Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke, born on March 23, 1942, is the son of German director and actor Fritz Haneke and Austrian actress Beatrix von Degenschild. He grew up in Wiener Neustadt.

He studied philosophy, psychology and theater studies in Vienna and tried his hand at writing as well as film and literary criticism before he started working as an editor and teleplay dramatist for the Südwestfunk (ARD) in Baden-Baden. In 1974, he made his first television film, which was followed by TV films based on the writings of Ingeborg Bachmann, Peter Rosei, Franz Kafka, and his own screenplays.

In the early 1970s, Haneke made his debut as a theater director at the Stadttheater Baden-Baden with Marguerite Duras' Entire Days in the Trees. His next theater productions took place in Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna as well as two celebrated opera productions in Paris and Madrid in the decades to follow.

The Seventh Continent, Haneke's first feature film, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989. The story of a middle-class Austrian family and its self-eradication was the first chapter of a trilogy that made him an international name by the mid-1990s. His following film Funny Games (1997), also presented in Cannes, was the first Austrian competition entry in 35 years.

Michael Haneke is known for his precise, non-sentimental view of contemporary society, the way he conducts his actors, and his uncompromising, partly distressing narrative constructions. Together with the continuous expansion of his thematic and stylistic spectrum, these qualities made him one of the leading personalities in world cinema.

His seventh feature film The Piano Teacher (based on Elfriede Jelinek's novel of the same name) won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, with the two leads (Isabelle Huppert und Benoît Magimel) winning Best Actress and Best Actor, while Hidden (2005) won him the prize for best director.

The historical black-and-white feature film The White Ribbon (2009) and the drama Amour (2012) featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva were each awarded the Golden Palm as well as the European Film Award, in addition to which Amour won a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Haneke has been teaching Directing at the Vienna Film Academy since 2002. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Paris VIII (2012) and the University of Graz (2013).

He is the father of one son and has been married to his wife Susanne since 1983.

Chronology of works

2017: Happy End
2012: Amour
2009: Das weiße Band / The White Ribbon
2007: Funny Games U.S.
2005: Caché / Hidden
2003: Le Temps du loup / Time of the Wolf
2001: La Pianiste / The Piano Teacher
2000: Code inconnu / Code Unknown
1997: Funny Games
1997: Das Schloß / The Castle (TV, cinema)
1994: 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls / 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance
1993: Die Rebellion (TV)
1992: Benny's Video
1991: Nachruf für einen Mörder (TV)
1989: Der siebente Kontinent / The Seventh Continent
1985: Fraulein (TV)
1984: Wer war Edgar Allan? (TV)
1983: Variation (TV)
1979: Lemminge (TV, zwei Teile)
1976: Drei Wege zum See / Three Paths to the Lake (TV)
1975: Sperrmüll (TV)
1974: ...und was kommt danach? (After Liverpool) / After Liverpool (TV)
Collaboration on other films
1995: Der Kopf des Mohren / The Moor's Head (writer)
1993: Tatort: Kesseltreiben (writer, under the pseudonym Richard Binder)
1985: Schmutz (dialogue)
Stage productions (a selection)
2013: Cosí fan tutte (Mozart / Da Ponte), Teatro Real, Madrid
2006: Don Giovanni (Mozart / Da Ponte), Opéra National de Paris
1988: Das Abendmahl (Peter Sichrovsky), Burgtheater, Vienna
1987: Quartet (Heiner Müller), Theater am Turm, Frankfurt am Main
1986: Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Edward Albee), Schloßparktheater, Berlin
1980: The Night of the Tribades (Per Olov Enquist), Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg
1974: Maria Magdalena (Friedrich Hebbel), Theater Baden-Baden

Awards (selection)

German Directors Award Metropolis for Lifetime Achievement, 2015

Sonning Prize (Prize of the University of Copenhagen for Contribution to European Culture), 2014

Prince of Asturias Award ("Spanish Nobel Prize" for the Arts), 2013

For Amour: Golden Palm (Festival de Cannes, 2012); European Film Award ("Best Film", "Best Director"); Academy Award ("Best Foreign Language Film", 2013); César ("Best Film", "Best Director", "Best Original Screenplay", 2013); British Academy Film Award (BAFTA, 2013); Golden Globe ("Best Foreign Language Film", 2013)

Knight of the French Legion of Honor, 2012

Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2012

Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2010

For The White Ribbon: Golden Palm (Festival de Cannes, 2009); European Film Award ("Best Film", "Best Director", "Best Screenplay", 2009); Commendation of the Ecumenical Jury "Signis" (2010)

For Hidden: Best Director (Festival de Cannes, 2005); European Film Award ("Best Director", "FIPRESCI Award", 2005)

For The Piano Teacher: Grand Jury Prize (Festival de Cannes, 2001); German Film Award ("Best Foreign Film", 2002)

Konrad Wolf Prize, Academy of Arts, Berlin, 1998

For 71 Fragments: Gold Hugo (Best Film, Chicago International Film Festival, 1994)

For Benny's Video: Vienna Film Award (1992); European Film Prize ("FIPRESCI Award", 1993)
Austrian Art Award (for Film), 1990

For The Seventh Continent: Bronze Leopard (Locarno Film Festival, 1989)