Thursday, January 10, 2008

KBT Presents: FUNNY GAMES

A fresh year, a fresh start for KBT screenings. Why not start off with something cold, analytical and bleak? Hey, it's January.

While 2008 (thankfully) does not promise to be as loaded down with 'threequels' and remakes as 2007, one of the stranger remakes (and one I'm quite interested in) is Funny Games. Austrian director Michael Haneke is remaking his own 1997 film (which was in German and French) in English with reasonably high profile actors (Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt). Is this a response to the success that he enjoyed with the successful reception of Caché back in 2006? Is this some sort of intellectual prank (something that I would not put beyond this director who takes particular delight in not delivering what his films suggest)?

Here is your chance to see the original 1997 version before the (apparently) shot-by-shot remake. Now the title suggests one thing, but the premise quickly demonstrates that the title is aiming for subversive over descriptive. The premise of the film is incredibly simple: Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement. Oh, but the devil is in the details. One one hand the performances are compelling and completely convincing, and emotionally the film is out to take no prisoners. On the other hand, the director is making a pretty loud and bold query on what people go to the movies to get out of them. Particularly violent movies. A key moment midway through the film is certainly a conversation starter, and typically is the make or break point on whether one actually 'likes' this film (enjoy is not exactly the proper word in the context of watching this one.) An argument could perhaps be made that Haneke made a compelling answer to the torture porn phenomenon exemplified by the Saw and Hostel films 10 half a decade before the phenomenon actually started. Or maybe that is the reason for the remake that is coming out this March. You be the judge. This is fairly challenging cinema to process.

Come out Thursday January 10th for a bit of the old Ultraviolence, much like Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, the film condemns it as it glorifies it. While this screening will take place this Thursday, the remaining screenings in 2008 will be moving towards Tuesdays to mix things up a bit. Drinks at 8pm. Trailers and Showtime at 8:30pm.

2 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

What is KBT? I understand the release date of the remake is 2 months from now - March 14, 2008.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

KBT = Kurt's Basement Theatre. The place where we've been hosting our regular screening series since 2004.

Yea, the remake was pushed back from January. Booooo!

8:56 AM  

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