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.


AMOUR
2012, Sony Pictures Classics, 127 min, France, Dir: Michael Haneke

The latest film from acclaimed writer-director Michael Haneke was inspired by a similar situation in his own family. Retired music teachers Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and George (Jean-Louis Trintignant) are living a quiet life in their Paris apartment when Anne suffers a stroke. Her condition deteriorates following surgery, and she exacts a promise from her husband not to send her to a nursing home - but the strain of caring for his wife mounts on George, and daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) is little help. This heart-breaking look at love in the twilight of life won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and was named best film of the year by Time magazine. In French with English subtitles.


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