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Director Michael Haneke told producer 'Veit Heiduschka' during the production that if the film was a success, it would be because audiences had misunderstood the meaning behind it.
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Director Michael Haneke has said that he never intended 'Funny Games' to be a horror film. Instead his idea was to make a film with a moralistic comment about the influence of media violence on society. It's a subject that Haneke is quite passionate about.
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Ulrich Mühe and Susanne Lothar, who play the father and mother, were a couple in real life from this movie until Mühe's death in 2007.
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Actress Isabelle Huppert was offered the lead role of Anna but turned it down as she thought both the film and the lead character's hardships were too disturbing to portray. She regretted the decision later after seeing it, but still admitted she probably wouldn't have the courage to do it.
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According to director Michael Haneke, star Susanne Lothar would often have to force herself to cry for nearly 20 minutes before her takes. He said the scene in which she is forced to pray required 28 takes and Lothar was tremendously drained by the ordeal. It was the weakened reaction that Haneke wanted from her for the scene.
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When the film was screened at Cannes in 1997 it shocked the audience badly enough that many viewers, including some film critics, walked out of the screening.
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Paul says the line "We're not up to feature film length yet" at exactly the 95-minute mark of the movie.
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Michael Haneke had wanted to film the movie in the United States, complete with an American cast and crew for production, as the film was meant to be a commentary on the sensationalism and desensitization of violence in American media. Budget constraints forced him to keep production in Austria, though he was finally able to get his wish when he made the American remake Funny Games (2007) with Naomi Watts.
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Paul and Peter have been compared by viewers to the mass shooting pair Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, responsible for the Columbine High School Massacre. The actual tragedy though wouldn't happen for about 2 years after this film's release.
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Included among the list of "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The auto racing on TV is likely a rerun of an event in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, or German Touring Car Championship) series. The DTM was canceled after 1996 due to high costs, then reformulated and re-instated in 2000.
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Voted number 1 on WatchMojo's list of "Top 10 Horror Movies That Could Actually Happen".
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The film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #975.
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The scene where Anna and Georg recover and free themselves after the criminals leave their house the first time is a single take lasting just over ten minutes.
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