Tuesday, January 21, 2014

71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls (71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance) (1994)

Director: Michael Haneke
Writer:    Michael Haneke
Cast:       Gabriel Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Miko, Otto Grunmandl
Language: German

71 scenes revolving around a Romanian kid who entered into Austria illegally, a couple that adopted a daughter recently, a college student and an old man who watches a lot of TV and news. The film starts with the news that a student gunned down three people for no reason and then it goes to show activities of these people prior to the incident. In between we are shown TV news covering civil war in Somali, Balkan Wars, Middle East problems, Michael Jackson's trail etc.

This is the final film in Heneke's Glaciation trilogy which also includes 'The Seventh Continent' and 'Benny's Video'. All these films have alienation as its central theme. The 71 fragments is a difficult watch because it is hard to follow the characters for much of the film with the shortness of scenes. I think it is deliberate from his part because the final scene kind of shows that even violence doesn't get you noticed in this world as news reel again goes back to popular stories like Michael Jackson's trail after a token mention of three people getting killed. There is one great long take of a person practicing Table Tennis with a machine which was kind of the highlight for me. 

I think it is the most inferior film in Haneke's filmography with Benny's Video coming a second. That said Benny's Video is still better than many other director's best films.

Rating: 2.5/5