With the police unable to help, Georges and Anne find their comfortable existence gradually unravelling into paranoia and mistrust. Be sure to keep watching as the credits roll...
Funny Games (U.S. Remake)
In this US remake of his 1997 film 'Funny Games', director Michael Haneke delivers a savage critique on the way violence is portrayed in the media. Arriving at their remote holiday cabin in the Hamptons for a quiet vacation, George (Tim Roth), his wife Ann (Naomi Watts), and their young son Georgie (Devon Gearheart), find themselves subjected to a harrowing ordeal involving mental and physical torture, when two young, psychotic killers come calling.
The White Ribbon a.k.a Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
Michael Haneke won the 2009 Cannes Palme d'Or for this two-and-a-half hour black and white study of German rural village life in 1913. Focusing in particular on the austere and often brutal environment of the village school, the film not only exposes the cruelty and hypocrisy of adults towards children but offers an insight into the undercurrents of patriarchy and repression that went on to shape 20th-century Germany. As the outbreak of war draws near, a series of violent and unexplained events shake the small community to its core. In true Haneke style, the film is less concerned with providing a definitive answer to 'whodunnit' than with examining the unhealthy processes that contribute to a sick, disenfranchised society.
Michael Haneke directs this Academy Award-winning drama exploring death, ageing and the fear of loss. Anne and George (Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant) are a couple in their 80s who are enjoying their retirement, but that changes when, after an operation following a stroke, Anne is left wheelchair-bound and paralysed. Although she expresses her wish to die, even going so far as to make an attempt at taking her own life, George tries to remind her of the beauty and worth of life itself and the love that they share for each other. The feature won the Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film, and received a BAFTA for Best Leading Actress (Riva).
I'll be buying this set, as it contains several excellent films, some of which I believe might be new to blu-ray. Haneke is an extremely brilliant/disturbing director in much the same way that David Lynch and Lars Von Trier are. Hopefully the webmaster will edit the original announcement so as to actually spell Haneke's name correctly.
You know what's hysterical? I didn't even stop for a moment to wonder if English sub-titles would be included! And I can't tell you how many times I've recently come across French, German and Korean blu-rays/blu-ray sets/blu-ray collector's editions, etc...), that didn't include English sub-titles. I'm not asking for English dubbed tracks to be included, just simply sub-titles. The film industry (any film industry) is just that ...a business (it's all about the money), it's an industry constantly looking to turn a profit ...in other words the goal is to maximize all profit potential of any given item. Surely they must know that America/England/etc (or basically put, English speaking film fans)... represent a huge potential customer base, as of yet untapped (for an item such as this). Surely the French/German/Korean marketers can't be that stupid ...that obnoxious ...that arrogant to refuse to include an English sub-title track can they?? Hmmm ...then again, maybe they can.
@Red Dragon: have you heard about territories and limited distribution rights? I think a lot of international buyers would love to see Criterion titles with subtitles of their language or even just see those titles turn into region free discs (I am not talking about myself since I speak English, buy Criterion and play them on my multiregion player in France) but that's not going to happen because of the distribution rights.
@hhhrrrinnn: Yes (thank you for asking and for taking the time to respond to my post for that matter), of course I have heard of territories and limited distribution rights; however, there are many, many, many cinephiles (yourself included, I see from your response) who gleefully ignore such things via multi-regional equipment which allow us to enjoy DVDs and blu-rays from all over the world. So what exactly are you saying? Do territories/limited distribution rights specifically prevent film makers and marketers from including English sub-titles to their products in countries where English is surely spoken despite the fact that English is not the primary language? ...I think not. If I am wrong, and there is some specific legal preventative toward including an English sub-title track on a DVD or blu-ray from France/Germany/Korea please feel free to present it and I will gladly admit my error with regard to this matter. (Interesting side note: I constantly buy region 1 blu-rays which feature 4, 5, 6 or more foreign language sub-title tracks and often several of these tracks are for languages primarily spoken in countries which are not within Region 1 territories. Perhaps it's because Region 1 territory marketers understand that people in all areas of the world are often multi-lingual, but wouldn't it be wonderful if other countries such as Germany/France/Korea extended the same courtesy?) Aren't there consumers in all of France/Germany/Korea etc... who speak English? (perhaps even some to whom English is their primary language? ...foreign exchange students/students traveling abroad/foreign business men/women/expatriates etc...?)
@Red Dragon: I think it is indeed in the contract of those distribution rights not to include English subs (or others for that matter) in some countries to prevent people for the same region code (If region code B, prevent people from England to buy blu-rays in France for example) to buy their discs abroad, especially when diffrent companies own the distribution rights. The exeptions are coming from global comanies such as Warner when they own the rights globally and include several language/subtitles options on their discs so that they can sell the same disc all around the world while making huge savings in manufacturing costs. When distribution rights are different from country to country (or at least in the same region code area), distribution agreements may include limitations in dub/sub to make sure each company which bought the rights for a specific country gets its share of the profit. That is sad but it is an economic reality. I would always prefer to buy my English/American speaking movies in a country that includes the original audio track and I'll also do my best to get the English subtitles as long as it doesn't prevent me from getting the best edition available (if a French company releases the best video/audio options on the market with the best extras, I could go with French subs as long as I get the English audio track).
At least international sales keep the industry afloat by providing extra money to the studios from all over the world (American companies selling their movies to Europe, European companies selling to USA & Great Britain etc)...
@hhhrrrinnn: Once again, thanks for the response to my previous post. I suppose (although I'm not quite certain) that specific clauses might be included within the contracts re: distribution rights, but if that is indeed the case than I guess I can understand their reasoning a bit more. The Bottom line for me as a cinephile/collector remains that I am extremely pleased and even eager to add excellent foreign films to my entertainment library whenever the opportunity presents itself, just as I am deeply disappointed whenever a fine or unique blu-ray set (such as this one) turns out to be something I am unable to enjoy. And so, as a huge fan of Michael Haneke, I remain ever hopeful (though, sadly ...somewhat doubtful) that the brilliant films contained within this set will have English sub-titles.
The German blu-rays of FUNNY GAMES (1997) and BENNY'S VIDEO have English subtitles and are excellent A/V quality. If this set has no subs I hope Germany will release the films individually and be English friendly. I just watched TIME OF THE WOLF on my old AI dvd and was hoping for a blu: the film is so dark that detail is lost at lower resolution. I'm sure the whole feel of the film will be different in HD.