Friday, February 19, 2010

The White Ribbon

Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon), 2009
Dir: Michael Haneke

This awfully manipulative (according to Haneke, the film is about "the origin of every type of terrorism, be it of political or religious nature"[r u seriuz dude?]) film should have as a subtitle “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Nazism.” Like Funny Games (1997), I thought, at the beginning, that this was going to be another Haneke film with the notion that disturbing, violent images make up for crappy stories that are supposedly "metaphors" for other things. And well, it is, so I tried to forget about that once I realized what was really going on and stick my head into the story and visuals, and it's pretty easy to get sucked in, and I mean that in a completely good way. There's a lot of ambiguity and ambivalence in the story, a great deal of care going in to what is being shown and what is hidden (behind closed doors [hey is that a concentration camp reference? shut up and enjoy the movie!] ) and the narrative structure is paced pretty well. And, as evidenced here, you can have all the amazing CGI you want, but you can't beat a powerful close-up of the human face. All of the kids were great in this, to the point where even when the school teacher's only rational explanation is to go after the Children of the Corn, you still have nothing tangible to be like, "yeah, he's right." They do weird things, but all kids do. But who did it doesn't really matter. So, I really liked this...for the most part. When he does it well, he does it well.

And yes, those are the completely retarded battles I have with myself as I watch a movie [objectivity: why bother? yeah, seriously brah, it's not like films have to be good or anything...].

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