Michael H. Profession: Director
PROD Vincent Lucassen
SCR/CAM Yves Montmayeur
ED Oliver Neumann
PROD CO Crescendo Film / Les Films du Losange
"H" stands for Haneke, arguably the most successful European art-house filmmaker working today. Haneke picked up major prizes at Cannes for four of his last six films, including the Grand Prix for The Piano Teacher; Best Director for Caché; and the Palme d’or for both The White Ribbon and last year’s Amour, which also won the Academy Award.
He is a rigorous, austere, philosophical filmmaker who is also embraced by a relatively widespread art-film audience. Like Bergman he has become synonymous with intellectual seriousness. Like Buñuel he likes to provoke his bourgeois audience through transgressive, sometimes shocking subject matter, and by implicating the viewer through his formal sleight of hand.
And for most of the last 20 years, Yves Montmayeur has been there beside him as Haneke has perfected his art. Assembled from the behind-the-scenes “making of” documentaries Montmayer has shot on Haneke’s sets since the early 1990s, this feature tracks backwards, film by film, from Amour through to 1989’s The Seventh Continent. Like Benjamin Button, Haneke grows younger—and less guarded—as the film progresses, and so too do repeat collaborators like Huppert and Binoche. But the real pleasure here comes less from the interviews (conducted in French and German) than from seeing the precision, energy and concentration of a master filmmaker working so closely with his actors in rehearsal and on the set.