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    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Anyone seen the new trailer for Haneke's remake of his own Funny Games? Looks like is gonna be a exact duplicate of the original. I hear they even built the set from the plans of the original house. While it is one of the most intense and difficult to watch films I've ever seen, I have trouble seeing the point of remaking it if there are no changes.
  1.  (76.2)
    Yeah, I saw this a week or two back and I must say I'm baffled. I'm really not sure what to make of it. The original is a big favourite of mine, but I find it difficult to think of a reason to see this, besides seeing it in English and with different actors. It'd be interesting to know Haneke's reasons for doing this.
  2.  (76.3)
    I've been wondering the same thing myself, but in a NYTimes Magazine article:
    “Funny Games” occupies a unique place in Haneke’s body of work, not least because of his decision to shoot it twice. “Originally, I approached Michael about optioning ‘Funny Games’ for some other director,” Chris Coen, the film’s producer, told me. “And Michael’s reply was that he’d do it himself, but only if I could get Naomi Watts for the lead. I hadn’t thought about him wanting to do it, to be honest. But he said very clearly that ‘Funny Games’ was the one film of his that he’d allow no one else to direct.” Hollywood has a long and hallowed tradition of buying the rights to art-house hits and refashioning them to suit its own ends — in fact, the director Ron Howard recently acquired the rights to Haneke’s “Caché” — but Haneke’s decision to remake his own film surprised fans and colleagues alike. The peculiarity of the project seems to have been part of its appeal. “To my knowledge, no one has ever remade his own film so precisely,” the director told me in Vienna, with an unmistakable trace of boyish pride. “The new version is the same film superficially, of course, but it’s also very different: a different atmosphere, different performances, a different end result. That in and of itself is interesting.”
    And this has nothing to do with why he's remaking the film, but I love it. Haneke:
    I’ve been accused of ‘raping’ the audience in my films, and I admit to that freely — all movies assault the viewer in one way or another. What’s different about my films is this: I’m trying to rape the viewer into independence.
  3.  (76.4)
    I've seen the trailer for the remake, and I was left cold. It probably didn't help that I'm no fan of the original. The film just seemed so proud of the "deep" insight that movies make their audience at best voyeurs and at worst accomplices to what's happening onscreen. Oh, and that we like violence and depravity. I'd seen it illustrated better before Funny Games, and for Haneke to remake his own film takes that narcissism even further.

    With that said, Naomi Watts is a hell of an actress, so the new version will have that going for it, at least.

  4.  (76.5)
    The original was a intresting movie. If the remake gets more people to see the story...then im all for it.
  5.  (76.6)
    I thought is was rumored as a shot for shot remake?

    I have the suspicion the remake might be inspired by the glut of torture porn horror films* over the last 5 years. Funny Games is oddly ahead of its time as it rebuts and responds to that creepy shit a good half decade before it was needed.

    The remake might be a tool to slap people on the side of the head about it, because it is going to get the US torture porn crowd based on the advertising and - in theory - they are not going to see what they expected. A largely bloodless movie that is rooted in critiquing the notion of enjoying suffering by proxy is just what the doc ordered for the thriller genre right now.

    * saw, hostel and any other film of their ilk which mistake suffering and gore (not to mention levels of misogyny that dwarf the slashers of the 80s like a sun to a desk lamp) for actual horror.
      CommentAuthorAdam Violent
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007 edited
    Yeah I just watched it. Looked exactly the same, shot for shot, wardrobe and everything.

    This was one of the only films I've ever seen where I was genuinely horrified by the film and the fact that it was even made in this way, and yet still gave it 5 stars on Netflix. I mean, the remote control part? Just cruel. But I gotta admire it.

    So I think the purpose for this is really simple. Haneke was really trying to affect the audience but he only did so in a narrow spectrum. Releasing the film remade exactly as before, but with a couple A/B list American stars while we're all hungry for more thrillers/pseudo horror films, it's going to attract more attention and that means more affected people. Maybe I don't know Haneke well enough, but I would say that he's getting quite a thrill out of this. I would.

    I think anyone who's seen the Five Obstructions can also understand, from a filmmaker's perspective, other reasons for redoing earlier work in such an experimental way.
  6.  (76.8)
    As an aside, the to-be-released Untraceable seems to be a more conventional, Hollywood take on the "audience as accomplice" idea.
    Set in Portland, Oregon, the film involves a serial killer who rigs contraptions that kill his victims based on the number of hits received by his website ("") that features a live streaming video of the victim. Naturally, thousands of people log on.
    Any intellectual assertions are bound to get lost amidst the thrilling action, but the underlying philosophy of that and Funny Games strikes me as very similar.
  7.  (76.9)
    I actually liked the original. Don't really have a problem with Michael Haneke remaking his own film even though he should move on, but in a world where they would eventually remake, wouldn't you want the original director to take it up then some kid fresh out of film school?

    The only problem I have with the remake is Naomi Watts. She's become Nicole Kidman. She just stands there in front of the camera, like a porcelain doll. It's sad because I know she can act -- can't say that for Kidman -- but she's just either stoic or crying. Poorly used actress.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    (sorry for starting a new post after not seeing this one). here's what i said there:

    that movie was the reason i hate things like "saw" and their torture porn ilk. none of them have made me feel as raw, even with all their gore and sensational fucked-up-edness. "funny games" felt like video atonement for all the unrealistic boy hollywood violence i grew up idolizing.

    i'm not sure how i feel about a remake. it still shifts my insides all wrong. somehow i preferred knowing "entertainment" that sadistic came from somewhere else. having hollywood spit it back out at me feels worse.


    reading haneke's comments about not trusting anyone else is heartening though. the little fuckers whom enjoy "saw" and such for the wrong reasons deserve this. if nothing else then a lesson in minimalism.


    re: untraceable: does that mean assayas's "demon lover" is ahead of it's time as well? for whatever that's worth.

    i need to go watch something wholesome now. and drink floral tea. and hold open the door for someone.
  8.  (76.11)
    Ugh. Demon Lover.

    To be fair, I think I would've hated that movie a little less if the girl I was in class with didn't like it so much. She made me angry.

    Sort of back on topic, has anyone seen much of Haneke's other films? Cache I enjoyed but couldn't figure out why, but I really hated Benny's Video. It seemed like it wanted to be exploratory, avoid showing the motivation behind the boy's actions and forcing the audience into the position of the parents, but instead it felt like "here's this horrific moment - now here's an hour of nothing, go have some lunch - okay, we're back and the kid is still messed up. Surprise."

    I was too bored to care by the end.
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    I'm looking forward to making my subtitle averse friends see this.

    Funny Games is the only horror movie I've ever seen that managed to make me genuinely uncomfortable and the cinematography is damn near perfect.
  9.  (76.13)
    The FUNNY GAMES remake might be a work of genius... if they'd cast Will Ferrell as one of the home invaders torturing the family.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2007
    I haven't seen the original, despite Haneke being one of my all time favorite directors. He is basically the shining light in modern French cinema. Cache was a perfect thriller and Time of the Wolf was the most beautiful piece of sci-fi since 2001. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I really love those movies. The Piano Teacher was difficult, but interesting.

    Ugh. Demon Lover.

    Personally, I rather enjoyed that movie. Not perfect, but pretty cool. I especially liked the main character's jacket. Don't know why, but that's the image that stuck with me.
  10.  (76.15)
    After seeing the trailer on the big screen (before There Will Be Blood, which, you know, was great), I have to say I'm excited for this. Whether it will be discernibly different that the original, I don't know, but I'm thinking of it as better than being subtitled or (!) dubbed. Seeing this in a crowded theater should be fun.