Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke 2009.jpg
Born (1942-03-23) 23 March 1942 (age 81)
Munich, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
Years active1974-present
Susanne Haneke
(m. 1983)

Michael Haneke (German: [ˈhaːnəkə]; born 23 March 1942) is an Austrian film director and screenwriter. His work often examines social issues and depicts the feelings of estrangement experienced by individuals in modern society.[1] Haneke has made films in French, German, and English and has worked in television and theatre, as well as cinema. He also teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna.

His directorial debut, The Seventh Continent, won the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1989. He later won the Grand Prix at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for The Piano Teacher and the Best Director Award for Caché at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. He subsequently directed the 2007 remake of his controversial 1997 film Funny Games.

At the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, his film The White Ribbon won the Palme d'Or, and at the 67th Golden Globe Awards the film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2012, his film Amour premiered and competed at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film would go on to win the Palme d'Or, making it his second win of the prestigious award in three years; this made him the seventh director to have won it twice and the only Austrian director to have accomplished this.[2] The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Emmanuelle Riva; it won in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

In 2013, Haneke won the Prince of Asturias Award for the arts. His twelfth and most recent film, Happy End, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Life and career

Haneke is the son of German actor and director Fritz Haneke and Austrian actress Beatrix von Degenschild [de]. His stepfather, the composer Alexander Steinbrecher [de], had later married the mother of actor Christoph Waltz.[3] Haneke was raised in the city of Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Haneke showed a strong interest in literature and music, but as an adolescent developed a "downright contempt for any form of school".[4] During this period of his life, he has later described himself as a "rebel". He had ambitions of becoming an actor in his youth, later abandoning these plans after failing an entrance examination at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna.[5] He later attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy, psychology and drama. Not a committed student, he would spend most of his time attending local movie theatres.[6] After leaving university, he began working odd jobs, before working as an editor and dramaturge at the southwestern German television station Südwestfunk from 1967 to 1970, a time during which he also worked as a film critic. He made his debut as a television director in 1974.

Haneke's feature film debut was 1989's The Seventh Continent, which served to trace out the violent and bold style that would bloom in later years. Three years later, the controversial Benny's Video put Haneke's name on the map. Haneke achieved great success in 2001 with the critically successful French film The Piano Teacher. It won the prestigious Grand Prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and also won its stars, Benoît Magimel and Isabelle Huppert, the Best Actor and Actress awards. He has worked with Juliette Binoche (Code Unknown in 2000 and Caché in 2005), after she expressed interest in working with him.[7] Haneke frequently worked with real-life couple Ulrich Mühe and Susanne Lothar – thrice each.

His film, The White Ribbon, premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme d'Or. The film is set in 1913 and deals with strange incidents in a small town in Northern Germany, depicting an authoritarian, fascist-like atmosphere, where children are subjected to rigid rules and suffer harsh punishments, and where strange deaths occur. In 2012, his film Amour also won the Palme d'Or.

Haneke says that films should offer viewers more space for imagination and self-reflection. Films that have too much detail and moral clarity, Haneke says, are used for mindless consumption by their viewers.[8]

His 2012 film Amour won the Best Foreign Language Oscar and was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.[9] In 2013, he was the subject of the documentary film Michael H – Profession: Director.[10][11] That year, Haneke won the Prince of Asturias Award for the arts.

In 2017, his twelfth film, Happy End, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

Haneke also teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna.[12][13] One of his students there was director Katharina Mückstein.[14][15]

Stage work

Haneke has directed a number of stage productions in German, which include works by Strindberg, Goethe, and Heinrich von Kleist in Berlin, Munich and Vienna. In 2006 he gave his debut as an opera director, staging Mozart's Don Giovanni for the Opéra National de Paris at Palais Garnier when the theater's general manager was Gerard Mortier. In 2012, he was to direct Così fan tutte for the New York City Opera.[16] This production had originally been commissioned by Jürgen Flimm for the Salzburg Festival 2009, but Haneke had to resign due to an illness preventing him from preparing the work. Haneke realized this production at Madrid's Teatro Real in 2013.[17]


Feature films

Year Title Credited as Reception
Director Writer Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1989 The Seventh Continent Yes Yes 67% (6 reviews)[18] 89 (7 reviews)[19]
1992 Benny's Video Yes Yes 64% (11 reviews)[20] 60 (9 reviews)[21]
1994 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance Yes Yes 60% (5 reviews)[22] 71 (8 reviews)[23]
1995 The Moor’s Head No Yes
1997 Funny Games Yes Yes 71% (38 reviews)[24] 69 (10 reviews)[25]
2000 Code Unknown Yes Yes 75% (51 reviews)[26] 74 (13 reviews)[27]
2001 The Piano Teacher Yes Yes 73% (89 reviews)[28] 79 (26 reviews)[29]
2003 Time of the Wolf Yes Yes 67% (54 reviews)[30] 71 (20 reviews)[31]
2005 Caché Yes Yes 89% (135 reviews)[32] 84 (37 reviews)[33]
2007 Funny Games Yes Yes 51% (144 reviews)[34] 44 (33 reviews)[35]
2009 The White Ribbon Yes Yes 86% (147 reviews)[36] 82 (33 reviews)[37]
2012 Amour Yes Yes 93% (227 reviews)[38] 94 (45 reviews)[39]
2017 Happy End Yes Yes 70% (155 reviews)[40] 72 (30 reviews)[41]


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
1974 After Liverpool Yes Yes TV movie
1976 Three Paths to the Lake Yes Yes
Sperrmüll Yes Yes
1979 Lemminge Yes Yes TV mini series; 2 episodes
1983 Variation – oder Daß es Utopien gibt, weiß ich selber! Yes Yes TV movie
1984 Wer war Edgar Allan? Yes Yes
1986 Fraulein – Ein deutsches Melodram Yes Yes
1991 Nachruf für einen Mörder Yes Yes TV movie documentary
1993 Die Rebellion Yes Yes TV movie
1997 The Castle Yes Yes
2013 Così Fan Tutte Yes No
TBA Kelvin's Book Yes Yes TV series [42]

Short films



  1. ^ Wray, John (23 September 2007). "Minister of Fear". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 21 August 2007. Making waves, however, is what Haneke has become famous for. Over the last two decades, the director has developed a reputation for stark, often brutal films that place the viewer – sometimes subtly, sometimes explicitly – in the uncomfortable role of accomplice to the crimes playing out on-screen. This approach has made Haneke one of contemporary cinema's most reviled and revered figures, earning him everything from accusations of obscenity to a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Funny Games, the movie Haneke was shooting in New York and Long Island, is the American remake of a highly controversial film by the same name that he directed in 1997.
  2. ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes Festival. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  3. ^ In his second marriage, the composer Alexander Steinbrecher was married to Degenschild. After her death he married Elisabeth Urbancic [de], the mother of Waltz. So Steinbrecher is the stepfather of both Haneke and Waltz.
  4. ^ "Haneke über Haneke" (PDF).
  5. ^ Rouyer, Cieutat, Phillippe, Michel (2013). Haneke par Haneke. France: Alexander. pp. 17, 18, 22, 24, 28, 29. ISBN 978-3895812972.
  6. ^ "Interview with Michael Haneke". YouTube. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Sight & Sound | Code Unknown (2000)". BFI. 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Michael Haneke Interviewed by Alexander Kluge – News und Stories (eng subtitles by dctp)". ProSiebenSat.1 Media. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2012.[dead YouTube link]
  9. ^ "Oscars: Hollywood announces 85th Academy Award nominations". BBC News. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (14 March 2013). "Michael H – Profession: Director". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Michael H., Profession: Director". Timeout. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  12. ^ Tozard, Will (8 September 2010). "Top directors teach at European film schools". Variety.
  13. ^ "Filmakademie Wien". Cineuropa. 7 June 2016.
  14. ^ "L'ANIMALE | Luxembourg City Film Festival". Luxembourg City Film Festival. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  15. ^ Hausbichler, Beate (12 September 2013). "Katharina Mückstein: "Die Discoszene mit Nina Proll ist natürlich ein Zitat"". Der Standard (in German).
  16. ^ "Opera News > The Met Opera Guild". Metoperafamily.org. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Giving Così fan tutte a Little Extra Gravity" Archived 3 February 2021 at the Wayback Machine by George Loomis, The New York Times, 5 March 2013
  18. ^ "THE SEVENTH CONTINENT". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  19. ^ "The Seventh Continent (1989)". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  20. ^ "BENNY'S VIDEO". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Benny's Video (1992)". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  22. ^ "71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  23. ^ "71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  24. ^ "FUNNY GAMES". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Funny Games". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  26. ^ "CODE UNKNOWN". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  28. ^ "THE PIANO TEACHER". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  29. ^ "The Piano Teacher". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  30. ^ "TIME OF THE WOLF". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Time of the Wolf". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  32. ^ "CACHÉ". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  33. ^ "Caché (Hidden)". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  34. ^ "FUNNY GAMES". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  35. ^ "Funny Games (2008)". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  36. ^ "THE WHITE RIBBON". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  37. ^ "The White Ribbon". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  38. ^ "AMOUR". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  39. ^ "Amour". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  40. ^ "HAPPY END". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  41. ^ "Happy End". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  42. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (29 January 2018). "Michael Haneke To Create His First TV Series 'Kelvin's Book' For FremantleMedia's UFA Fiction". Deadline. Retrieved 12 July 2021.