[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s many of you may have noticed, at the end of last year a strange and amusing Twitter account purporting to belong to celebrated Austrian director Michael Haneke appeared on the interwebs. However, it soon became abundantly clear that the account named @Michael_Haneke did not belong to him, and was in fact an attempt to poke some light-hearted fun at the Palme d’Or winning genius (as well as at the film world in general).
It was revealed in the Observer this week that the account was really masterminded by the 28-year-old Londoner Benjamin Lee, a journalist and deputy editor of Shortlist.com. His wonderfully terrible grammar and use of ‘text speak’, as well as his obsession with his pet cat, gained the Twitter account over 31,000 followers and turned it into a niche internet phenomenon, fooling a few and amusing many more.
Lee told the Observer that putting words in the mouth of Haneke was “done out of total respect and admiration for Haneke and his films… I never meant to insult him in any way and I think the popularity of the tweets proves it wasn’t malicious. I love his films, but always wished he’d show a lighter side. It was out of this fanciful idea that the parody tweets were born, but I never expected them to catch on the way they have.”
The Twitter account was retired following this year’s Oscars, where Haneke’s Amour was honoured with the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Here are just a few of the 750 or so Tweets that came from the keyboard of the faux-Haneke before Lee decided the joke had run its course:
Nov 12: Just joined twitter lol
Nov 13: put ur hand up if uve won a parms dorz..oh just me then lol
Nov 15: playin tennis usin my parms dorz as rackets. U shud try it at home. U all have parms dorz rite? lol
Dec 24: if a tree falls in the forest and no1 is around to heer it, does terruns malick still film it for 3 hours?? Lol
Jan 10: yaaaaay my film amour jst got nominaytid for five oscars!!1! must practice my surprised fays for wen i wins them all lol #teamhaneke
Feb 25: congrats 2 those wot won oscars. i c u in the parms dorz winners only lounge. Looks prety empty from hear lol #teamhaneke