Piano Teacher (2001)

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Avg Rating: 4 / 5. Voted: 65

No one cared thus far. Do you?


AKA: La Pianiste
Directed by: Michael Haneke
Starring: Isabelle Huppert (Erika Kohut), Benoit Magimel (Walter Klemmer), Annie Girardot (Mother)
Country: France, Austria; Effed Up European Films
Language: French (Eng Subs); Effed Up French Cinema
Runtime: 02:10:59
Genres: Family, Domestic Abuse, Older-Younger Relationships, SelfHarm, Sexual-Violence against Women, Voyeur, SM-Roleplay, Misery-Depressing

Plot – Spoilers:
A Viennese piano teacher, Erika, specializing in Schubert shares an apartment and a complex relationship with her mother. They fight, sometimes it gets physical, then they hug and make up. But it’s always Erika saying sorry.

Their rivalry is symbolic quite early on when they head to a private recital. Mother is dressed fancy wearing jewellery while Erika’s in a dull coat. And it’s Erika’s performance. There is no rivalry.

Mother has total control of Erika’s life including romance and sexuality. But Erika, who needs a permission slip from mother if she’s gonna be home a few hours late, is a different cold beast outdoors where she’s respected but feared by her peers and students.

A person resigned to their sexuality being a solo activity can get weirdly creative. And so it is with Erika. Watching porn at home is out of the question, so she goes to a rental and watches movies while sniffing the used spunk-laden tissues lying there. Sometimes she just mutilates her pussy. Other times, it’s less dramatic as she voyeurs around couples fucking in public and takes a piss in suffering ecstasy as tears roll down her cheeks. But whatever she gets up to outside home, when she returns, she’s quick to check her heels and make sure there’s no dirt for mother to notice she’s been out, offroad.

All this though is just a small half in a work of mastery from the Austrian master, Michael Haneke.

A cocksure young man, Walter, tries to force himself into Erika’s icy world and we see another side to her as she flits between S and M, while awakening in Walter, things he was unaware of. This takes a while though, because Erika by force of habit doesn’t want to get to know Walter like regular folk do. She needs to be able to study him from afar, to form an opinion of him when he’s not around her – in short, all impressions of him are to not come from outside, but from within, as she reiterates her opinions to herself.

Outstanding performances from two leads is what’s needed for a deeply complex relationship and that’s exactly what Haneke extracts here.

Random:
So why are characters set in Vienna talking mostly in French. Apparently Haneke was so sure he wanted Isabelle Huppert, he just got everyone to go French.

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LittleRichard
LittleRichard
March 13, 2024 4:45 pm

One of Hanekes most involved movies, with the usual great performances he gets out of actors. Like all Haneke movies, this one poses many questions and will leave you asking yourself if you truly want your fantasies to become true, or if it would be better if they would remain a fantasy.

Solid 9

snafu
snafu
February 21, 2024 2:46 pm

im too dumb to understand this movie

Russ
Russ
January 16, 2024 1:30 pm

Now that’s one effed up piano teacher. He obviously thought he could make her feel something, anything, but no joy.

Jim film letterboxd
Jim film letterboxd
December 31, 2023 8:27 am

Quietly fucked it

Diarrhea Sparkle Fag
Diarrhea Sparkle Fag
December 17, 2023 7:29 am

LATINA GYATT SPOTTED 👀👀👀

sammy
sammy
November 23, 2023 5:22 am

Please add an option to remove subtitles, merci

masha
masha
October 28, 2023 3:00 pm

what a stunning and meaningful movie. one of my favorites! glad it’s on here too now

prezzy
prezzy
October 25, 2023 11:45 pm

Yourall just shit cant, Infantfuckers.!

jcd
jcd
October 23, 2023 4:06 pm

wasn’t bad at all, but not sure if I understand what the ending was about…

Steve
Steve
October 7, 2023 9:49 pm

I can do private piano tutoring for your kids,even let them play on my pipe organ all day long.

Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother Hubbard
October 7, 2023 5:58 pm

Brilliant, fascinating and bizarre film. The musical sequences are monumental, especially the elegant duel piano recital. Epic performance by Isabelle Huppert. 5 stars.

I’ll get some flack for this but I find it repulsive that some comments below are written on such a sophisticated film as this. It’s an embarrassment.

bies
bies
October 7, 2023 12:39 pm

What a great choice, Admin(s)! This film has always made me think of Liliana Calvani’s ‘The Night Porter’, which would be an excellent choice too, but maybe this film is already here.
SUCK MY DICK COCK GOBBLER CUNT FAGGOT PRICK ASSHOLE FUCK BITCH DICKHEAD RAPE
(Sorry, just trying to reach out. Maybe the Admin(s) can try to get funding from non-American agencies that aim at improving the understanding of American culture.)
What I like especially is that the Admin(s) have given themselves away in their love and fascination for Isabelle Huppert. Of course, she is a great actress, but there is something else: she is high-class and vulgar at the same time, dominating always, hardly ever open to other people, yet, one gets the impression there is a tender, caring side somewhere as well. These contradictions, uncertainties about what is important to us, is the ultimate element of what makes ‘effedup’: never ‘you’, always strange and out of reach.
The second interesting thing is this remark about the characters speaking French. Before WW II this was a lingua franca in Europe and remained so for quite a while in the cultural upper-classes. So why not speaking French. Nowadays, the characters would perhaps speak English (Huppert was in several English-language movies but would that make a difference for the film?

DOOMSDAY WARNING
DOOMSDAY WARNING
October 7, 2023 10:20 am

Howdy superstars!!

H1N1
H1N1
October 7, 2023 9:32 am

Excellent film. A must watch.

Wonderlog
Wonderlog
October 7, 2023 9:03 am

This slut is like Richard/Ed/Steve…..Seems to have MPD, is pretty good on the piano…BUT SUCKS ON THE ORGAN……..Hey Ron, You got a live one here buddy!

n1
n1
October 7, 2023 3:09 am

love all of Micheal Hanekes films, this one included

fred fat
fred fat
October 6, 2023 8:50 pm

second

fred fat
fred fat
October 6, 2023 7:18 pm

first