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The French Crash.

Update: Okay I should probably unpack this a little more. I’d meant the Oscar-winning-film Crash and not the Ballard book, but nudging an analysis of Cache to incorporate the latter would be really intriguing.

First of all, there’s a lot to respect, actually, in Cache. I’m a huge fan of Michael Haneke’s previous film, Time of the Wolf, which I blogged about here. Cache is a kind of domesticated Time of the Wolf, an inner post-apocalypticism.

And in the end, the most shocking scene in Cache (and it is shocking) is a reprise of the most shocking scene in Time of the Wolf. Haneke’s ideas actually worked better when he was able to bounce them off the larger canvas of a giant societal meltdown. The meltdowns that our society faces now are already “hidden”, and Cache is only trying to hide what’s already hidden, if that makes sense. But it fails in this task; it never finds what was hidden in the first place. Nothing “comes to light” in the movie.

Sure, one might say, that’s the point. But it isn’t “the point” because there is no point to be seen in the movie.

It’s a movie about footage that is little more than footage.

I guess you’d have to see this movie to know what the hell I’m talking about.

Finally, answering basic questions at the end about who, what, where, when, and why would have been mighty helpful. But I would have been able to live with a very ambiguous ending if the overt connections to the political weren’t so clumsy.

Tue, October 16 2007 » Movies/TV

2 Responses

  1. Niall October 17 2007 @ 5:55 am

    The Ballard novel or the Paul Haggis film?

  2. Matt Cheney November 6 2007 @ 12:35 am

    When I first read this, I went, Hmmmm. Then tonight I watched Haneke’s earlier film Code Unknown and kept thinking, “It’s the anti-Crash” (Haggis, not Cronenberg-Ballard). I like Cache quite a bit, and certainly more than the Haggis movie, but Code Unknown is my favorite Haneke by far. All of the other movies of his I’ve seen, including Time of the Wolf, have made me both admire his guts and some of his aesthetics and get really frustrated that he hadn’t done something else somehow, some hard-to-define more. (Except Funny Games, which I thought was insipid.) Code Unknown works so well, I think, not just because every scene is brilliantly composed (and acted — Juliette Binoche gives, I think, one of the great performances of modern film) — but also because all of his tendencies get full play: nothing is explained, the whole is made up of fragments the viewer could put together in at least a few different ways, perceptions and assumptions are manipulated and questioned, etc. But it’s on a larger scale than in Cache and most of his other films. It could almost, in fact, be a kind of prequel to Time of the Wolf.

    Clearly, I could go on and on. (I’m watching all of Haneke’s movies that I can for an ever-procrastinated project on violence that is, in my brain, fascinating. The result may, alas, never exist outside my brain, and if it does, it will probably be horrendously pedestrian. But so it goes.)

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