To fill the void of his middle class existence 14-year-old Benny immerses himself in the world of home video recordings and becomes increasingly distant from his family and the world around him. After inviting a girl to his house events take a nasty turn when he re-enacts a scene from one of his favourite videos - the slaughtering of a pig. With the critical and box-office success of Hidden (Cach'') and the remake of his classic Funny Games Michael Haneke has established himself as a leading director on the world's stage. Making films that are as shocking as they are... intelligent Haneke's controversial journeys into the dark places within our media-saturated society continue to be unique and unparalleled. [show more]
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Austrian director Michael Haneke's graphically disturbing drama about a socially alienated teenager whose world-view is gauged through video cameras. The film questions the desensitising aspects of images of violence on television and the media in general, and the effect this has on the moral reasoning of the young. Benny (Arno Frisch) is an only child, intelligent, but a bit of a loner. He sits in his room most nights, with his video cameras and TV, watching horror films and listening to heavy rock music. Inviting a young girl his own age back to his room one day, he shows her a video, that he has filmed, of a pig being slaughtered. Producing the bolt-gun used in the killing, the pair then play a game of 'dare', which results in the girl being shot dead by Benny. When his parents eventually find out, he's taken off to Egypt while his father attempts to hide the evidence.
One of the most inscrutable alarming frustrating and fascinating contemporary film directors Michael Haneke (THE PIANO TEACHER CACHE) has created a name for himself by examining disturbing issues (sadism violence suicide racism voyeurism alienation nihilism and misguided faith) with a cold cerebral eye BENNY'S VIDEO opens with disturbing images of a pig being slaughtered; it is one of the many images obsessively viewed and reviewed by Benny the 14-year old son of a wealthy Viennese family Detached and ignored Benny seems able to experience life only through his video camera When he kills a young girl and records it on tape his parents go about covering up the murder and Haneke draws everyone--Benny his parents and the viewers themselves--into a web of complicity and postmodern dysfunction Though his films are difficult to watch and invariably leave the viewer with more questions than answers Haneke's unswerving films are some of the most compelling examples of the new European cinema