Michael Haneke is the figurehead of Austrian film. The son of an Austrian actress and a director was born in Munich. However, he grew up in Austria and initially studied philosophy and psychology in Vienna. Haneke wanted to be an actor or a pianist, but things turned out differently. At the beginning of his career, he worked as a writer and critic. During his time as an editor at Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden, Haneke wrote his first screenplay entitled Weekend. However, he never filmed it. Haneke directed it for the first time in the early 1970s. That was at the Stadttheater Baden-Baden in the play Whole Days in the Trees by Marguerite Duras. Numerous other productions followed in the next few years, including in Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart.
From Editor to Director
His career in film began in 1973, when he made his first television film, After Liverpool. For around 20 years he has also been one of the greats of international cinema. His productions are often French co-productions that win at international film festivals. The best examples of this are The Piano Player with Isabelle Huppert, the movie Caché, The White Ribbon and, most recently, Amour. Haneke can now refer to numerous international awards. These include the Oscar for Love 2013 and Amour, another nomination for The White Ribbon, two Golden Globes, two Golden Palms of Cannes and many other awards.
Countless International Awards
Haneke’s merciless look at reality and his realistic and disturbing films have made the Austrian, who mainly works in France, world-famous. His penultimate film, Amour, was nominated in five categories at the Oscars. Including in many main categories, such as best film, best director, best screenplay, best leading actress and of course best foreign film. The film also won the European Film Award. Peter Haneke is the only director in history who has so far won this award three times. The director passes on his knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers. He has been teaching directing at the Film Academy in Vienna since 2002. Most recently, three years ago, he was invited to the Cannes Film Festival for the eighth time and was nominated for an award for the seventh time with the film Happy End. If you talk about the festival, you also talk about the director. The regular guest is now always the favourite for the Golden Palm award.
Artistic Deeply Rooted in France
Although Haneke lives in Austria, he has a deep connection to French film. He finances his works mainly with money from France. Its stars come from the country with a great European film tradition. Only once Hollywood persuaded did Haneke to shoot in the USA. When the request came for a remake of Funny Games, the director realized the remake himself. His fear that it would be a lousy remake was just too great. He implemented the US version of the strip as a true-to-frame remake.