It speaks to the power of Michael Haneke’s imagery that it can put one on edge, even when cut up into a trailer with no english to give context. The trailer for Michael Haneke’s Palme D’Or winning film, The White Ribbon, now has a German-language trailer (from Twitch film) that I’ve embedded below.
Russ Fischer, a fellow Haneke enthusiast who dutifully covered his goings on while still with CHUD, notes over at /Film, that “something might be very wrong, but not necessarily in the bleakly savage sense of Funny Games.” -and I must agree. It doesn’t look like there’s much room for fourth-wall breaking in this little German village, where the town choir is filled with children and teens witnessing bizarre accidents. The trailer does absolutely drip with the isolation and dread that Haneke manages so well, and we can be certain he knows how to put children through punishment if he feels it necessary. I don’t know what to expect from The White Ribbon, but I do know I’m not likely to forget it.
The buzz from Cannes (along with the big award win) was markedly positive, though not without some apprehension. As the film screens at more festivals between now and the end of the year, we should get a better idea of what kind of place The White Ribbon is taking people. Until then, have a look at the trailer and cross your fingers that Sony Picture Classic’s limited release of the film makes it somewhere near you this Christmas.