Tag Archives: Benoît Magimel

Michael Haneke – La pianiste AKA The Piano Teacher (2001) (HD)

Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory prestigious music school in Vienna. In her early forties and single, she lives with her overprotective and controlling mother in a hermetically sealed world of love-hate and dependency, where there is no room for men. Her sex life consists of voyeurism and masochistic self-injury. Lonely and alienated, Erika finds solace by visiting sex shops and experimenting with masochism. Ata a recital, she befriends Walter, a handsome young man, whom she seduces and with whom she begins an illicit affair. As Erika slowly drifts closer to the brink of emotional disorder, she uses the love-stricken Walter to explore her darkest sado-masochistic fantasies, which eventually lead to her undoing. Read More »

Barbet Schroeder – Inju, la bête dans l’ombre AKA Inju: The Beast in the Shadow (2008)

Director Barbet Schroeder makes an ambitious attempt to revisit, in spirit, some of the great B-movies and thrillers of the past in ‘Inju, the Beast in the Shadow,’ which starts out as a smart romp through exotic Japan, only to spiral down into disappointing predictability after a hot opening half-hour. Inspired by a book by cult writer Edogawa Rampo and shot in French and Japanese, the film promises much more than it ultimately delivers. Commercial prospects will rest on the imaginatively recreated Kyoto atmosphere and vivid characters, not least a beautiful geisha into S&M. Read More »

Michael Haneke – La pianiste AKA The Piano Teacher (2001)


Michael Haneke’s latest torture mechanism is less funny game than daunting debasement ritual. Isabelle Huppert stars as Erika Kohut, an icy piano teacher who goes masochistic when handsome young Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel) wants to play with her cold ivory. Huppert responds to Haneke with such straight-faced precision that you might just buy into the director’s seemingly shallow provocations. Spousal punishment in Bergman’s Cries & Whispers came in the form of self-mutilation. Haneke, though, has Huppert paint a more squeamish picture of self-love that also contemplates the possibility of pleasure in pain. The director has an uncanny ability to force the spectator’s gaze and takes his time revealing Erika’s many fetishes. Though all-powerful in the classroom, Erika is slapped around by her busybody mother as if she were a constantly misbehaving child. Read More »