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Directed by Michael Haneke • 1992 • Austria
Starring Arno Frisch, Angela Winkler, Ulrich Mühe
Michael Haneke turns the unflinching gaze of the camera back on itself in this provocative, profoundly disturbing study of emotional disconnection in the age of mass-media saturation. Benny (a frighteningly affectless Arno Frisch), the teenage son of wealthy, disengaged parents, finds release in the world of violent videos—an obsession that leads him to create his own monstrous work of real-life horror. Layering screens within screens and frames within the filmic frame, BENNY’S VIDEO is a coolly postmodern, metacinematic labyrinth in which the boundaries between actual and mediated violence become terrifyingly indistinguishable.