The Piano Teacher
BAMPFA Collection Print
Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel, Annie Girardot, Anna Sigalevitch,
Set in the city of Freud and great composers, Michael Haneke’s clinical melodrama of civilization and its discontents hones the razor’s edge between perversity and art. Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress at Cannes for her role as Erika, a brilliant musician with a monstrous mother and an affinity for Schubert, sex shops, and self-mutilation. “I have no feelings,” Erika declares, but when a student-cum-lover refuses to enact her sadomasochistic script, she enters a territory of emotional violence that defies her intellect. Huppert embodies the desire for control and the desire to lose it in a performance as pellucid and jagged as broken glass.