80-year-old Austrian film director Michael Haneke and his exceptional career

Golden Palms, an Oscar, Golden Globes, European and German film awards: Few directors have been honoured for their work as widely as Michael Haneke, according to DW.

At the start, the publication adds, nothing pointed to an exceptional career. No one could have predicted that the man who once directed a few TV films for a German broadcaster would be among the very few film directors to win two Palme d’Or awards in Cannes. Followed by an Oscar. And Golden Globes. And almost a dozen European film prizes.

Over the past years, Michael Haneke has been overwhelmed by awards. It wasn’t until he began to work as a director for the big screen in 1989 that he really found his own style.

He has directed 11 movies since then.

His debut, “The Seventh Continent,” was a movie packed with relentless intensity that borders on the unendurable about a family that deliberately commits suicide. It is utterly disturbing.

His next films are also characterized by glacial intensity and razor-sharp analysis.

Michael Haneke appears to have little pity for his protagonists. He tells stories on the screen like a pathologist dissects bodies. “This is what it’s like, take a look,” he seems to be telling the viewer. “Life happens to be just the way I’m showing it to you.”

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