The Ethics and Politics of Negation: the Postdramatic on Screen


On June 22, 2008, in a television interview with Alexander Kluge, the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke was asked to explain his ethical approach to filmmaking. His response was that the prerequisite for making films ethically lies in a filmmaking practice that takes the spectator seriously and stimulates the viewer’s imagination. Haneke’s raison d’être is grounded in the idea that unlike literature, film runs the risk of restricting people’s imagination by showing and clarifying everything. As he says, “one ought to work against this wherever possible…Film, like any other art, should produce a dialogue, not a monologue. Omitting explanation is one of the many ways of inspiring the viewer’s imagination.”

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