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Michael Haneke: three paths to the lake

January 14, 2014 8:00 pm

German with English subtitles, 97min

Part of exposure under construction 2014 program of parallel events curated by the participating artists, Tanya Traboulsi will be organizing a screening of three paths to the lake (1976) by Michael Haneke. The film is Haneke’s first feature film, made for österreichischer Rundfunk and südwestfunk and broadcast in 1976. The film is based on Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann’s novella of the same name, published in 1972.

The Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann—whose introspective, distillate style is suited to Haneke’s own—was enormously influential in Europe for her fiction, poems, and essays on feminism, philosophy, language, and postwar politics. In this adaptation of one of her celebrated stories, a successful photojournalist visits her father in her hometown in southern Austria and looks back on her life and loves, only to find the paths to illumination blocked. Many of the story’s themes – photography, memory, and ethics; the indeterminacy of language; the loss of intimacy and self – would resurface in Haneke’s code unknown and caché.

“[Bachmann’s] great quality as an artist is precisely this: that she cannot find it within herself to suppress, in her art, her experience as a woman” (Christa Wolf, the Frankfurt lectures on poetics, 1983)