Joe mentioned the idea of detachment pertaining to Paul making a sandwich while Georgie is murdered. One point of the film is detachment.....detachment of the audience with the 24fps playing out before them. Desensitized, detachment- whichever word one deems best suited for this, Haneke is causing the audience to be self-aware. I think that's one reason why people had such a hard time digesting this film. Something was out-of-sorts, and whether one could pin point it or not, it is the idea of self-reflexive viewership.
Then the idea of ratings, namely the MPAA, was brought to table. Okay- I'll save my rants about the MPAA and how Hollywood is up there in the ranks of worlds most corrupted political system, and suggest that you watch the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated. Very interesting look at some of the mechanics of the MPAA system.
Where a film is placed in a store is a semi-arbitrary system. From Cult, to Mystery, to Horror- but this film fits in all those categories. Cult, because as Meredith pointed out, it's true, this isn't going to be one of those films that everyone is into. Mystery, it definitely had the Hitchcock suspense in there (the CU of the knife in the boat..). Horror- it is a horror film. Random acts of violence on seemingly happy middle class white American family; a naked or semi naked woman; suffocating portrayal of psychological ideas; the murders not being stopped...it is a horror film.
As I mentioned in class, I don't watch horror films for various reasons (and I might be wrong in this assumption), but
don't most Horror films take place in locations that are not the home? I think the location (along with the Paul & Peter's
demeanor) adds to that sense of uneasy in the audience. Again, it goes back to that idea of detachment, and that as the
audience we can detach ourselves from an ugly killer at a summer camp for 25 years old. Krzys brought up Naomi's acting. Is
that another possible reason for our unease as the audience. Because, let's be honest, your average horror film actress isn't
usually an Oscar nominated actress- and except for the incessant screaming and sometimes wet eyes, you never actually see
the complete emotional complexities of the 'victim' in typical Horror films.
It was also brought up that Haneke was possibly saying that violence is all around us and that it can happen anywhere. True.
The Kansas killings in Capote's In Cold Blood, are a perfect example. They were much like Paul & Peter; it was a family unit
(not a group of teens); and it happened in their home (not a summer camp). But again the idea of detachment is present.
America is a very violent country. So many of our words have "war" and "violent" connotations. So whether the idea is right
or wrong- violence is a more permissible 'activity'(?) in American life as opposed to the still so ever taboo idea of sex/nudity.
[Which again- I won't get into the logistics of sex/nudity, just know that a majority of the time, if nudity/sex is shown in a
human way and not a 'fantasy' way- it's going to get an R or NC17 as opposed to the Gossip Girl/A Knight's Tale rating of PG13]
I feel that Haneke did his job if at the end of the film the audience walks away uncomfortable or feeling 'preached' to. The
audience feels that way for a reason. It's just a matter of deciphering those feelings and the point for this work.