With Michael Haneke’s Happy End headed for the Cannes Film Festival’s competition later this month, the director might just win his third consecutive Palme d’Or – which would be an unprecedented feat. So while we wait for the highly anticipated new film by the Austrian master, let’s take a look at what made his previous film Amour (2012) such a perfect film.
It’s no coincidence that the working title for Amour was The Music Stops. Haneke structures his film as if it were a musical composition; the development of themes is more important than the machinations of the plot. Between a prelude and a coda, the main narrative unfolds in two distinct halves, in which – as this video essay shows – the second part repeats and reconfigures visual themes and motifs from the first. As these moments are replayed they take on new, highly emotional resonance.