Time of the Wolf plug
Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:59 AM
Posted 14 April 2004 - 09:07 AM
heh, THAT'S what I call a plug. I'm not sure that in final voting, we will be able to do that. but I will look it up and see if I can find it.
Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:01 PM
Ron, please record a vote for Time of the Wolf even though i already voted. I have plenty of votes left.
OH, and how did All or Nothing not make the list?
Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:21 PM
|Ron, please record a vote for Time of the Wolf even though i already voted. I have plenty of votes left.|
All in due time, lad. All in due time.
Bear in mind that your first round list was used to give a sort of "Honorary Placement" to an initial batch of films, and to eliminate a bunch of others. Starting this weekend we do a fresh round of voting, open to everybody who's a registered user of this discussion board: anybody who can make a post is a registered user, and is invited to vote on the next 40 or 50 films to be added to the list. Make sure you have a look at the Selection Process thread to get a clear idea of how that voting will be carried out.
Getting back to the WOLF... It's definitely possible to vote for a film one hasn't seen. But you guys will have to give us a bit more about this one to convince us, I'd say, because it's so little known. I'll likely vote for AU HASARD BALTHAZAR and ORDET simply because they so clearly belong on the list: even though I've not seen either in their entirety, I know their reputation among Christian film buffs, have read lots about them, it seems obvious they should be listed and I don't want my lack of having seen them to stand in their way. But all I know about TIME OF THE WOLF so far is that Chicagoans (and Jeff) are in love with it.
Want to make your case?
Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:32 PM
|But all I know about TIME OF THE WOLF so far is that Chicagoans (and Jeff) are in love with it.|
In love with it, yes... but haven't seen it. :?
Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:35 PM
In love with it, yes... but haven't seen it. :?
Just Chicagoans, then.
Mike, stef: I think you better make sure your very busy friend JBob joins you in voting for this one...
Posted 16 April 2004 - 09:49 AM
(screened at the Chicago International Film Festival – 2003)
by M. Leary, film and religion editor, The Matthew's House Project
Time of the Wolf was written before Haneke began the massive undertaking that resulted in Code Unknown. Immediately on the heels of the mercilessly self-referential Funny Games (in which at one point the lead criminal looks into the camera and asks: “What would you bet that this family is dead by nine o'clock tomorrow?”), Time of the Wolf was shelved due to lack of funding. Now having directed two “French” films of a much different experiential quality than his glacial trilogy or its follow-up Funny Games, Time of the Wolf has run the festival circuit to a great deal of applause.
In The Piano Teacher, Haneke dragged us through the morbidly complex psychology of Isabella Huppert’s character, introducing a larger audience to his conception of film as
…polemical statements against the American 'barrel down' cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.
In Code Unknown this sense of provocation came to the foreground through a series of brilliantly fragmented politicized vignettes, probing the visual language of human relationships with deliberately de-mystified camerawork.
Now it seems that in this year’s release of Time of the Wolf we have the raw edginess of the Glacial Trilogy working through the complex social imagery of his French films. The film claims its title (Wolfszeit) from an old German poem that invokes an apocalypse, a poetic rendering of the world in stages of social breakdown. As the story goes, Anna is leading her teenaged daughter Lise and shell-shocked son Ben through the French countryside in search of food and shelter. Some unidentified social catastrophe has thrust the world into an unstructured and informationless confusion, a world in which the materials necessary for survival are the basic form of exchange. Making their way from shelter to shelter with no food or water they come upon a small gathering of vagrants in an abandon railway station. With the rest of this ungainly group of survivors Anna decides to wait for a train to happen by and return civilization to them.
Haneke’s sparse tale provides space for this new micro society to work itself out of the culture they are used to and into a social system designed specifically for survival. Anna’s little family immediately encounters in the station the way men naturally arrange themselves in the absence of established codes and obligations. Women are reduced to leverage in bartering and men reduced to their status on the scale of the will to power. As a larger band of dislocated vagabonds descend on the station, a weird sort of Tribalism emerges. It is one that hasn’t completely yet stepped beyond the racial tension of contemporary Europe, which, other than a few packs of cigarettes, retains the only shred of cultural identity in the film.
Haneke’s lo-fi directorial approach is an unmovable force, the difficult visions of his films being inflexible trajectories that his actors are forced to conform to. Time of the Wolf breaks down Huppert just as visibly as she was in The Piano Teacher. At times she is little more than the emotional guide to the cacophony of imagery Haneke brings together in the construction of this unsettling future. Fortunately, where Huppert’s character descends at times into helplessness, her daughter Lise provides us with a glimpse of this new world one step removed from it, for she isn’t fully capable yet of understanding the implications of what has happened.
Haneke continually plays with the depth of field, alternating between and isolating his characters. He lets sound dribble from frame to frame, at times moving from silence to intolerable din back to silence over the course of a few instants. In one gripping sequence Lise and Thomas wait in a woodshed for their mother to return from a hunt through the village for food and water. Insulated by the silence of the town, the sound of an escaped parakeet in the shed becomes deafening. Layered over this is the clamoring and rustling of Lise as she tries to catch it and the flitting images of the whole occasion flicker past one another until finally the bird is caught and Thomas zips it up into his jacket, letting us imagine the sound of his heartbeat in the silence that has returned. In a counterpart to this scene, Anna stumbles through pitch-black darkness for several moments as we see nothing but her voice and the sort of dancing prismatic blackness that is unique to film. These scenes are just a few points of poetry in the film that is filled with as much rhythm as it is narrative violence.
Time of the Wolf is a concentrated, emotionally detailed visualization of a deceptively simple tale. It has all the intentioned thoughtfulness of Code Unknown, and the inexplicable angst of The Piano Teacher. But where neither exhibited resolution, Time of the Wolf closes itself off by opening up for us the world we have just seen constructed in the film. His conclusion empowers us not just with a sense of an unexpected glimpse of hope, but with Haneke’s characteristic ability to instill a social gravity to film that is lost on other directors.
Posted 16 April 2004 - 10:00 AM
As good as these reviews are, there is still way too much to say about the film. It really is one of the best examples I can think of that deals with what we usually call around here the "spiritual" nature of films that aren't done by intentionally "spiritual" people.