Cache by Haneke

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Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby madhuban » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:22 am

I am also wondering why I haven't written anything here! Cache is a breathtakingly dense film while being an exercise in formal economy. It gathers within its almost two-hour runtime the very contemporary and manifestly political concerns (explored in his other films) about surveillance society and its associated voyeurism (Funny Games, Benny's Video), race/power relations (Code Unknown), violence and its consumption (Funny Games, Piano Teacher) and the interrogation of film as a medium.

I agree with wpqx about Cache not being a whodunnit. In fact, that question is perhaps the least important one to ask of a film that consistently averts narrative closure, while deliberately enticing the viewer to fill the gaps by misreading it as a whodunnit game. A highly self-referential film, Cache's eerie opening and closing shots defy the viewer by not providing the reverse shot and releasing the suspense/tension about the nature of the surveillance, whether human or spectral. Effectively it denies the viewer the relief and the reassurance of a narrative, whose bits and pieces can be stitched together coherently. As arsaib puts it (in his review of The Seventh Continent), 'there is special talent at work here'. Haneke is growing on me and I need to revisit the ones I've seen. I am yet to see The Seventh Continent and more, but most desperate to lay my hands on Haneke's take on Kafka, The Castle!

M
madhuban
 


Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby trevor826 » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:28 am

All I'd like to mention is how I felt after seeing Cache/Hidden, forget the whodunnit, forget that one remarkable blooper with the shadow of the film camera, no this was far more personal.

From a young age you do and say things which seem pretty innocuous at the time, whether telling white lies, teasing people or doing things that you know are wrong and maybe laying the blame on someone else. What the heck! what do all these little things amount to? Five minutes later it's forgotten, or is it?

For me, the cache, the hidden represent those little things done by us to others throughout our lifetimes, pushed out of sight and out of mind, meaningless and momentary. What we can't see is how these often tiny events affect the lives of the recipients, the little boy/girl teased because they had something slightly different about them, the person who received a punishment because of something you did, how much of a mark did it leave?

I couldn't help but think way into my own past at people whose lives I may have affected and also back at people who affected mine.

A few years ago I did a preliminary course before I could do another one to help set up my own business, as far as I knew I was in a room full of strangers till the names were read out. One name screamed out at me, a name I hadn't heard for probably 25+ years but straight away I found myself tensing up and searching the room for the person, 25+ years ago a local thug had made my younger brothers life hell until we turned the tables on him, I searched for this hard man and recognised his face, only to see a feeble man reduced by years of confinement and drugs to a mental wreck. Although after I felt pity for what he'd become, I couldn't get over my initial rection.

I would hate to think that I had affected anyone else in such a manner but will I ever really know, we each carry our own cache and if we're lucky they'll remain hidden.

I'd like to believe that it was at least partially Haneke's intention to make us look into our own individual cache.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby A » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:30 pm

I think what you write about Trevor is the main focus of the film. I also had such thoughts during the film, and I remember a lot of situations like the ones you described (though no 25+ years in my case ). I think that no thing is ever forgotten, neither by body nor mind. It only changes in relation to our lifes and the way we deal with it.

I think I discussed the film with Anasazie on the Haneke threasd at the director`s board. That`s why there is also no comment by me.

Going by preference from the 5 Haneke films I`ve seen, it is right in the middle, suggesting that Haneke is one of the most significant filmmakers of our time.
A
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby madhuban » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:58 am

Revisited The Piano Teacher yesterday and I totally agree about Haneke being one of the most outstanding filmmakers of our time. However, our widely different responses to Cache (and I believe, to all his other films) is an evidence of how much space Haneke leaves for the viewer to take away what he/she will from a film.

M
madhuban
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:56 am

Madhuban: have you seen Time of the Wolf? (Yup, here I go again. )
arsaib4
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby madhuban » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:09 pm

Yes I have and loved it. I do think Haneke consistently works with the horror genre but inverts, internalises and intellectualises it to take it to another level altogether. One of the primary reasons why his films are so disturbing and unsettling is because they are structured as films with an absent centre, as it were. None of his films allow the viewer to rationalise horror, identify its source or establish a cause-effect relationship, which would have restored a semblance of order at the end. One is thrust in the middle of endless, subterranean violence (more potent because it lacks the familiar signs of violence) repeatedly and given absolutely no clues about why and how it came to be so. Haneke's is an aesthetic of assault, so erudite and so cerebral, that his films end up being the very opposite of the horrific - deeply humanist and life affirming. But, one needs to go through the assault to reach there. And the humanism does not emerge from some sort of belief in/message about an inherent human goodness, but from the space that he allows the viewer to ramble in. Haneke allows the viewer to bring the humanity into the films because he/she cannot dismiss Erika, in The Piano Teacher, as a freak or condemn the man (who fights with the Pole and saves Benny from self-immolation) in Time of the Wolf for his apparent racism. In an infinitely mediated world of representations (television is a recurrent motif in his films), the borderlines between all categories that ensure a rational order become indistinct, and collapse. We are both witness and victim, consumer and interpreter, listener and storyteller. However, the "story" that emerges, may or may not be Haneke's, and it is hardly surprising in the case of a director whose overwhelming concern has been the very notion of spectation.

I am in a ranting mood with regard to Haneke, so please bear with me

M
madhuban
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby arsaib4 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:37 am

Every frame of Time of the Wolf is pervaded by a sense of defiant hope which is meant to complement his characters' inherent human struggles. It's one of Haneke's most subtle films, perhaps the reason why it remains relatively undervalued.
arsaib4
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby A » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:58 pm

Keep rambling madhuban, we appreciate it.
Yes, from the five Haneke films I have seen, "Time of the Wolf" was alongside "The Castle" his weakest for me. Though both still have some striking and beautiful moments.
My Favorites are "Code Unknown", followed by "The Piano Teacher", and "Hidden".
Need to check out his early stuff.
A
 

Re: Cache by Haneke

Postby wpqx » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:49 pm

I believe I'm still very clearly the weakest here when it comes to Haneke. I've only seen 3, and have two more on DVD, so I'll get there.
wpqx
 

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