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Directed by Michael Haneke
Produced in 2005
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Although conspicuously more audience-friendly than writer-director Michael Haneke's earlier films (Benny's Video, Funny Games, The Piano Teacher), Hidden continues to explore his favourite themes of voyeurism, paranoia and psychological manipulation. Georges and Anne Laurent (Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche) are a happily married, professionally successful couple whose life is dramatically upended after they are sent a series of mysterious videotapes of the exterior of their house. Anne is unnerved by the thought that they're being spied on, not least because she seems to be contemplating an affair with an old friend. Georges is rather more disturbed by the way these banal images (and the childish, blood-drenched drawings that accompany the tapes) dredge up long-suppressed memories of a childhood incident whose ramifications expose various unpleasant aspects of both his own personality and the collective prejudices of the French nation. Shooting on high-definition video, Haneke blurs the distinction between reality, memory, dreams and the taped footage, while also producing paradoxically pin-sharp images. These are often held for minutes at a time, forcing the audience to join the Laurents in scanning every corner of the frame for subtle visual clues (many too subtle for a first viewing). To reveal more would be to risk spoiling countless surprises: this is the kind of film best approached with little or no advance knowledge and a willingness to readjust one's perception of events with the onset of almost every successive scene. Small wonder that it's been the unqualified arthouse hit of 2006: few films since Michael Powell's Peeping Tom have quite so many telling points to make about the apparently straightforward act of watching moving images.
Michael Brooke on 3rd May 2006
Author of 135 reviews
Described as "the first great film of the 21st Century", this acclaimed French thriller from writer-director Michael Haneke takes a provocative look at guilt, trust, responsibility and paranoia.
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...
Publisher: Artificial Eye
Length: 109 mins
Cat No: ART312DVD
Format: DVD Colour
- Michael Haneke Interview
- Making Of.
by Anon on 28th June 2006
Hidden will probably, and rightly so, be remembered as Haneke's masterpiece. It is an exquisite study in the nature of threat, whether real or perceived, and as such h... Read on
Hidden will probably, and rightly so, be remembered as Haneke's masterpiece. It is an exquisite study in the nature of threat, whether real or perceived, and as such has effectively captured the times we live in.
Auteuil and Binoche excel - but then so they should with material as sharp and brilliantly executed as this. As ever with Haneke's films, the viewing experience is not particularly comfortable. It is utterly compelling. As another reviewer has suggested, Hidden is a movie that you should watch without too much prior knowledge - hence my lack of significant detail. Detail, however, is something that Haneke excels in, and there are several neat touches in the movie. Of these, perhaps the most obvious is the fact that Georges' house is being surveilled from a viewpoint located in Rue des Iris! I also liked the claustrophic and bunker-like interior of the family house which reinforced the concept of the family being under siege by an unknown enemy. Hidden is strong movie making in many ways - in terms of acting, mise en scene, narrative and in the way it comments on western society as it is today. Breathtaking. Hide
by Barry Forshaw on 28th May 2006
If you haven't already been seduced by the remarkable word-of-mouth success of Haneke's disturbing thriller, you can only have no interest in contemporary cinema. The ... Read on
If you haven't already been seduced by the remarkable word-of-mouth success of Haneke's disturbing thriller, you can only have no interest in contemporary cinema. The director’s earlier films have ratcheted up the possibilities of the psychological drama to new heights, heavy with violent emotion, and the success this latest film is enjoying is well deserved. Daniel Auteil plays a television presenter who begins to receive mysterious and alarming packages containing covertly filmed videos of himself and his family. Sinister phone calls follow, and it is impossible not to identify with the family under siege, as Haneke combines Hitchcockian tension with arthouse refinement. Artificial Eye have also issued Jacques Audiard’s inventive gangster movie, The Beat that My Heart Skipped, with the charismatic Roman Duris. Hide
by Anon on 22nd March 2006
The first five minutes of Michael Haneke's spine-tingling Hitchcock-like thriller, Cache shows a placid street scene outside of a suburban Parisian home with people co... Read on
The first five minutes of Michael Haneke's spine-tingling Hitchcock-like thriller, Cache shows a placid street scene outside of a suburban Parisian home with people coming and going long into the night. It is not until several minutes into the film, however, that we realize we are watching videotape sent by unknown persons to the family of Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil). The tape is wrapped in a drawing showing blood coming out of the side of the mouth of a young boy.
Haneke is masterful in showing the murk that is hidden beneath the outward calm of our comfortable middle-class lives, a recurring theme in many of his films. Georges is the host of a literary TV talk show and his wife Anne (Juliet Binoche) works at a publishing house. Their complacent lives are filled with dinner parties, intellectual conversations, and general indifference to the outside world, a world that only intrudes when the TV news tries to get their diverted attention. Georges is disturbed by the tape, even more so than Anne, but he only contacts the police after a second tape shows up. Predictably, the police refuse to do anything unless the family is under direct attack.
As nerves become frayed, tension erupts between husband and wife and explodes into acrimony when their twelve-year old son stays at a friend's house all night. Soon, another tape reveals a stone farmhouse where Georges grew up. The mystery of who sent the tapes increases as Haneke builds an unrelenting atmosphere of imminent danger. Caché is not a polemic or a political tome. It is a superbly crafted and challenging film that makes us painfully aware of the consequences of the lack of individual responsibility and creepy paranoia of modern life, and of Western arrogance toward people considered inferior. It is Haneke's most accessible and enduring achievement.
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