Dark subjects and white ribbons

My review of Michael Haneke’s latest, “The White Ribbon,” can now be accessed over at El Cardinale Diario. The Cliff’s Notes version of my thoughts: A superb though mostly miserable movie. Perhaps Haneke’s implicit thesis about the relationship between Puritanism and Nazism is slightly glib (though perhaps not), the film’s consistently intense (and punishing) aesthetics are more than enough to keep viewers enthralled for two-and-a-half hours.

You’ve gotta hand it to Haneke: the guy gets results. But never before has he achieved said results in the service of such a visually engaging piece of work. This surely would’ve made onto my list of favorites from 2009 had I actually seen it in 2009.

I understand that there’s an element of teasing in my reviewing a film that’s exclusively playing in NY at the moment, but “The White Ribbon” is a Sony Pictures Classics release, so there’s a distinct possibility that it’ll come to Madison sooner rather than later. Let’s hope so. I’m looking at you, Sundance and/or the Orpheum.


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