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Aptly subtitled "Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys," the fifth feature by Austrian director Michael Haneke (2000, 117 min.) is a procession of lengthy virtuoso takes that typically begin and end in the middle of actions and/or sentences, constituting not only an interactive jigsaw puzzle but a thrilling narrative experiment comparable to Alain Resnais' Je t'aime, je t'aime, Jacques Rivette's Out 1, and Rob Tregenza's Talking to Strangers. The film's second episode is a nine-minute street scene involving an altercation between an actress (Juliette Binoche in a powerful performance), her boyfriend's younger brother, an African music teacher who works with deaf-mute students, and a woman beggar from Romania, and the other episodes represent a kind of narrative dispersal of these characters and some of their relatives across time and space. I couldn't always keep up with what was happening, but I was never bored, and the questions raised by this film, Haneke's best work to date, aren't very different from the mysteries of everyday life. This is Haneke's first feature made in France, and the title refers to the pass codes used to enter houses and apartment buildings in Paris--a metaphor for the codes that might crack certain global and ethical issues. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, January 4 through 10.

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