Michael Haneke's Film Noir

Nicolas Guerin / Corbis

The nihilist Haneke says success helps but won't change him

Michael Haneke is so tied to a particular dark and disturbing style of filmmaking — his subjects have included child murderers, suicide, sexual repression and sadomasochism — that interviewers are often surprised by the twinkly-eyed grandfather they meet in person.

The Austrian director is known for his contradictions. A former film critic and television producer, Haneke, 67, prides himself on being an art-house provocateur and a fierce critic of big-budget, Hollywood movies. And yet his films have recently started to attract more mainstream audiences and enjoy commercial success. Four years after his thriller Hidden earned a respectable $16...

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