Cutting through the fourth wall: The violence of home invasion in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games
The home is central to the western imaginary. It is of foundational importance to the shaping of identity. It is where we begin to construct the story of ourselves and where we first learn to navigate space. Yet, it is also a site of shadows and fear, of hidden desires and ambivalence. Within the cinematic home invasion genre, this is heightened by the presence of an antagonistic Other. They render all categorically interstitial. As with the Lacanian notion of extimité, the invading Other confuses interior and exterior boundaries. In Michael Haneke’s (1997 original and 2007 remake) Funny Games, this is further problematized by the lead antagonist’s movement between the diegetic world and that of the viewer. This article examines this fourth wall breaking and unpacks how the audience’s consumption of violent media is critiqued as the lines between the home of the film and that of the viewing audience become blurred.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Greenwich
Publication date: 2017-04-01
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