Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hidden in Hidden

Hidden probably is one of the best films of 2006. Yes, I know that's standard fare in PR and journalism-speak that anyone with an inch of nous can see through, especially when it is only January. However, it is only February and it will be one of the best films of the year. How's that for being categoric!

As Peter Bradshaw says
Hidden is Michael Haneke's masterpiece: a compelling politico-psychological essay about the denial and guilt mixed into the foundations of western prosperity, composed and filmed with remarkable technique. It is one of the great films of this decade.
Even that contemporary of George Méliès, Philip French, says
... while Hidden is a gripping thriller, it is almost a moral and political enquiry into colonialism and its aftermath. The acting all around is outstanding, with Auteuil and Binoche working beautifully together as their marriage falls apart, expressing their emotional upheaval through the slight movement of an eye or the flicker of a lip. This is a movie that takes one back to the glory days of art-house films in the 1960s and 70s, when you left the cinema not in need of food and drink, but a sympathetic person to discuss the film with.
Yes, we left the cinema in need of conversation, but what's wrong with wanting food and drink as well?

Today there's a Q and A with Michael Haneke and Jason Burke that successfully refuses to clarify any questions any viewer may have. Just as any good director should. Mystery is all.

Rullsenberg gave a splendid review that ended
Most beautifully, in an age which demands 'closure', the film ends on a bleakly unresolved note which, even for a pretty substantial art-house cinema audience drew a collective mental gasp of "huh?!" when the credits started to roll: it was as if the entire audience was unwittingly dragged into admitting they had expected resolution and instead found themselves resisting the urge to yell "that's it? that's how you're ending it?!" A good thing.
It seems even an art-house audience wants to get closure and the Q&A in today's Observer thankfully does nothing to provide this.

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