×

71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance

The aptly, ironically titled "71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance" is the third film in avant-garde director Michael Haneke's trilogy that began with "The Seventh Continent" and continued with "Benny's Video," both of which were shown at Cannes. Intellectually demanding and non-commercial film should be embraced in the festival and arthouse circuits by film students and viewers interested in postmodern, deconstructionist cinema.

With:
Romanian Boy ... Gabriel Cosmin Urdes Max ... Lukas Miko Tomek ... Otto Grunmandl Inge Brunner ... Anne Bennent Paul Brunner ... Udo Samel

The aptly, ironically titled “71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance” is the third film in avant-garde director Michael Haneke’s trilogy that began with “The Seventh Continent” and continued with “Benny’s Video,” both of which were shown at Cannes. Intellectually demanding and non-commercial film should be embraced in the festival and arthouse circuits by film students and viewers interested in postmodern, deconstructionist cinema.

Haneke is a cerebral filmmaker who believes that cinema’s most important function is to disturb and disorient its viewers, shaking them out of their habitually passive ways of perceiving reality.

As in his first two films, the plot (if one can describe it as such) revolves around an act of gratuitous violence that, on the surface, defies logical explanation. Premise of his new film is that on the day before Christmas 1993, a 19-year-old student senselessly murders several people and then commits suicide in his car.

Framed as a mystery, the story unfolds in five asymmetrical chapters, beginning on Oct. 12 and culminating on the day of the murder. About a dozen disparate characters are introduced and then periodically revisited, always in a surprising manner. One of the figures who links the fragments is a homeless adolescent, a Romanian exile who’s wandering Vienna’s streets begging for money and shoplifting.

Haneke accepts the ubiquitous presence of the visual media in our daily lives , particularly the omnipresence of TV, video and computers. Each chapter begins with TV’s evening news, often with reportage about war-torn Sarajevo, then updates on the charges against Michael Jackson, using the same footage over and over. Philosophically bent director stresses the numbing effects of the media’s repetition of images and soundbites.

Production values in every department are fine, particularly Christian Berger’s crystal-clear lensing and Mariae Homolkova’s sharply concise editing, both of which are meant to make viewers aware of the arbitrary and manipulative way in which events are pre-arranged and pre-digested for them to consume.

The most accessible film in Haneke’s trilogy, “71 Fragments” offers more illuminating insights about the inherent contradictions and frustrations in our lives than most commercial films today. A cerebral entertainment, it is also one of the few films at the festival this year to provide Cannes its claim for showcasing experimental and cutting-edge cinema.

71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance

Production: A WEGA Film in association with

Crew: Camera Film Co. Berlin and ZDF/Arte production. Produced by Veit Heiduschka. Executive producer, Willi Segler. Co-producers, Paul Bielicki, Michael Boehme. Directed, written by Michael Haneke. Camera (color), Christian Berger; editor, Mariae Homolkova; production design, Christoph Kanter; costume design, Erika Navas; sound, Marc Parisotto, Hannes Eder; computer consultants, Andreas Polz, Martin Schemitsch; assistant director, Ramses Ramsauer. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors Fortnight), May 18, 1994. Running time:96 MIN.

With: Romanian Boy ... Gabriel Cosmin Urdes Max ... Lukas Miko Tomek ... Otto Grunmandl Inge Brunner ... Anne Bennent Paul Brunner ... Udo Samel

More Film

  • Alex Ross Perry

    Alex Ross Perry to Write and Direct Stephen King's 'Rest Stop' for Legendary

    Alex Ross Perry will write and direct Legendary’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story “Rest Stop.” King’s short story, first published in Esquire magazine in 2003, won the national magazine award for fiction in 2004, and was later included in King’s 2008 collection, “Just After Sunset.” The movie is described as a propulsive cat-and-mouse [...]

  • Hobbs & Shaw trailer

    'Hobbs & Shaw' New Trailer Touts More High-Intensity Fights

    A new “Hobbs & Shaw” trailer packs in the international action with fast cars and high-intensity fight scenes.  When the first trailer dropped in February, viewers were introduced to the genetically-enhanced villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, as well as a newly cordial relationship between old enemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason [...]

  • ralph Fiennes WHITE CROW Directing BTS

    Ralph Fiennes Examines Rudolf Nureyev's Complicated Life in 'The White Crow'

    The story of “The White Crow,” Ralph Fiennes’ latest directorial effort, is as topical as anything currently sitting on the desk of a studio head. It tells of a rebellious artist grappling with his sexuality during turbulent political times rife with tensions between the United States and an agitated Russia.  But though the upcoming film, [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Has Lost Over 90% of Its Subscribers in Less Than a Year (Report)

    MoviePass users apparently hit the exits en masse after it scaled back the number of movies users could see each month: The flailing cinema-subscription provider has seen its subscriber rolls plunge from a peak of more than 3 million to just 225,000 in under a year, according to a new report. The numbers were reported [...]

  • Sundance Film 'Midnight Family' Sells Domestic

    Sundance Award Winner 'Midnight Family' Sells Domestic Rights to 1091 (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Midnight Family,” an award winning documentary about the struggles of a family in Mexico City, has sold its North American distribution rights to 1091. The indie studio was previously known as the Orchard, but received a new moniker after it was sold by Sony Music Entertainment to a new investment group in January. 1091 plans [...]

  • Villains - Maika Monroe Bill Skarsgard

    SXSW Comedy Thriller 'Villains' Acquired by Gunpowder & Sky, MoviePass for U.S. Release

    Dark comedy thriller “Villains,” which premiered last month at the SXSW Film Festival, has been acquired for U.S. release by Gunpowder & Sky in association with MoviePass’ film division. G&S and MoviePass Films plans to give “Villains” a theatrical release this summer, after buying the rights from The Realm, Bron Studios genre arm. The film [...]

  • General Delegate of the Cannes Film

    Cannes Reinstates Advance Press Screenings, but Favors TV, Radio Journalists (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following last year’s backlash by film critics over changes to its screenings schedule, the Cannes Film Festival has decided to reinstate morning press screenings for movies having their gala world premieres in the evening. But there’s a catch: Only a few hundred journalists — mainly from TV and radio outlets — will be admitted, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content