Archive of films The Piano Teacher / La pianiste

France / Austria
2001, 130 min

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Year: 2001


Erika Kohut teaches the piano at the Viennese Academy. She is single and lives with her mother who stifles her with her love and tyrannises her incessantly. The cultured, cool and unapproachable yet still attractive Erika has a secret passion: she visits sex shops and watches porn films at the cinema. Her abnormal sexuality brings out her voyeurism and masochistic self-infliction. She lives in relative calm, enclosed in her world between her classes and arguments with her mother, until the day that one of her pupils decides to try to seduce her. The film was based on the book by Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek who does not deny introducing certain auto-biographical traits into her novel.

About the director

Michael Haneke (1942, Munich) studied philosophy, psychology and theatre science in Vienna. 1967-70 he worked for German television, later as a stage director in a number of German and Austrian cities. Select films: The Seventh Continent (Der siebente Kontinent, 1988), which was followed by Benny’s Video (Bennys Video, 1992), 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (71 Fragments d’une chronologie du hasard, 1994) and The Castle (Das Schloss, 1997), based on the novel by Franz Kafka. His last three films Funny Games (1997), Code Unknown (2000) and The Piano Teacher (La pianiste, 2001) were screened at Cannes, the last of which won the grand jury prize and the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor (Isabelle Huppert, BenoEt Magimel).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Director: Michael Haneke
Screenplay: Michael Haneke podle románu / based on the novel by Elfriede Jelinek
Dir. of Photography: Christian Berger
Editor: Monika Willi, Nadine Muse
Producer: Michael Katz, Yvon Crenn
Production: Wega-Filmproduktion, Les Films Alain Sarde, Arte France Cinéma
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Benoit Magimel, Annie Girardot, Anna Sigalevitch, Susanne Lothar, Udo Samel

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