Happy Hanukkah everyone! Whether he’s tweeting about cat farts or exposing the brutality and despair that lies beneath the hypocrisy of bourgeois society, Michael Haneke never fails to remind us why we love the holiday for which his name is a homophone. In honor of the Festival of Lights, Double Exposure suggests eight films by contemporary cinema’s most lovable director to watch while lighting the menorah.

Amour

Amour

As we entered Alice Tully Hall to see Amour at this year’s New York Film Festival, I whispered to my companion, “Put on your yarmulke, it’s time for Haneke.”  Okay, so maybe I didn’t say that, but it would’ve been wise given how much the film instills a fear of God in you.  You’ve already heard that iconic French thespians Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, starring as an aging couple bound to their Paris apartment, give performances as stunning as their pre-existing legacies. Haneke, too, with so many masterworks behind him, is at the height of his career. –Joseph Pomp

cache

Caché

Caché is one of Haneke’s keenest excursions into contemporary French culture. Its pitiless observations on Algeria, surveillance, television, marriage, and national guilt stick in your throat like shards of broken matzo bread. –David Beal

Funny-Games

Funny Games

This 1997 thriller starts with spilled eggs and ends with spilled blood.  When Georg, Anna, and their son Georgie take a trip to their lake house for a vacation, they meet two young men who take advantage of their hospitality and force them into a series of sadistic games in their own home. If you need an extra infusion of Haneke spirit, check out the 2007 American shot-for-shot remake starring Naomi Watts and Tim Roth as well. –Maya Rosmarin

pianoteacher

The Piano Teacher

Isabelle Huppert plays a sexually repressed piano instructor with mommy issues in this 2001 thriller. When she begins an affair with a young pupil, her lesson plan trades Schubert & Schumann for S&M. The Piano Teacher finds Haneke at his kinkiest, his camera punishing and withholding with a severity that mirrors that of the title character. –Will Noah

bennysvideo

Benny’s Video

“Don’t forget to celebrate Hannukah with your kids” is the moral of this nightmarish 1992 film set in Vienna.  Benny’s parents leave him at home for the weekend; a videophile, he heads to the local rental store, where he meets a girl, invites her up to his flat, shows her a video of a pig being killed, and then kills her.  What happens next?  You’ll have to visit Netflix Instant to find out, although, as a Chinese waiter might say to a Jew asking about a spicy special on Christmas, unless you’re a real masochist, this one’s “not for you!” –Joseph Pomp

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The White Ribbon

The children in a pre-World War I German village strike back against their elders, torturing those that have offended them and those who have molested their bodies and abused their minds—their parents and their priest. But the children are not blameless. 30 years later, these Aryan children become Nazis, linking their forefather’s transgressions to genocide. –Ella Coon

Code Inconnu

Code Inconnu

This 2000 film, starring Juliette Binoche, is the best example of Haneke’s fondness for setting up parallel narratives in his movies. There are more stories and layers of meaning in Code Inconnu than there are nights in Hanukkah. –David Beal

Eight Crazy Nights

My magnum opus, Eight Crazy Nights was divisive among critics upon first release.  Still, one can see a clear through line between the subject matter of this 2002 masterpiece and my latest film, Amour. –Michael Haneke