26 November 2009

Benny’s Video by Haneke, 1992

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 11:33 am




  1. I found this movie to be particularly relevant to a phone conversation I’d had the day before. The woman called about her high-school-aged son, who scores at near-genius level on IQ tests and who had just robbed his friend’s mother of her jewelry. Confronted, the kid expressed no remorse for his crime, causing the mom to worry that her son was a sociopath. I reassured her of course, but meanwhile I’m imagining that maybe, if I worked with him, the kid could become a gifted criminal…


    Comment by john doyle — 27 November 2009 @ 5:18 pm

    • ‘if I worked with him, the kid could become a gifted criminal…’

      Damn, you’re showing signs of progress. I heard a lot of good things today, and you still haven’t used the word ‘ineluctable’ prematurely, like some have.


      Comment by Ray Fuller — 27 November 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    • Somehow “ineluctable” hadn’t come to mind all day until you mentioned it, Ray. Where and in what context did the failure take place?


      Comment by john doyle — 27 November 2009 @ 5:37 pm

      • I wouldn’t know, I’m shu-ah. Because I am always already ‘striving after’ all the ‘juste’ things meself still. What we want most now is antinomy and the banalizing forcefield of the market as a stopgap measure in order to further access self-deconstructing chimera such as the artistic concession made at a pizza parlour today in which we successfully closed the deal on a painting of Desiree Disgusto’s Ass-Vase of Chrysanthemums by the mere proferring of a simple printout. Who says her book will sell more than ours now that we’ve sold Swiss rectitude on total-perv Socialism?


        Comment by Ray Fuller — 27 November 2009 @ 6:35 pm

      • Intractability perhaps? Irresolvability? Obduracy? Refractoriness? Or let me put it another way: Failure to resolve the contradiction led to failure as a literary theme.


        Comment by john doyle — 27 November 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  2. No, that’s still no good. Failure to resolve the contradiction prompted the thematization of failure… oh it’s hopeless: the syntax is intractable.


    Comment by john doyle — 27 November 2009 @ 7:22 pm

    • it’s also about the success in creating works that escape the mediocritizing determination of the market within the market itself, while keeping the focus at all times on the ‘within the market itself’ part. This is, by the way, how one writes shit blawgposts about ‘always, always, not even always already, staying WITHIN THE MARKET ITSELF’…b-b-b-b-b-BUT! I just don’t care WHAT you think. And I’ll pull this post down for obvious reasons, but this really IS a shitty line of work.


      Comment by Ray Fuller — 27 November 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  3. Eloise I think this movie is about the following: its ostensible theme is the violent influence the media exert upon infantile brains, and the resulting psychosis, but the latent theme, of course, is that there is no distinguishing between the world of the video games and the mutistic, almost autistic, German bourgeois society whose indifference is just as psychotic as the child’s murder. This is a painful film for me because it so accurately paints German society, and all of its extensions like the Lowlands. I think Austria was accurately made into a technotronic nightmare, with cold buzzing and humming sounds flattening everything into dreary depression.

    Hanneke is a pretty incredible talent, so this movie never dated I think.


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 28 November 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  4. When Benny changed the channel we were treated to newsreel scenes of the Bosnia-Serbia war interspersed with silly commercial entertainments. This conveys the sense of a flat ontology if you will, with no channel intrinsically more important than any other. Benny’s father exercised that same sense of rational control we see in the Willem Dafoe character in Antichrist. I wasn’t sure why Benny and his mother went to Egypt of all places while the father cleaned up the mess. We see Benny get his head shaved, then he’s wearing an Egyptian hat, as if we’re meant to see him as a kind of Middle Eastern terrorist. Alternatively, it’s the contrast between these ancient and deep cultures of the world and the contemporary shallowness represented by Benny and the late-modern West.


    Comment by john doyle — 28 November 2009 @ 9:20 pm

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