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Looking outside the Frame: what Errol Morris and Michael Haneke might have in common

What do Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure have in common? Both films pose the same question and perform the same exercise.

First they situate the viewer, remove the viewer and then they challenege the viewer to think outside the box or frame. In an era where society is too quick to condemn, where fact-checking is second to the rapidity of facts, news, and the truth, Morris’ Berlin Film Festival submitted doc (which I am anxiously awaiting) appears to look at many sides of the same coin.


I’ve done the exercise before – taken old photographs from my grandparent’s shoe box and tried imagining the context of the picture – of course none of them contained naked civilians, menacing guard dogs, and military brats. Sony Pictures Classics are getting ready to promote the release Morris’ cross examination of the infamous Abu Ghraib pictures – asking the questions that not too many bothered asking. With a one sheet coming to us any time soon…in the mean time we have the trailer in various formats.




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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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