IMDb > The Piano Teacher (2001)
La pianiste
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Piano Teacher (2001) More at IMDbPro »La pianiste (original title)

Photos (See all 19 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   28,923 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for The Piano Teacher on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 August 2001 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 17 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Metaphysics of Self-Denial See more (228 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Isabelle Huppert ... Erika Kohut

Annie Girardot ... The Mother

Benoît Magimel ... Walter Klemmer

Susanne Lothar ... Mrs. Schober
Udo Samel ... Dr. George Blonskij
Anna Sigalevitch ... Anna Schober
Cornelia Köndgen ... Mme Gerda Blonskij
Thomas Weinhappel ... Baritone
Georg Friedrich ... Man in drive-in
Philipp Heiss ... Naprawnik
William Mang ... Teacher
Rudolf Melichar ... Director
Michael Schottenberg ... Teacher
Gabriele Schuchter ... Margot

Dieter Berner ... Singing teacher
Volker Waldegg ... Teacher
Martina Resetarits ... Teacher
Annemarie Schleinzer ... Teacher
Karoline Zeisler ... Teacher
Liliane Neiska ... Secretary
Luz Leskowitz ... Violinist
Viktor Teuflmayr ... Pianist
Viviane Bartsch ... Woman in drive-in (as Vivian Bartsch)
Florian Koban ... Pupil
Thomas Auner ... Haydn pianist
Andreas Donat ... Chopin Pianist
Gerti Drassl
Klaus Händl
Erika Kollmann-Till (as Erika Kollmann)

Nina Kripas
Esther Pils
Petra Reichel
Marcus Zeuner
Arbesi Sufi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Hans-Christian Haas ... Man Listening to Concert
Noam Morgensztern ... The first pupil (voice)

Lisa Olah ... Sex shop girl (as Lisa Wölzl)

Vitus Wieser ... Klemmer's Friend (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Michael Haneke 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michael Haneke 
Elfriede Jelinek  novel

Produced by
Yvon Crenn .... executive producer
Christine Gozlan .... executive producer
Veit Heiduschka .... producer
Michael Katz .... executive producer
 
Cinematography by
Christian Berger 
 
Film Editing by
Nadine Muse 
Monika Willi 
 
Casting by
Kris Portier de Bellair 
Markus Schleinzer 
 
Production Design by
Christoph Kanter 
 
Set Decoration by
Hans Wagner 
 
Costume Design by
Annette Beaufays 
 
Makeup Department
Françoise Andrejka .... makeup artist
Fabienne Bressan .... hair stylist
Ellen Just .... makeup artist
Thi-Loan Nguyen .... key makeup artist
Michaela Oppl .... special makeup effects artist
Waldemar Pokromski .... special makeup effects artist
 
Production Management
Roman Haschberger .... unit production manager
Michael Katz .... production manager
Nathalie Kreuther .... executive in charge of production
Gebhard Zupan .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Katharina Biró .... assistant director
Fritz Noltmann .... assistant director
Hanus Polak Jr. .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Gerhard Dohr .... construction crew
Peter Dörflinger .... construction crew
Peter Ecker .... props
Katrin Huber .... property master
Fritz Martan .... construction coordinator
Hannes Salat .... props
Peter Wenhardt .... scenic artist
 
Sound Department
Pascal Chauvin .... foley artist
Pascal Dedeye .... assistant foley artist
Othmar Eichinger .... sound playback operator
Dominique Eyraud .... boom operator
Jean-Pierre Laforce .... sound mixer
Nadine Muse .... sound editor
Guillaume Sciama .... sound
 
Special Effects by
László Kovács .... special effects coordinator
Hans Wagner .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Geoffrey Kleindorfer .... visual effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rainer Barta .... electrician
Stefan Biebl .... Steadicam operator (as Stefan Bibl)
Petro Domenigg .... still photographer
Peter Drittenpreis .... assistant Steadicam operator
Katharina Frank .... second assistant camera
Gerald Helf .... first assistant camera
Regina Höllbacher .... second assistant camera
Bernhard Pötscher .... first assistant camera
Harald Staudach .... assistant Steadicam operator
Reinhard Vince .... electrician
Wolfgang Vince .... gaffer
Jörg Widmer .... Steadicam operator
 
Casting Department
Carmen Loley .... casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Brigitte Fink .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Yannick Coutheron .... assistant editor
Alarich Lenz .... assistant editor
Monica Parisini .... assistant editor
Franz Rabl .... color timer
Gabriele Sikuta .... negative cutter
 
Transportation Department
Thomas Messer .... property driver
 
Other crew
Roman Haschberger .... location manager
Eva Jürgens .... production trainee
Andreas Kispert .... set manager
Ulrike Lässer .... production coordinator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La pianiste" - Austria (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for aberrant sexuality including violence, and for language (cut)
Runtime:
131 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The character of the mother is based on author Elfriede Jelinek's real life mother.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
The Mother:Good evening, child.
Erika Kohut:Evening, mama.
The Mother:[sarcastically] Home already? I'm so happy.
Erika Kohut:I'm going.
The Mother:Not so fast.
Erika Kohut:Please. Leave me be. I'm tired.
The Mother:I can quite believe it. Your last pupil left 3 hours ago. Might I know where you've been all this time?
Erika Kohut:[trying to go to her room] Please.
The Mother:No, you don't. Not until you tell me.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)See more »
Soundtrack:
Piano Sonata in A Major, D.959See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
177 out of 238 people found the following review useful.
The Metaphysics of Self-Denial, 6 August 2004
Author: lkil from Oakland, California

The Metaphysics of Self-Denial. This comment is bound to provoke some controversy by disagreeing with those who have easily classified this film as an indictment of sexual repression and self-denial. Michael Haneke (as a film-maker) and brilliant Isabelle Huppert (as the music professor Erika Kohut) place sexual relationships within a larger frame of reference -- that of the boundaries of one's own SELF.

Erika is a highly intelligent, perfectionistic, ambitious and driven woman, who has single-mindedly and relentlessly identified her whole self with her work and achievement. In a sense, she is madly competitive and is painfully sensitive to any kind of attempt to "sideline" her or, even more importantly, to take her and her opinions for granted. She is no puppet in anyone's theatre. She is unpredictable and that's one of her major instruments of self-assertion. She is overly harsh on everybody surrounding her -- you need a pair of plyers to pull the most modest words of praise from her tight mouth. Observe Erika's body language in the film: accentuated pride, not an insignificant dose of aplomb and even snobbishness, cold sternness, and extremely caustic sense of humor.

But look more carefully: Erika is most harsh towards herself. Unimaginably and cruelly harsh on herself! Erika's fear of sex is not just a function of her mother's repression and other hackneyed reasons examined in thousands of other movies. Erika is first and foremost obsessed with what entering into any kind of a relationship, be it casual sexual intercourse or an enduring love affair, means to her sense of personal independence. She is prepared to forego relationships and suffer as a consequence, rather than to "succumb" and be forever unsure of whether she had given in or emerged on top. She experiences all human relationships, and sexual ones above all else, as a field of power play, of asymmetrical exchange of influences. And there is one thing she apparently cannot withstand at all -- and that's a thought, yes -- just a thought!, of yielding. Her world is truly stark and Gothic, it's a world of maximalist and dramatic choices -- yes or no, on top or on the bottom, bright or dark. She craves the most violent contrasts and cannot stand living in the zones of shades of grey. She understands only super- or subordination in the purest of forms.

Many would probably be correct to argue that Erika's obsession with remaining beyond anybody's influences is in many ways an outcome of her total mental slavery to her mother. And this is obviously a valid point. But the film's posing of the problem of sex in explicit power-related terms, in terms of a power game with fluid rules and irredeemably uncertain outcomes should be the primary focus of analysis. The Piano Teacher's finale is resounding in its relentless dramatism and even stoicism. Erika's conscious pursuit of emotional self-denial for the sake of what she deems her true (and avaricious) God -- self-sufficiency and professional greatness reveals that there is her war with her own humanity and her attempt to become godlike (as one poet said, 'eternal, cold and true'). Her God is completely indifferent to her sufferings and human flaws and needs -- He demands constant sacrifices, demonstrations of loyalty (not unlike Abraham's readiness to slay his own son Isaac at the Almighty's behest). In that sense, her character is not totally unlike the character of the obsessive and self-destructive chess player Alexander Luzhin from The Luzhin Defence or the driven John Nash from The Beautiful Mind (the parallels should not be extended). These movies both show the curative powers of love. There angelical women serve to relieve masculine anguish and self-destructiveness.

Here a man discharges this function.

Erika's sexuality is a function of all these considerations and complications. As a highly intelligent and sensitive woman, she is aware that any action in a relationship may be interpreted in radically divergent ways. Consequently, she alternates haltingly and hysterically between the sadistic and masochistic modes, obsessing over she is in "charge" of a relationship. This shows even in the horrendous scene when Erika asks her potential lover Walter to beat her up.

Equally interesting and intriguing are the two other main characters in the movie, Walter and Erika's pesky and nosy mother. Walter's deep attraction to Erika reveals his inner demons -- his fantasy to serve as a redeemer, a liberator of sorts for a self-destructive woman. He desires to redeem the male part of humanity by welcoming Erika into the world of "normal" human sexuality, by curing her of her pains and doubts. The more he takes upon himself the mantle of a heroic redeemer, the more intense her battle of wills with him becomes, the more symbolic her conflicts with him grow. In a sense, Walter loses in the end! He deprives Erika of her virginity but she pretends to be dead and ice-cold during the act: the ultimate rejection and delegitimation!

Erika's mother is probably the true monster of the movie. Avaricious vampire of a human being. She buzzes with her annoying commentaries and bileful complaints over the viewer's ear like a mosquitto that she is. A spiteful, repulsive character.

This is a highly disturbing and extremely thought-provoking movie with absolutely no clear answers. Bravo, Michael Haneke and Isabelle Huppert for a brilliant movie and an equally brilliant and tense performance!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (228 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Piano Teacher (2001)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Could have been a great movie kimkegaard
Rape? *spoiler* the_playboy_bunny69
Outside the couple's car... by_candlelight
Comedian Louis C.K. on 'The Piano Teacher' max-ben-marshall
No one has mentioned... RamonathePest
What about the knife at the end ? l_dura_lex_sed_lex_l
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Children of the Century The Accompanist Kings & Queen Bitter Moon Head-On
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb Austria section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.