Michael Haneke's Film Caché/Hidden

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Introduction Michael Haneke’s film Caché/Hidden (2005) has provoked endless debates since the first day when it came out in 2005. The audiences leave the theatre jolted and subsequently keep thinking for days due to its ambiguous narrative construction (Cousins, 2007). Based on the surface reading of the plot, it is a thriller contains a mixture of domestic contradictions, amnesia and the mistrust between middle class and lower class. A French bourgeois family living in the cosy suburb of Paris is being filmed by an inscrutable, hidden observer. Being terrorized by a series of anonymous videotapes left on their doorstep, the male protagonist Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil), a successful literary TV presenter is forced to unlock his forgotten…show more content…
According to the film’s opening shot of George and Anne’s house, which Libby Saxton describe that “Caché opens with a prolonged, unbroken, static shot of the facade of a house filmed from a vantage point somewhere in the pointedly named rue des Iris in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris.” (2005). For most of the middle class family can relate to this picture, a peaceful morning with the ambient sound of birdsong and the hum of distant traffic, nothing strange happens except for some interruptions by the passage of pedestrian, cyclist or car. Without any drive on the narrative, the audience start to get unsettled. After a while, the image stops trying to keep holding the audiences’ attention. During the long absence, the audiences begin to hypothesize about who might be hiding behind the camera and why, then suddenly realize, they are also behind the camera, observing this family. This happened every time when the footages being showed to the audiences, they are not looking through the Television screen like the protagonists within the film, instead, they share the angle of view with the invisible perpetrator(s). Saxton points out that “We thus share, at least temporarily, the confusion and disorientation of a couple we encounter in the uncanny situation of watching themselves being watched. [ . . . ] From the very outset of the film, we find ourselves already implicated, as spectators, in an economy of voyeurism and surveillance. [ . . . ] We frequently left unsure about not only who is directing a particular shot but also whether we are viewing it as it is being filmed, or as it is being watched by diegetic spectators.”

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