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Michael Haneke

Birthdate: 1942/03/23
born in: Munich, Germany
Biography
Michael Haneke (born March 23, 1942 in Munich, Germany) is an Austrian filmmaker and writer best known for his bleak and disturbing style. His films often document problems and failures in modern society. Haneke has worked in television‚ theater and cinema. He is also known for raising social issues in his work. Besides working as filmmaker he also teaches directing at the Filmacademy Vienna. At the 2009 Cannes Film Festival he was awarded the Palme d'Or for The White Ribbon as the best feature film.

The son of actor and director Fritz Haneke and actress Beatrix von Degenschild, Haneke was raised in the city Wiener Neustadt. He attended the University of Vienna to study philosophy, psychology and drama after failing to achieve success in his early attempts in acting and music. After graduating, he became a film critic and from 1967 to 1970 he worked as editor and dramaturg at the southwestern German television station Südwestfunk. As a playwright, he directed a number of stage productions in German, which included works by Strindberg, Goethe, and Heinrich von Kleist in Berlin, Munich and Vienna. He made his debut as a television director in 1973.

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's greatest success came in 2001 with his most critically successful film, the French 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.

His latest film, The White Ribbon, premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The movie deals with strange incidents in a small town in Northern Germany before World War I, showing an authoritatrian, fascist-like atmosphere. The Cannes jury presided by Isabelle Huppert and including Asia Argento and Robin Wright Penn awarded Haneke's film the Palme d'Or for the best feature film.

Filmography
The Seventh Continent (1989)
Benny's Video (1992)
71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)
Funny Games (1997)
Code inconnu (Code Unknown): Récit incomplet de divers voyages (2000)
La pianiste (2002) (The Piano Teacher)
Le temps du loup (2003) (Time of the Wolf)
Caché (2005) (Hidden)
Funny Games (US remake) (2008)
Das Weiße Band (2009) (The White Ribbon)


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