Love and Pain

In a just-posted interview with Amour director Michael Haneke, Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil mentions a comment I recently shared that Amour can be viewed “as a horror flick.” Haneke’s reply: “If someone wants to see this film as a horror film, I’m fine with that. I don’t think of it like that. To me, the film is a love story.

“It’s a film about the difficulty and pain of watching someone you love suffer, [and] not being able to do anything about it,” Haneke explained. “If you see the film as a horror film, you’re only seeing one side of this film. To me, the other side is present as well.”

For the record, I wrote on 9.28.12 that Amour is “a kind of compassionate horror film.”

I also wrote the following: “Amour is a sad, brilliant, diamond-hard thing about aging and dying. And is about nothing if not compassion and tenderness. The diamond-hard aspects are in the fact that it’s quite spare and lean and yet it doesn’t avert its gaze when Haneke so chooses. It’s about love that won’t quit until it does, until it must.

“Instead of filling our heads with nightmares of being killed by ghouls or vampires or serial killers, Haneke is telling us ‘this is how you’re actually going to end up unless you have the courage to overdose on something or put a bullet in your head or jump off a bridge like Tony Scott.'”