Taking its cues from the cinematic innovations of the controversial Austrian-born director Michael Haneke, Funny Frames explores how a political thinking manifests itself in his work. The book is divided into two parts. In the first, Oliver C. Speck explores some of Haneke's Deleuzian traits - showing how the theoretical concepts of the virtual, of filmic space and of realism can be useful tools for unlocking the problems that Haneke formulates and solves through filmic means. In the second, Speck discusses a range of topics that appear in all of Haneke's films but that haven't, until now, been fully noticed or analyzed. These chapters demonstrate how Haneke plays the role of "diagnostician of culture", how he reads - for example - madness, suicide and childhood. Like several other contemporary European directors, Haneke addresses topics considered difficult when measured by the standards of commercial cinema: the traumatic effects of violence, racism, and alienation. Funny Frames is an incisive and original contribution to the growing scholarship on one of the most intriguing auteurs of our time.
Oliver C. Speck is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. His scholarly writing focuses on the representation of memory and history in French, German and other European cinema.
Introduction: Framing Haneke; 1. The Conceptual Frame of Reference; 2. A Movement Through Haneke's Oeuvre; 3. A Marriage of Past and Present - The Overcoming of Fassbinder; 4. Thinking the Event: The Virtual in Michael Haneke; 5. A New Order: The Method of Madness; 6. Self/Aggression: Violence in Films by Michael Haneke; 7. The Moral of the Long Take; 8. The Funny Frame; Appendix: Plot Reviews; Filmography; Bibliography; Index.