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Out Of The Cage

Histoire(s) du cinéma: Locarno70

Out Of The Cage



From daily routine there is no escape. Especially if we, caged into the institutions that society created, have no intention to exit from.

In his movie from 1989 Michael Haneke chose, through his usual entomologist look, to show the cage other than the human animals who live in it. Even more than the family in Der siebente Kontinent (The Seventh Continent) to worth are objects and machines which surround the characters and little by little suffocate them. In the thunderous silence of figures unable to communicate then is the sound of a monotonous, artificial, estranges context to dominate. 

As happened very often in his opera the director targets the primary institution of family and attacks it from the outside, undermining its foundations. The three members who would leave for Australia get instead imprisoned inside domestic walls, believing naively that is their choice locking in. The truth is, as always in Haneke’s cinema, that is the superstructure to rule and cage the individual, in which he thinks he can find freedom and meanings. Before developing his dry and powerful style of future movies like Funny Games and La pianist, Haneke in this movie tries aesthetic solutions more daring, working especially with different timings in the editing. Der siebente Kontinent begins with some (apparently) neutral and harmless details about a car at the wash service and ends with a ballistic sequence of objects, faces, situations who mixed in the still chaos which is our nowadays. The movie won the Pardo di bronzo at Locarno 1989.

Adriano Ercolani

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