Tag Archives: Michael Haneke

Some Don’t Like It Hot: The Piano Teacher

Relief. That’s what I felt when The Piano Teacher was mercifully over. The movie not only leaves nothing to my imagination, but renders it obsolete as I endured from one twisted scene to the next, wondering what could possibly come next. When the main character, Erika Kohut, remarked, “Be quiet. You will wake the whole building,” I noted that as one of the few drops of rational thought in the whole movie. Continue reading Some Don’t Like It Hot: The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher: It’s Not About the Piano

Typically Haneke, the protagonist’s extraordinarily odd behavior . . .  is never explained or justified in any psychological way. Wildly explicit and violent rape and bondage scenes are as ever rendered disturbing and not titillating.
—Mattias Frey, Senses of Cinema

La Pianiste at times seems like an introduction to the writings of Freud . . .
—John Champagne, Bright Lights Film Journal

In a further exploration of themes of alienation and voyeurism, Haneke portrays the sadomasochistic Continue reading The Piano Teacher: It’s Not About the Piano

Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize winner


At this point, I have stopped trying to figure out how and why certain people are winners of the prestigious Nobel Prize. For some most deserving recipients, such as President Jimmy Carter in 2002, it was just a matter of time. However, the announcement of others takes me by real surprise. The most recent example is Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate in literature, who has been highly influential in the music scene for decades and for which he will receive an enormous check.

There have been plenty of musicians in my lifetime who have also “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” (Leight, 2016). I hope I am not diminishing the tremendous honor bestowed upon Bob Dylan when I ask what singled him out of a crop of accomplished musicians such as James Taylor and Billy Joel? I was also among the shocked when, in 2009 at the birth of his Presidency, President Barack Obama was announced as winner. President Obama, just settling in at the White House, had not yet made a mark at all.

Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek

Another perplexing winner is Elfriede Jelinek of Austria Continue reading Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize winner