Benny's Video

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Benny's Video
BennysVideo.jpg
Directed by Michael Haneke
Produced by Veit Heiduschka
Written by Michael Haneke
Starring Arno Frisch
Angela Winkler
Ulrich Mühe
Cinematography Christian Berger
Edited by Marie Homolkova
Production
company
Lang Film
Wega Film
Distributed by Roxie Releasing (US)
Release dates
  • 13 May 1992 (1992-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 12 September 1992 (1992-09-12) (TIFF)
Running time
110 minutes[1]
Country Austria
Switzerland
Language German
English
Arabic
French

Benny's Video is a 1992 Austrian-Swiss horror-of-personality film directed by Michael Haneke. The plot of the film centers on Benny (Arno Frisch), a teenager who views much of his life as distilled through video images, and his well-to-do parents Anna (Angela Winkler) and Georg (Ulrich Mühe), who enable Benny's focus on video cameras and images. The film won the FIPRESCI Award at the 1993 European Film Awards.[2]

Plot[edit]

This film opens with a home video of the slaughter with a captive bolt pistol of a pig on a European farm. The video rewinds to play the slaughter in slow motion, which emphasizes the hand-held barrel against the pig's fore-skull and the cartridge explosion. A party centered on a game called Pilot and Passengers is broken up by Georg and Anna, when they return home while the party is in progress. The host of the party, Eva, is their daughter who lives in another part of town and who has, it turns out in questioning of Benny after the incident, taken advantage of the planned absence of Georg and Anna to host the impromptu party in their home. While watching a newscast, Georg and Anna discuss the money Eva won in the pyramid scheme she was promoting at the party. In a locker room at school, Benny encourages his friends to take positions in his own Pilot and Passengers game.

Benny then completes his pyramid scheme. Then at home again, with the weekend begun, Benny first covers the body, goes through her school bag, arranges an evening out with friends, eats snacks, moves the girl's body to a closet, and cleans up the blood. Some of the cleanup is seen through a video monitor, while Benny edits a video of the experience. Benny goes out to a dance club and stays overnight at his friend's home, and, on his way home, goes to a cinema, window shops, and gets his hair shorn to the scalp.

In the living room, Georg lists rather dispassionately the options they have: either to alert the authorities, with a resulting judgment of parental neglect and placement of their son in a psychiatric institution, or to destroy the evidence. Anna urges with understated passion after warnings from Georg not to fall apart—that any option chosen must be carefully followed to its end.

Anna takes Benny on vacation to Egypt, and the ever-present video camera captures them both in their hotel, in the village, touring ancient tombs, watching sail-gliders at the beach, even a private moment of Anna in the bathroom. There are several phone calls from a booth in the post office, with Benny and Anna separately taking the phone. Benny seems barely affected by any recent past, and he seems unable to fathom why his mother breaks down in sobs at one point during the vacation. When they return home after six days, the apartment is clean of any trace of the girl. Georg, who had stayed at home, succeeded in cutting the body into small enough pieces to be flushed down the toilet or otherwise inconspicuously removed.

Cast[edit]

  • Arno Frisch as Benny
  • Angela Winkler as Anna, Benny's mother
  • Ulrich Mühe as Georg, Benny's father
  • Stephanie Brehme as Evi
  • Stefan Polasek as Ricci
  • Ingrid Stassner as Mädchen
  • Christian Pundy
  • Max Berner
  • Hanspeter Müller
  • Shelley Kästner

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BENNY'S VIDEO (18)". ICA Projects. British Board of Film Classification. 9 July 1993. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Michael Haneke". superiorpics. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]