Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties? Written by
Isabelle Huppert really played the piano in the film. She had studied piano for 12 years. As preparation for her role as a piano teacher, she resumed practicing a year before the film was started. See more »
pretentious, pointless, slow; more dumb than shocking
This film was very bad. Don't let a sundance award, 2-hour length, and the wacky dichotomy of high culture and sex fool you. I love Classical music but the dialogue about Schubert, Schoenberg and Bruckner sounded horribly pretentious.
Many scenes are way too long. I'll give you an example. I love Kubrick films, but when they are slowly paced, it is to enforce a mood or to add some white space to a colorful tapestry. It's like the editor for this film was on sabbatical. It doesn't help that you have no desire to care about the characters either. How can I care about a "protagonist" who never smiles? At least bad guys in other movies get some joy out of being evil. This lady is just an irritating witch. I'll give the lady props for doing a fine job of acting, but that's as close as I can come to praise for this film.
The events, violence, and sexual aspects aren't even weird or shocking. Lynch has got weird/shocking nailed. There's no reason to expect anything that ends up taking place. But it's not because the story is original, it's because the story has no underlying theme or purpose.
And if you want to *enjoy* a cinematic application of the Schubert piano trio in e flat, watch Barry Lyndon.
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