Michael Haneke, in an interview with Paris Review:
"I despise films that have a political agenda. Their intent is always to manipulate, to convince the viewer of their respective ideologies. Ideologies, however, are artistically uninteresting. I always say that if something can be reduced to one clear concept, it is artistically dead. If a single concept captures something, then everything has already been resolved—or so it appears, at least. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard to write synopses. I just cannot do it. If I were able to summarize a film in three sentences, I wouldn’t need to make it. Then I’d be a journalist …
I’ve never seen good results from people trying to speak about things they don’t know firsthand. They will talk about Afghanistan, about children in Africa, but in the end they only know what they’ve seen on TV or read in the newspaper. And yet they pretend—even to themselves—that they know what they’re saying. But that’s bullshit. I’m quite convinced that I don’t know anything except for what is going on around me, what I can see and perceive every day, and what I have experienced in my life so far …
We, in our protected little worlds, are much more numb because we are in luck not to experience danger on a daily basis. But that’s precisely why the film industry in the so-called first world is in such a rut. There is just so much recycling. We don’t have the capability to represent authentic experiences because there is so little we do experience. …
I’ve seen it many times in my circle of friends—that when someone is caring for a sick partner, they will just fall apart. Not the one who’s sick, but the partner who is taking care of him. If that goes on for months or years even, those people end up hardly recognizable. People who care for a loved one get crushed under an immense burden. …
whether it’s a good or a bad film depends entirely on its form. Everything is a story. The Holocaust is as much a story as is the tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Now the real question is, what do you do with it? What will you make of your story and how are you going to tell it? That alone determines how it will be received. A naked woman is a naked woman, but Velázquez’s naked woman is different from Picasso’s naked woman. The form determines the artwork and distinguishes it from the work of a dilettante. …
I’m always keen to stress that music is the queen of the arts because in music, form and content are identical."
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