From the director of Hidden and The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke’s extraordinary new drama Amour is announced as the Closing Gala of the Official Selection. Amour is the Austrian writer / director’s second Palme d’Or winner at Cannes where the film was hailed as a masterpiece after its world premiere. Georges (Jean- Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emanuelle Riva) are a couple in their eighties who have been in a close loving relationship for most of their lives. They are both retired from teaching music and live in a spacious Paris apartment, with a daughter (Isabelle Huppert) in England. One day Anna suffers a loss of memory, the first sign of her emerging illness, and Georges faces the end of their final act together.
Michael Haneke talks about the development of the particular ideas for his films:
‘I don’t approach a film with an idea of making it about a certain theme. Personal experiences or figures or constellations of individuals are what interest me. Journalists have to condense these things and write about them in a catchy way, but that’s not how art works. Most catchy phrases are generalizations, because that’s the only way. The minute something can be described with a single term, it’s dead artistically. Nothing living is left, and there’s no reason to watch the film. That’s always the problem with an artistic statement and an article about it. When you watch a film without any prior knowledge, it’s much more contradictory and complex. Amour involves a thousand different things, and when I emphasize one of them, I reduce all the others. Of course, these observations are part of my thoughts, but I’ve never set out to make a film about a certain theme. What led to me making this one was the question of how you deal with the death of someone you love. That interested me because I’ve experienced it in my own family, and it moved me a great deal. That’s why I began to think about it. And you think of things from your own memories or your imagination.’
BBFC Cert 12A.