Monday, May 01, 2006

The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)

Watching this film is not a bit like willingly inserting a sliver of wood under your fingernail then sitting back and stoically wait 'til it bleeds, hope that it bleeds. And when it does, willing the blood to seep out from under your nails and then marvel at the redness. Proof that you're human, proof that you're...

Oh wait, here's a better analogy. Watching this film is not a bit like discovering an injured bird on your window sill. It is evidently suffering and you are torn between saving it and hastening its demise. You feel sorry for it because it is broken and yet you wonder if it won't do you and the bird better if you would just leave it alone to die. It is, after all, just an animal. And you are human. Healing it or killing it. Which is more humane?

Oh crap. No, no, no. Watching this film is not a bit like wishing you knew more about Freud and psychosexual disorders. If there are such things. Wishing you had taken some classes in pyschology to better situate yourself in the mind of the protagonist and the filmmaker. What the fuck is this movie saying? A beautfiul, middle-aged piano teacher whose sexual perversions simmer underneath her icy-cool demeanor. Her perversions are symptoms of a seriously unhappy life.

You also wonder what it means to know who the fuck is Schubert and wish you knew more about German composers and classical music and sacrificing your leisure for greatness.

Fuck. I'm running out of analogies. Just watch it.

This is a deliriously fascinating film about brokenness and being human. With the coolness and precision of a surgeon, director Michael Haneke slices open your chest and dares you look inside. A looong mindfuck with no proper ending. Absolutely brilliant.

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