THE PIANO TEACHER
LA PIANISTE
2001, Janus Films, 131 min, Dir: Michael Haneke

Austrian director Michael Haneke shifted his focus from the social to the psychological for this riveting study of female sexuality and the dynamics of control, an adaptation of a controversial 1983 novel by Elfriede Jelinek. Haneke finds his match in Isabelle Huppert, who delivers an icy but quietly seething performance as Erika, a middle-aged piano professor at a Viennese conservatory who lives with her mother, in a claustrophobically codependent relationship. Severely repressed, she satisfies her masochistic urges only voyeuristically until she meets Walter (Benoît Magimel), a young student whose desire for Erika leads to a destructive infatuation that upsets the careful equilibrium of her life. A critical breakthrough for Haneke, THE PIANO TEACHER - which won the Grand Prix as well as dual acting awards for its stars at Cannes - is a formalist masterwork that remains a shocking sensation. Edited by Monika Willi and Nadine Muse.


WHITE MATERIAL
2009, IFC Films, 106 min, France/Cameroon, Dir: Claire Denis

Returning to the African continent on which she was raised, Claire Denis directs yet another ruminative examination of race relations in a colonial environment, this time set against the backdrop of an unspecified civil war. French farmer Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert) is given a stern warning to abandon her coffee plantation and its impending harvest and seek refuge for her family before violence begins. But stubbornness and white privilege keep Maria trudging forward, as she attempts to keep her family together while seeking the help of local workers to finish the harvest. Featuring Christopher Lambert and Isaach De Bankolé. “A striking film filled with images that sometimes reveal their full meaning only when their beauty curdles in the chain of signification.” - Manohla Dargis, New York Times.


LOUDER THAN BOMBS
2015, The Orchard, 109 min, Norway/France/Denmark/USA, Dir: Joachim Trier

In director Joachim Trier’s first feature in English, war photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert) - whose work has taken her to the most dangerous places in the world – dies in a car accident just a few miles from her New York home. She leaves a grief-stricken husband, Gene (Gabriel Byrne), and sons Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) and Conrad (Devin Druid). Three years later, working on a retrospective of Isabelle’s photography, Gene tries to enlist his sons’ help, but Jonah is overwhelmed by his marriage and a new baby, and hard-hit teenager Conrad has withdrawn into the world of computer games. “A family drama of extraordinary beauty.” - Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal.


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