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Quick-Thoughts: Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001)

Michael Haneke Binge Part II of III

Michael Haneke’s understandably controversial feature-length The Piano Teacher is an artistic brush that tours a topic that expressive statements aren’t socially supposed to discuss. Yet, the favored practice to marginalize subjects like the ones brought up in The Piano Teacher are exactly why many critics, audiences, and just causal human beings tend to feel so irked. To ignore disturbing issues that are often provoked in the distressful regions of the human psyche is one of the most irresponsible ways of handling them. “Art” and even bigger things like “society” don’t get better because we pretend certain eldritch events don’t often happen; they get better when we can openly address and debate them. 

The Piano Teacher features some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever had the pleasure (well not exactly, haha) to observe and ponder over. Haneke just knows how to create tempting characters just by conducting the way they act rather than providing context to what their historical backgrounds could possibly occupy. It is the taboo desires and mannerisms that cause fictional yet applicable characters to stand out from the crowd. Specifically, our main character, Erika Kohut is a primary intrigue to the story at hand, being as she is a fairly enigmatic individual that deals with an uncanny yet very real obsession with psychosexual self-harm. The motion picture treats the neverending constant of sexual frustration as a mental barrier that, like a disease, can be passed on if not examined considerately. Never has the darkness of sexual tendencies ever been this shockingly captured as it has been in this staggering declaration by Michael Haneke. This is Fifty Shades of Grey but for the cultured. 

The Master of Blue Balls would’ve been a fitting title for this movie too, however. YEP, I cease to not make jokes during a review for a movie as f****d up as this! 

In all seriousness, nevertheless, this is a new cynical favorite of mine. 10/10; take my breath away, Michael Haneke; you’ve made a bold masterpiece. 

Verdict: A+ 

All-Time Favorites, Disturbance in Art (Ranked List)

“The Piano Teacher” is now available to stream on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and The Criterion Channel.

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