One of the key ways that Michael Haneke ropes viewers into Funny Games, his relentless, provocative psychological thriller about a brutal home invasion, is by regularly breaching the fourth wall. In the 1997 film, two high-spirited young men in tennis whites set their diabolical sights on a well-to-do family, breaking into their country home to torture them for sport—and in the process occasionally pausing the action to talk straight into the camera. The director intended these confidential asides as a method of drawing viewers’ attention to their own complicity in the sadistic “games” on display. In the above clip, taken from a supplement on our new edition of the film, Haneke talks about how the playful direct-to-camera addresses in a very different movie, Tony Richardson’s freewheeling picaresque Tom Jones, inspired his own self-referential strategy for examining violence in mass media—and our insatiable appetite for it.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.