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Aero Theatre | Live virtual career conversation with Michael Haneke before the films. Introduction by film critic and author Tim Grierson.
‘Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair – Year 2’ and ‘Michael Haneke: An American Cinematheque Retrospective’
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Home / Now Showing / Michael Haneke Career Conversation with THE PIANO TEACHER / AMOUR
THE PIANO TEACHER, 2001, Dir: Michael Haneke, 130 Minutes, Janus Films, France.
In French and German with English subtitles.
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.
AMOUR, 2012, Dir: Michael Haneke, 127 Minutes, Sony Pictures Classics, France/Austria/Germany.
In French with English subtitles.
This intimate study of love, death, and aging follows Anne and Georges, a pair of retired piano teachers spending their last days in a Paris apartment while their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) lives abroad. When Anne experiences a stroke, choreographed in devastating silence, Georges becomes her caretaker. Winner of the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, AMOUR is an exercise in formal simplicity and painstaking attention to the details of performance, gesture, and framing. Though visually straightforward, the film explores increasingly complex themes and character relationships within the framework of the Laurent family, arriving at an unanswerable moral dilemma that complicates society’s outlook on the elderly and how best to care for those we love.
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