Welcome to the Vinegar Syndrome Staff Picks section, where we highlight our favorite releases from the many other fine labels releasing films on home video. This section, which will be updated semi regularly, features an array of crucial genre films, which no home library should be without.
Michael Haneke’s most notorious provocation, Funny Games spares no detail in its depiction of the agony of a bourgeois family held captive at their vacation home by a pair of white-gloved young men. In a series of escalating “games,” the sadistic duo subject their victims to unspeakable physical and psychological torture over the course of a night. A home-invasion thriller in which the genre’s threat of bloodshed is made stomach-churningly real, the film ratchets up shocks even as its executioners interrupt the action to address the audience, drawing queasy attention to the way that cinema milks pleasure from pain and stokes our appetite for atrocity. With this controversial treatise on violence and entertainment, Haneke issued a summation of his cinematic philosophy, implicating his audience in a spectacle of unbearable cruelty.
- New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New interviews with Haneke and actor Arno Frisch
- New interview with film historian Alexander Horwath
- Press conference from the 1997 Cannes Film Festival featuring Haneke and actors Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Mühe
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri