Michael Haneke’s “Cache” by Michael Joshua Rowin with responses from Nick Pinkerton and Jeannette Catsoulis (December 19, 2005)

Shock the bourgeois. That rallying cry of early 20th Century European art and art cinema — apres Baudelaire — becomes less effective as each passing year pulls us further from the canonized abrasions of modernity and deeper into the postmodern neutralization of visceral, disarming violence. In retrospect, Austrian provocateur Michael Haneke’s early films, culminating in 1997’s nihilistic “Funny Games,” fall into this trap, brilliantly composed and confrontational as they are. As apocalyptic visions of the bourgeois nuclear family, “The Seventh Continent” and “Funny Games” remain nearly unparalleled in their unrelenting brutality.

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