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Criterion Collection: Code Unknown | Blu-ray Review

Over the past two decades, Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has grown into one of the most formidable cinematic titans currently working today. Winning five awards for his six times competing at Cannes (including Palme d’Or wins in 2009 and 2012), several of his prominent early titles tend to be overlooked in broad discussions concerning the filmmaker’s continued observation of humankind’s increasing inability to communicate.

A purveyor of social maladies, usually within an isolated microcosm, Criterion’s restoration of his first French production, 2000’s Code Unknown, is a perfect opportunity to revisit a prescient example of greater cultural shifts and conflicts to come. Although contemporary audiences might be tempted to lump this early title from Haneke into a movement of cinema from this particular decade wherein interconnected vignettes became a popular format, this compilation of one shot, single-takes is beyond comparison with the glut of busy-bodied melodramas eventually running this composition tactic into the ground.
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