Le Temps du loup

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Time Out says

Set somewhere in Europe in what appears to be the near future, Haneke's apocalyptic fable takes a rigorously realistic approach to material all too often compromised by hackneyed spectacle and sensationalism, simply tracing a family's attempts to survive in a countryside deprived (for reasons wisely left unexplained) of electricity and clean water. Darkness is the film's dominant metaphor, underlining not only the uncertainty felt by Isabelle Huppert, her two kids, and those they encounter on their travels in search of food, safety and something resembling normal‚ civilisation‚ but also the terrifying threat of absolute solitude. Since Haneke refuses to provide the usual dramatic climaxes, the film demands an attentive curiosity from the viewer not required by more conventionally generic fare, but the strategy has its rewards, not least in the unexpected emotional force of the final two scenes.
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Technoguy

Haneke depicts an a post-Apocalyptic France.He conceals the cause and gives no answers.This is a mute end of world aftermath. The title tells us we have reverted back to a medieval back to basics scenario.Performances are emotionless shot dogme style,with natural light. We, the audience,are literally in the dark as are the main characters,Anna(Huppert) and Eva(Demestier) and Ben, deprived of security, home, husband / father,possessions and transport, forced to beg and rely on others.Haneke doesn’t give his audience the picture,he keeps things undefined. Using blunt realism he avoids the pyrotechnics of genre movies and sci-fi elements. Exactly what is going on is never revealed. A lack of information and non-specific vagueness undermines the film.Sparse dialogue and stark imagery make up for a lack of dramatic variation and convey monolithic dourness. We end up in a depot for refugees,a small commune with tribal leader. Survivors trade goods for water and women barter sex for food, children die of thirst. They all await a train that may not come(the one from which cameras roll at the end onto a sunny countryside?)Stripped of their humanity people can only come together and pool their resources.Where strangers are predators this kind of collective may help humanity recover. TOTW strips away our Western complacency and shows a what-if scenario when others lay claim to your security and social constraints are dismantled. Haneke uses shock tactics evident in the murder of the father,the real deaths of animals, rape at knifepoint and xenophobic scapegoating.Women,children and animals have the lowest place in the new hierarchy.Some cut their own throats or wish to sacrifice themselves. The subtext seems to be ethnic cleansing,refugees and trouble in the Balkans.Extremist religious beliefs of the ‘Just 36’ seem to flourish. The moody cinematography takes place in darkness,blazing fires the only light source. Fire is both destructive and brings hope. Inside the railway depot is a grey,crepuscular light. There is no soundtrack.Things are gloomy.This vision of Judgement Day reflects bitter reality for thousands of war refugees each year. The only sparks of hope are Eva’s friendship with with the ostracised outsider figure and Benny’s new found father figure who saves him from immolation. The ending too is almost cheerful a green luscious landscape in sunshine from a moving train. The film for me lacks the coherence of Hidden and the brilliance of Code Unknown. This film needed a simpler narrative(eg 28 Days Later,Strayed,Shame).For me the austerity,desolation and violence recalled his earlier 7th Continent. Haneke doesn’t really work through his ideas of the ‘36Just’ and mostly he doesn’t utilise Huppert’s considerable talents so she becomes a bystander.Demestier steals the film for me.Haneke is still to be applauded for taking this subject on as a thought experiment to test humanity's limits.

usman khawaja

A CELEBRATIOT OF HUMAN SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL -he lush greens of the french rural landscape are poised with the bonfires of the survivors who have escaped an apocalaypse which might represent our pointless existence and still it brings optimism to the human dregs gathered in a train station awaiting supplies and administering a rough order in the manner of the true law of the jungle. The initial murder of an innocent man that is never brought to justice as a word of mouth accusation is just as critical of the present mass murders prevalent globally . The dependants are still shown as compassionate and caring who are humane as the widow[Huppert]who is protecting the son and daughter in a arhetype matriarchal role. The daughter is writing letters to her murdered father and seeking an ally in a forlorn boy who is a loner and the rebel who lives as an outcast as a self defense shunning the rest of this community . The rulers are the gunmen as anyone who has a weapon is right whether moral or unjust ,as they wield the law in it's exigent frail disastrous social failure by being the custodians . The young son is a soul who is tortured and will want to offer himself as a pagan sacrifice to bring world back to order. The cinema is shot outdoors in fascinating forest land with trees almost coming to life and becoming characters as is nature itself shown in it's most potent self. The only music is Beethovens sonata played in one sequence and it becomes a sign with the rest of the movie filled with crackling fires and horses neighing with the sounds of the forest . The food and water are scarce ,yet it rains in a bleak moment and this is a reprisal as are the livestock which sustain the remnants . The awaited train which runs in the finale is the solitary hope in a metaphor for our troubled human civilization ,albeit haneke discusses racial ,religious and political mythology in the context of a polack family amongst the survivors who are blamed as a scapegoat ,but the fact there is a rough order that evolves in the mayhem and a desperate compassion which is demonstrated by the majority of the protagonists witness the revival of human spirit. The character of the child benny[THE SON ]is fascinating as he is representing the symbol of self-sacrifice that will redeem humanity of it's sins and his unnecessary but resilient defiance is a symbol of humanity in all it's glory. The fact haneke does not draw into discussing the root cause of this biological disaster is genius as it is the consequences and the human behaviour elicited by the event that is crucial ,and the finale absolves humanity and haneke himself of his critics who accuse him of pessimistic delusions . The movie is altruistic rather than nihilistic and it evolves from it's dark epilogue to the surreal finale in a fascinating mixture of subplots and characters ,here nature is the main player in control of humanity ,whether we are talking of a biological war or global warming is insignificant ,the philosophy here is how might the survivors prepare to survive that event whether this represents our present milieu itself ,which makes it a greater truth and satire on the current political situation itself . The movie is a warning to the smug reality of the current urban western culture as to how fragile it is in it's complex but unjust framework .This is an observation ,it is neither sentimental nor a sermon as it does not judge but simply see the natural progression of events as they unfold with each character performing in accords to their conscience ,and leaves the audience to infer the conclusion. Great work from a genius . USMAN KHAWAJA

usman khawaja

A CELEBRATIOT OF HUMAN SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL -he lush greens of the french rural landscape are poised with the bonfires of the survivors who have escaped an apocalaypse which might represent our pointless existence and still it brings optimism to the human dregs gathered in a train station awaiting supplies and administering a rough order in the manner of the true law of the jungle. The initial murder of an innocent man that is never brought to justice as a word of mouth accusation is just as critical of the present mass murders prevalent globally . The dependants are still shown as compassionate and caring who are humane as the widow[Huppert]who is protecting the son and daughter in a arhetype matriarchal role. The daughter is writing letters to her murdered father and seeking an ally in a forlorn boy who is a loner and the rebel who lives as an outcast as a self defense shunning the rest of this community . The rulers are the gunmen as anyone who has a weapon is right whether moral or unjust ,as they wield the law in it's exigent frail disastrous social failure by being the custodians . The young son is a soul who is tortured and will want to offer himself as a pagan sacrifice to bring world back to order. The cinema is shot outdoors in fascinating forest land with trees almost coming to life and becoming characters as is nature itself shown in it's most potent self. The only music is Beethovens sonata played in one sequence and it becomes a sign with the rest of the movie filled with crackling fires and horses neighing with the sounds of the forest . The food and water are scarce ,yet it rains in a bleak moment and this is a reprisal as are the livestock which sustain the remnants . The awaited train which runs in the finale is the solitary hope in a metaphor for our troubled human civilization ,albeit haneke discusses racial ,religious and political mythology in the context of a polack family amongst the survivors who are blamed as a scapegoat ,but the fact there is a rough order that evolves in the mayhem and a desperate compassion which is demonstrated by the majority of the protagonists witness the revival of human spirit. The character of the child benny[THE SON ]is fascinating as he is representing the symbol of self-sacrifice that will redeem humanity of it's sins and his unnecessary but resilient defiance is a symbol of humanity in all it's glory. The fact haneke does not draw into discussing the root cause of this biological disaster is genius as it is the consequences and the human behaviour elicited by the event that is crucial ,and the finale absolves humanity and haneke himself of his critics who accuse him of pessimistic delusions . The movie is altruistic rather than nihilistic and it evolves from it's dark epilogue to the surreal finale in a fascinating mixture of subplots and characters ,here nature is the main player in control of humanity ,whether we are talking of a biological war or global warming is insignificant ,the philosophy here is how might the survivors prepare to survive that event whether this represents our present milieu itself ,which makes it a greater truth and satire on the current political situation itself . The movie is a warning to the smug reality of the current urban western culture as to how fragile it is in it's complex but unjust framework .This is an observation ,it is neither sentimental nor a sermon as it does not judge but simply see the natural progression of events as they unfold with each character performing in accords to their conscience ,and leaves the audience to infer the conclusion. Great work from a genius . USMAN KHAWAJA