Funny Games U S

  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Hamish McAlpine, Christian Baute, Chris Coen, Andro Steinborn
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart

The film begins with a well-to-do family – George, his wife Ann, his son Georgie and their dog – arriving at their lake house. Their next-door neighbor pays a visit, accompanied by two young men, Peter and Paul, whom he introduces as friends. The two men begin imposing themselves on the family’s courtesy, and in the process destroy their phone and ruin all their eggs. Eventually a frustrated Ann demands that the men leave, asking George to eject them from the premises. Peter breaks George’s leg with George’s golf club and the two men take the family hostage. They force the family to participate in a number of sadistic games in order to stay alive. When some of the family’s other neighbors arrive for a visit, Ann passes the men off as friends until the visitors leave.

Paul asks if the family wants to bet that they will be alive by 9:00 in the morning, though he doubts that they will win. Between playing their games, the two men keep up a constant patter, and Paul frequently ridicules Peter’s weight and lack of intelligence. He describes a number of contradicting stories of Peter’s past, though no definitive explanation is ever presented as to the men’s origins or motives. Georgie tries to escape and runs to the gate. He attempts to climb the locked gate but changes his mind and goes to the neighbors’ house passing through the water. Inside the house Georgie attempts to shoot Paul with a shotgun, but the gun fails to go off. Paul returns him to the living room, along with the gun. After a few more games, the men play a counting-out game between the family members on the basis that who ever gets counted out will be shot, but Georgie suddenly panics and makes a run for his life, which results in him getting shot dead, after which they both leave with Paul a little annoyed that Peter didn’t follow the rules to the letter.

George and Ann weep for their loss, but eventually resolve to survive. Ann flees the house while George, with a broken leg, tries to get help with the malfunctioning phone. Ann struggles to find help, but eventually Peter and Paul reappear, capture her, and return to the house. Stabbing George, the men attempt to force Ann to choose for her husband between a drawn out death with the knife or a quick death with the shotgun. The gagged and bound Ann, however, seizes the shotgun that is sitting on the table in front of her, as Paul explains the rules of the game, and kills Peter. After this, Paul is outraged, and confiscates the shotgun. He then begins to curse, and becomes frantic, and starts looking for the remote for the television. After finding it, he rewinds all the occurrences back to where Ann is about to grab the shotgun, breaking the fourth wall. On the ‘do over,’ Paul catches her arm, and says that she isn’t allowed to break the rules. They then kill George and take Ann out on the family’s boat early the next morning. Around eight o’clock, they nonchalantly throw the bound Ann into the water to drown, thus winning their bet. They dock at the house of the neighbors that had previously visited the family, and request some eggs, thereby restarting their cycle of murder.

Das weisse Band Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Actors: Ulrich Tukur

The events portrayed in the film are narrated as distant memories of the village schoolmaster.

The setting is the Protestant north-German village of Eichwald between 1913 and 1914. Here the pastor, the doctor and the baron rule the roost over women, children and peasant farmers. The puritanical pastor gives confirmation classes and causes his pubescent children to have guilty consciences over trivial offences. He makes them wear white ribbons of purity to remind them of the path of righteousness from which they have strayed. When his son confesses to masturbation, the pastor has the boy’s hands tied to the bed frame. The doctor, who treats the village children in a kindly way, nevertheless humiliates his housekeeper (the local midwife) and sexually abuses his own daughter. The baron, who is the lord of the manor, does as he pleases and rides roughshod over his workers. This exploitation so angers the son of one of the farmers that he destroys a field of cabbages belonging to the baron. The young man’s mother had previously been killed when she fell through rotten floorboards at the baron’s sawmill and his grieving father is later found hanged.

Mysterious things happen. A wire is stretched between two trees causing the doctor to fall from his horse. The baron’s eldest son is abducted on the day of the harvest festival and is found the following morning in the woods, having been bound and thrashed with a cane. A barn is set on fire. The handicapped son of the midwife is attacked and almost blinded. The pastor discovers that his canary has been cruelly killed – apparently as revenge for the draconian punishments to his children.

The midwife rides into town on a bicycle – perhaps she has evidence for the police. The schoolmaster leaves the village never to return.[2]