Code Unknown

2000

Drama

42
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 11,488

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 26, 2020

Director

Cast

Arsinée Khanjian as Francine
Juliette Binoche as Anne Laurent
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.05 GB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
118 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.16 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
118 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SingleSimonSays 9 / 10 / 10

Pure Art-house with No Apology

"Code Inconnu" is an utterly original, even revolutionary piece from the Austrian director who continually refuses to compromise and pander to an audience. Many of the reviews on this site focus on the coherence of the film and suggest that the film lacks meaning or narrative, or even that the film is a failure because it is not easily comprehended. This is untrue and deeply unfair. "Code Inconnu" is not an immediate film. Indeed it may take several viewings to really come to grips with the meaning of the film - certainly there is not a single definitive meaning. For many film viewers when the basic linear narrative is remote. Again this adds to the view that the meaning of this obscured film is pointless. However this is more a reflection of the viewer and of audience expectation than of this film. In a series of free standing vignettes Haneke has fashioned a moral conundrum without an answer. Much like in life itself. But rather than searching for meaning or answers Haneke is daring us to confront the questions themselves. The themes here are obviously about racism and reality, but also conscience and the consequence of our actions. By linking his separate characters initially Haneke points out that we are tenuously linked to people by uncontrollable events. By setting his film in Parisian streets, Hanekes film becomes recognizable of all our lives. The central performance from Binoche is equally ambiguous, again this adds to the strength of the piece, but also the difficulty inherent in it. The best way to view this film is as a series of questions which have no easy answer. The code is indeed unknown. By viewing each episode as a single moral conundrum the film takes on a very interesting and worthwhile dimension.

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 9 / 10 / 10

unknown code = no access to any life

Paris, in the year 2000. A thoughtless gesture (a scrap of paper thrown in the hands of a beggar) causes a general altercation. As a matter of fact, the Austrian film-maker Michael Haneke goes from this incident to relate bits of various characters' lives. There's among others, Anne (Juliette Binoche), an actress who travels from movie to movie. Her husband, Georges a war photographer whose photos express pain and suffering from the countries he visited. Jean who fled from his father's farm in the north of France to come to Paris. Amadou who works in an institute for deaf and dumb children and Maria, a Romanian woman who has trouble to make ends meet by begging. Like "71 Bits" (1994), Haneke's movie is a patchwork of sequences shot in real time and interrupted with short black screens to have a break and in the same time to think about the sequence shot we have just seen. Shortly before the incident when Jean wants to go to Anne's flat, the latter tells him the code of her flat: "if you want to enter my flat, the code of my building is B4718". I'm not sure whether it's the right code but the building could epitomize a metaphor of a man's life. Every man's life is similar to a building kept generally by a code. The title of the film is rather easy to understand. The famous "unknown code" is a blocked access to any character's real life. This code is unknown for the strangers who surround him or her and as a consequence they don't known anything of his or her real life. It's this situation that is represented in Haneke's movie. On the surface, "Unknown Code" seems more breathable than Haneke's previous works and looks like a "Magnolia" (1999) à la Francaise. Michael Haneke juxtaposes different characters'different lives belonging to different social classes. They have apparently nothing in common except maybe that their own lives are kept by this unknown code for the others. However, they are affected by terrible sorrows which paralyze the Western society without this latter realizes it. In this Haneke's opus, there's neither the uppercut of "Benny's video" (1992), nor the icy violence of "Funny Games" (1997) but through an accurate study of these different journeys, a quiet, impressive of rigor making, the director offers a disillusioned and black vision of this society. So, he remains faithful to his favorite topics: the difficulty of communication (Amadou who tries to explain in a clumsy way his anger in front of Jean's unconsidered gesture). The way in which violence has become a feature of everyday life in a society which has become insensible to it (we can remember perfectly the sequence shot when Anne irons, she can hear shrill cries near her. She hesitates then resumes to iron). The omnipresence of racism and the insurmountable barrier of social classes (the scene in the tube is a grievous example). They are serious topics that are generally way off cinema's regular radar. It takes all Haneke's courage to explore them. Something he has relentlessly done since "the Seventh Continent" (1989). So, "Unknown Code" is a logical extension of Haneke's obsessions. To come back to the characters, they feel either humiliated either difficulties to communicate. When it crosses our minds that we live inside this distressing universe, it sends shivers down our spines. Once again Herr Haneke stirred some of the viewers's deep fears. So, ultimately, "Unknown Code" isn't as accessible as Haneke's other works by its nonexistent linear narration and the seriousness of its theses but I think that it's a winner in Haneke's work. Of course, to watch a movie that breaks narrative conventions and expresses deeply pessimistic things is not for all tastes and that's partly why there'll never be general agreement about the famous Austrian film-maker but at least this movie brings to the light of day, thorny subjects hidden in the obscurity of cinema. It is a worthy movie far better than Hneke's next opus, "the Pianist" (2001) but that's another story...

Reviewed by noralee 9 / 10 / 10

A Fascinating Exploration of Communication Across Race, Class, Gender, Ages, Geography and Senses

"Unknown Code: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys (Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages)" is a fascinating exploration of communication, using all the elements of film to create a trompe l'oeil of sight, sound and character interactions. We see extended vignettes of people tangentially related through an accidental intersection in Paris. In a brief interview on the Sundance Channel, where I viewed the film, writer/director Michael Haneke said he specifically selected Paris because it is one of the few European cities whose multiculturalism is so visible. We see here how it attracts immigrants not only as traditionally from the rural countryside, but now from Eastern Europe and Africa. Though not as violent as the incidents in "Amores perros", released the same year, or the later "Crash," the unsettling confrontation influences the characters' perceptions, of each other and of authority figures. We see them made sensitive to how people look, how people talk to each other, the sounds they make, and, even more importantly, shades how they interact. We see how differently people communicate with their own families, with their friends, their parents, their children, their colleagues, their lovers or their advisers, particularly through simple life cycle events. Sometimes Michael Haneke toys with us, as the camera moves back and reveals that a poignant situation isn't as dire as we thought, particularly playing on the terrific Juliette Binoche's well-known image as a beautiful actress (and yes, she does look beautiful even standing around in lingerie ironing while watching TV). Or he plays ironic tricks – having deaf kids do emotional charades or perform in a marching drum band or creating ambiguity about a door entry code to reinforce a theme of restless homelessness. We see lovers who communicate passionately without words, in one lovely scene even without touching. (I wonder if this scene with these two inspired a related scene in Rodrigo García's recent "Nine Lives.") One key character is a self-righteous photojournalist (really stereotypically portrayed by bearded, hunky, disheveled Thierry Neuvic in a multi-pocketed vest with an ever-present camera around his neck) documenting ethnic cleansing in Kosovo or taking candid portraits of unaware subway passengers. But he is helpless at assisting his rebellious teen brother or sullen farmer father or estranged young son. Issues of responsibility to neighbors and passersby is viscerally shown to be not the extreme goal of stopping genocide, but rather providing dignity to a fellow human being or simply listening to what's happening next door and acting on it. Haneke provides sympathetic insight into the inner lives of African immigrants, with an ear to how happenings look different to Western rationalists than to those used to revelations of divine and interpretive meanings, particularly in dreams, or sense of time. But while he is very sympathetic to the pushes and pulls of immigration that change people's place in society from matriarch to "the gypsy" as the universal "other" who everyone higher up in society puts down, the family scenes in the Romanian village are more stereotyped, with ethnic wedding dancing. Haneke's disarmingly passive style, with almost no music or cinematic affectations (he even mocks his Dogme-style use of sound by showing actors in the film-within-a-film re-dubbing dialog lost to a passing airplane) does make us feel like voyeurs, with each vignette constructed in a single take. In the filmed interview he said the key opening scene took 32 takes before he was satisfied.

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