AMOUR – REVIEW: Hilarious knock about comedy from guffaw bucket Michael Haneke, suitable for all the family.

Jean Louis Trigonometry and Emmanuelle Riva (not that Emmanuelle you sauce pots, the one you’re thinking of is … erm … dead) play old people – Georges and Anne – on the cusp of disintegration and death, getting up to all sorts of japes and laughs.

When  Georges finds out that Anne is losing it, they write a bucket list and go and have fun hot air ballooning over the pyramids and connecting with long lost siblings, rescuing a small Cambodian child in the process from a nasty drugs gang. Fuck no, that isn’t true. Actually they just stay in their flat, mostly and have a pretty rotten time of it. M. Haneke has the temerity and audacity and – if you will – honesty, to show us what death actually looks like in a universe in which Morgan Freeman isn’t God and people get old in a way Hollywood is hell bent on denying. Apart from some fun with a pigeon, nothing much happens but a slide towards the inevitable, but this is film making for grown ups and a gripping achievement that (for once) fully deserves the accolades being poured on it from on high.

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Laughing Boy

SALZBURG – The 7th edition of the evermore popular Austrian film festival “Bleak Fest” is due to take place in Salzburg, Austria: Grump Fest later this month. The film will feature retrospectives of Austrian film-makers Marcus Schleizner, Michael Haneke, and Ulrich Seidl as well as some of the feel bad movies from around the world, including Into the Void and The Serbian Film. Suicide will not be obligatory, but promoters are hoping to beat last year’s record of 59 self-murders.

Jurgen Burgen – festival organiser – said:

“We welcome film makers from all around the world who see that there really is no point. I mean, we suffer and then we die. Our attempts to evade that fate or render life meaningful just makes us ridiculous and laughable. We laugh at the films of Ulrich Seidl for instance, but it is a laughter which leaves us exhausted and unworthy.”

We spoke to Michael Haneke who claims that his films are not at all bleak.

“They are more like comedies,” he said. “Look, if you see somebody fall over – you laugh. I just take that to the next level and show them watching their children being shot as they sit with a broken knee, helpless, begging utterly undeserving of such cruelty. In a word, hilarious!”

The festival runs from October 23-November-3, 2012. A full programme will be published in a week. For tickets and more information go fuck yourself. I mean really what’s the point.