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La Pianiste * Michael Haneke * 2001

As those of you who know the Austrian director Michael Haneke, this man has the unique ability to make you feel pretty awkward with his films. He usually puts magnifying glass on something small and making you think about it. “Funny Games” (1997, but up for a remake it seems…) really made me wonder why I would watch a violent film. “La Pianiste” didn’t exactly have that result, but Haneke still shows something ‘just below the surface’.
Erika Kohut is a professor on a music academy. Icecold, businesslike, emotionless and stern. She proves to have another side too, going to sexshops watching porn and getting turned on by the dirty cloth of her male predecessor. When a student falls in love with her, she shows an more wicked side, a longing for extreme ‘sexual’ acts. When this violence finally does come down to her, it is not exactly what she thought (or is it?).
A film with a message, making you think, partially because it is put so extremely. That I might have given too much of the story, doesn’t mean that there is no use in seeing it anymore, because a Haneke film you have to undergo. There are undertones, layers, images and scenes that complete the idea of this film. An uneasy watch but that is exactly what Haneke is after. Don’t confuse this film with “The Pianist” of Polanski by the way!

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