Thursday, 11 February 2010
The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) 
There’s often a trend among filmgoers to dismiss a movie like Bad Timing, Antichrist or The Piano Teacher simple because they are unabashed enough to present matter which is difficult and challenging to sit through, without really giving the movies their due. Austrian provocateur Michael Haneke’s sixth directorial effort, The Piano Teacher, like his Funny Games, forces the audience as well as the characters to take a trip to the very edge of sanity and reason, through such dark and disturbing by-lanes as obsession, sadomasochism, voyeurism and repression. Erika, played unflinchingly and brilliantly by Isabelle Huppert, is a frigid middle-aged classical-piano teacher at a music conservatory. She loves Schubert, but she also has kinky obsessions, which, when spelt out to her much younger student who has become infatuated with her, leads to shocking, catastrophic consequences and an incredibly bleak climax. In the meantime she lives with a domineering mother whose presence in her life might have been the reason for her being what she is. The movie is elegantly shot, and has its fair share of Schubert renditions, that are in direct contrast to the psychological tussles that define the complex mother-daughter and the destructive older woman-younger guy relationships.
Director: Michael Haneke
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama