Chapter 13. Variations on Themes: Spheres and Space in Haneke's Variation

  1. Roy Grundmann Associate Professor
  1. Monica Filimon PhD1 and
  2. Fatima Naqvi Associate Professor2

Published Online: 4 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320602.ch13

A Companion to Michael Haneke

A Companion to Michael Haneke

How to Cite

Filimon, M. and Naqvi, F. (2010) Variations on Themes: Spheres and Space in Haneke's Variation, in A Companion to Michael Haneke (ed R. Grundmann), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320602.ch13

Editor Information

  1. Boston University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA

  2. 2

    Rutgers University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188005

Online ISBN: 9781444320602



  • variations on themes - spheres and space in Haneke's variation;
  • Michael Haneke's two-part television drama Lemmings (1979), strange painting becoming site of verbal foreplay;
  • Francis Bacon and painting Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953) – appropriate allegory for contemporary life;
  • definition of public and private spheres - great deal to close metaphorical relationship to real sites and locations;
  • destabilization of viewers, acoustic and visual level - necessary by-product and price for participation in film;
  • telling stories of “Occidental Crisis” - nascent intimate sphere between characters and closeness between viewers and characters about the developing affair;
  • for Sloterdijk, theories of auto-eroticism and narcissism - denying experience of self-reflection;
  • possibility of shared responsibility - vis-à-vis future being short-lived;
  • Haneke's camera, a storyteller refusing closure - dissolving the public and the private into each other


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Sites of Engagement

  • Setting the Stage

  • Two in a Bubble

  • Telling Stories of the “Occidental Crisis”

  • Notes

  • References and Further Reading