Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Seventh Continent (1989)

Having just finished The Castle (which was amazing) and Benny's Video (which was interesting), I've been on an official Haneke kick lately. This is his first feature film and I must say it is equally as remarkable and fucked up as the rest of his canon. He seems to be one of the only modern directors willing to tackle sensitive unspoken social issues.

Based on true events, The Seventh Continent chronicles the somewhat unclear decline and eventual destruction of the bourgeois family unit ending with the demolition of their house and belongings and finally the ultimate act of suicide. The only reasoning for their actions given are hints at the sterility of the bourgeois society, "some kind of nervous depression and isolation in modern repetitive life."

As a purveyor of seething loathing towards middle class culture, I found this to be a fantastic portrayal of the reality behind the veil, and what happens when the daily tension or in some cases tedium becomes too much to handle. The bourgeois culture is one built on denial, delusions, and pressures galore and I'm surprised implosions like this don't occur more often. But, hey, I guess that's what Prozac, xanax, and alcohol are for. Not Haneke's best, but a great film regardless.

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