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 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.
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.
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 »
The R-rated edition from Kino makes a number of changes and omissions, removing the shots of the hardcore peep booth footage viewed by Huppert's character in the mall, as well as optically pixellating pornographic images on magazine covers in the sex shop. In addition, this version completely removes the following two sequences: -Huppert's cutting sequence in the bathtub -Magimel taking Huppert to the ground and humping her at the hockey rink. In the latter case, the film awkwardly fades out and in again in quick succession, to elide the missing footage. See more »
Definitely NOT for the faint-of-heart or for those seeking passive entertainment, this film is a masterpiece of portraiture of a highly talented and disturbed artist a perfect illustration of the idea that genius is considered but a short step from insanity.
It has been many months since I viewed this film, and I find myself turning the film over in my head quite often. That to me is the mark of a well-done film or any work of art, for that matter.
I have never since seen a prodigiously talented performer without wondering what their day-to-day life and relationships must be like. This film stayed with me despite my revulsion to its "ugliness" the discomfiture it engenders.
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