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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #9. Michael Haneke’s Flashmob


Director: Michael Haneke // Writer: Michael Haneke

The cinema of Michael Haneke may be described as cold, distant, even isolating, as the Austrian auteur prizes the examination of estrangement and the discontent of families or individuals trapped within the confines of what we refer to as modern society. He also cares little for coddling audiences, often directly criticizing what we’ve come to expect and desire from cinematic narratives. Starting out as a director in television in the early 1970’s, it would be his 1989 feature debut The Seventh Continent that first garnered attention, followed by 1992’s Benny’s Video (starring Angela Winkler), which played at Director’s Fortnight, as did his 1994 title 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance. In 1997, Haneke would direct a television adaptation of Kafka’s The Castle, starring Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Muhe, the acting couple that would headline one of his most galvanizing titles also that year with Funny Games, which granted him is first shot at the main competition at Cannes. He was invited back to the competition in 2000 with Code Unknown and again in 2001 with The Piano Teacher, starring Isabelle Huppert in her most iconic performance and securing a Best Actress win. Huppert would team with him again for the post apocalyptic Time of the Wolf, playing out of competition. 2005’s Cache won the Grand Jury Prize, starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil as a couple being harassed by an unknown assailant, a film examining the historical injustices that erupt from forgotten depths to plague the privileged. Haneke would remake the English language version of Funny Games in 2007, starring Naomi Watts, and then snag the Palme d’Or for each of his next two films, 2009’s The White Ribbon and 2012’s Amour. And so it is with great expectations that we await Flashmob, of which little is known except that filming last summer was delayed due to Haneke waiting for a particular and as yet unnamed actress for a story that tracks a group of people who come together via the Internet to stage a flashmob.

Cast: Not available.

Production Co: Austrian Film Institute

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: Haneke’s limited statements about the project, with the last update from last June, makes the possibility of the film being ready sometime in 2015 doubtful. But no news is good news, though we’re assuming that little has changed with the current status, and as every of Haneke’s films have premiered at Cannes (with the exception of the 2007 Funny Games) since Benny’s Video, we should hope that maybe headway has been made in secret.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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