Monday, 9 November 2009

M. H.

“...I'm trying to find a cinematic language that restores a little freedom to the viewer. With a book the reader provides the images through imagination; other artforms are like that too. But cinema steals those images from the viewer, in that it replaces them with images made by someone else. In providing images, words and all the rest, cinema determines and fixes many things; and thanks to that, it's easy to manipulate the viewer, by allowing little chance of standing back a bit to reflect on the film. From a moral perspective, that's not good.
So I try to give the viewer a little more freedom; but how, if an image is still an image? You have to work with what's offscreen – or, at least, with what is not onscreen – and use a kind of dramaturgy that isn't 'finished', that leaves openings for interpretation. Those seem to me the only two ways of giving the viewer more freedom. I see my job as partly about increasing the possibility of imagining for the spectator. That way we might bring the cinema more in line with the other arts.
While there are obviously a great many filmmakers who see their role in exactly the opposite light, there are others who share this view – Kiarostami, for example, who for me is the greatest. It seems the only way for the cinema to make any real progress. Film can be faster, more violent, more technologically sophisticated, of course, but even then it staying fundamentally the same.”
Michael Haneke
Sight & Sound
Dec. 2009
Vol. 19 Issue 12

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