In: KulturPoetik 2010, Heft 1


Arne Koch


(Virtual) Reality Games. Michael Haneke as Auteur and Stalker




This essay discusses Michael Haneke’s features Benny’s Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, Funny Games, and Caché as examples of the filmmaker’s revelation of the ongoing function of and challenge to the idea of homo ludens. Rather than fortifying viewers’ roles within all-encompassing societal games, his films probe the function of games in gray areas between virtual and real. Through filmic estimations of the world as its own hyperreality, viewers encounter a concrete pessimism from the negative-evolutionary process shown for homo ludens, which paradoxically results, if not in an optimistic, at least in an altered awareness of viewers’ perceived reality.