Film spotlight: "The Seventh Continent"

  • Updated: January 24, 2013 - 3:42 PM
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"The Seventh Continent"

THE SEVENTH CONTINENT

The emotional emptiness of daily modern life is the subject of Michael Haneke's 1989 debut feature "The Seventh Continent" (★★★ out of four stars, unrated, in subtitled German, French and English). The rote routines of a middle-class Viennese family preparing for their day are observed with clinical detachment, underscoring their suffocating alienation. As the film covers three years in the family's life and death, we sense with mounting anxiety that their soul-deadening existence may lead to a literal suicide pact. As in his current Academy Awards best picture and best foreign film double-nominee "Amour," Haneke steadfastly resists providing psychological explanations or insights into his characters' condition, insisting that we observe closely and interpret for ourselves. His film is a Kafkaesque nightmare scenario of dread and ambiguity rooted in the aimlessness of contemporary life. (7 and 9:15 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Trylon Microcinema, 3825 Minnehaha Av., Mpls., 612-424-5468 or www.take-up. org.)

COLIN COVERT

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