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24 Realities Per Second

by Nina Kusturica and Eva Testor, Directors
The Cinema Guild, New York, 2005
DVD, 58 mins., color
Sales, $39.95
Distributor’s website: http://www.cinemaguild.com/.

Reviewed by Andrea Dahlberg


"…film is 24 lies per second at the service of truth, or at the service of the attempt to find truth." Michael Haneke

Nina Kusturica and Eva Testor followed the Austrian film director, Michael Haneke, for more than two years to make this portrait of him. It is not so much a documentary as a record of a series of incidents in the life of a European auteur. Dressed in the customary black uniform of the intellectual, Haneke attends press conferences, debates the meaning of various incidents in his films with festival audiences, endures having his portrait taken by a photographer who wants to erase all the details of the hotel room they are in and recommends that they use his studio next time, scouts locations, immerses himself in the minutiae and tedium of film-making and describes his development as a film maker while journeying across Europe. All the ego, glamour and boredom of the successful art house film director are shown.

Directors Kusturica and Testor seem to have absorbed and replicated Haneke's own great themes of the uncertain position of the spectator, of the constant questioning of what is seen and of the role technology plays in hiding and constructing our world. The incidents in Haneke's life are not drawn together into a whole; the film questions the nature of film and what is depicted and so constantly undermines itself. It shows us some aspects of a professional's life, an artist's life, but it leaves us unsure of their significance. Here, the directors seem to say, is some film of various events in the life of a film director who questions the truth of film, we have turned his methodology back on himself; Haneke makes fictions which search for truths and we have made an essay about him which questions such a distinction.




Updated 1st September 2006

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