Cinema/Chicago News

#56Films to Stream: Funny Games (1997)

Funny Games is streaming on the Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

Given the current recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing, we at the Chicago International Film Festival are looking at past selections from each year of the Festival that you can stream now from home. Stream our past selections as we look forward to the 56th Chicago International Film Festival this October 14-25, 2020. Find the full 56 Films for 56 Years selections here.

Today’s #56Films entry subverts the home invasion movie set-up in Michael Haneke’s haunting Funny Games which screened at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1997.

Funny Games

Director: Michael Haneke
33rd Chicago International Film Festival

Two warnings: First, make sure you don’t watch Austrian director Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake (it’s not nearly as good as the original). Secondly, brace yourself for a deeply nerve-rattling home-invasion thriller that is sure to get under your skin. (To this day, I won’t open my front door to strangers.) Screened at the 1997 Chicago International Film Festival, Funny Games follows a bourgeois family who head to their vacation home—only to find themselves held captive by a pair of sadistic young men. While the film plays to the genre’s most unsettling fears—subjecting its characters to both brutal physical and psychological torture—it also simultaneously subverts and skewers its own set-up. Haneke, the award-winning director of Caché and Amour, pulls off this miraculous stunt in the most effective ways, creating both tension and terror, as well as a haunting indictment of you, the viewing audience, complicit in the cruel voyeuristic act of watching. — Anthony Kaufman, Senior Programmer

Streaming Details:
Funny Games is available to stream on the Criterion Channel and HBO Max or for digital rental.

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