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presents Isabelle Huppert Benoît Magimel Annie Girardot in The Piano Teacher A Michael Haneke ﬁlm WINNER BEST ACTOR BEST ACTRESS Cannes Isabelle Huppert Benoît Magimel Grand Cannes Film Festival Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize Press Contact: In New York: Wang & Gluck Sophie Gluck and Telly Wong (212) 226-3269 or email@example.com All other locations: Gabriele Caroti at Kino International: (212) 629-6880 or firstname.lastname@example.org PRESSBOOK SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Cast Erika Kohut Isabelle Huppert Walter Klemmer Benoît Magimel The mother Annie Girardot Anna Schober Anna Sigalevitch Mrs. Schober Susanne Lothar Dr. Blonskij Udo Samel Credits Written and directed by Michael Haneke Based on the novel of the same name by Elfriede Jelinek Produced by Veit Heiduschka, Marin Kamitz and Alain Sarde Executive Producers: Michael Katz and Yvon Crenn Director of Photography: Christian Berger Edited by Monika Willi and Nadine Muse Production design by Christoph Kanter Assistant Producers: Nathalie Kreuther and Christine Gozlan Production Coordinator: Ulrike Lässer Sound recordist Guillaume Sciama Mixing engineer Jean-Pierre Laforce Music consultant Martin Achenbach Costume design by Annette Beaufaÿs A Wega-Film, MK2, Les Films Alain Sarde and Arte France Cinema co-production with the participation of Canal +, Arte/BR,CNC, ÖFI, WFF, ORF, and Eurimages Austria, France • 2000 • 130 minutes • Color • 1.85:1 • Dolby SR Winner of the Cannes Grand Jury Prize 2001 Isabelle Huppert: Best Actress, Cannes 2001 Benoît Magimel: Best Actor, Cannes 2001 Isabelle Huppert: Best Actress, European Film Awards 2001 A Kino International Release SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org The Piano Teacher Synopsis Erika Kohut (Isabelle Huppert) is a piano teacher at a prestigious music school in Vienna. In her early forties and single, she lives with her overprotective and controlling mother (Annie Girardot). Lonely and alienated, Erika ﬁnds solace by visiting sex shops and experi- menting with masochism. At a recital, she befriends Walter Klemmer (Magimel), a handsome young man, whom she seduces and begins an illicit affair with. As Erika slowly drifts closer to the brink of emotional disorder, she uses the love-stricken Walter to explore her darkest sado-masochistic fantasies. Elfriede Jelinek Born in Styria in 1946, Jelinek is a fervent intellectual, a famous playwright and a success- ful writer. She belongs to the school of the great polemicists and misanthropes such as Karl Kraus or Thomas Bernhard. Besides The Piano Teacher, Jelinek has written Lust, Wonderful, Wonderful Times and Women As Lovers. All of her work has conﬁrmed Elfriede Jelinek as a major author of her generation. Interview with Elfriede Jelinek by Marie Rivière Translated by Robert Gray This is the ﬁrst time that a work of yours has been adapted for the screen. What made you decide to let Michael Haneke go ahead with the project? For a long time I hesitated to give permission for a ﬁlm adaptation, because my prose works are so language-oriented. That is, the images are created in and are transmitted through language. I couldn’t imagine that ﬁlm images could add anything essential. But I always knew that I only would work with a director like Haneke, who can juxtapose his own canon of images with the text. Like Michael Haneke, you are Austrian, and like him, you have constantly explored the dark, the monstrous side of the human heart. Should we see a strong connection in this? That is another cliché. But it is true that we are not particularly “light” individuals—artistical- ly, I mean. I, like Haneke, in so far as I know his work, am better able to criticize society from a negative perspective. Precisely because even the positive clichés in our country are so stiﬂing, I sought to take what it most prides itself on, its music and musical geniuses, and present their negative side: the renunciation by hundreds of female piano teachers of their libido. SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Interview with Elfriede Jelinek (continued) You were brought up by a tyrannical, middle-class Catholic mother who dreamed of your becoming a concert pianist, and your father died in a psychiatric institution. To what extent is your novel autobiographical? I'd prefer not to answer that, and I’d also prefer my novel not to be seen as autobiographi- cal, although naturally it contains many autobiographical elements. What interests me in a story is its resonance—in this case the unraveling of one of the women who carry on their backs, who carry to term the high culture that Austria so idolizes. The unlived sexuality expressed in voyeurism: A woman who cannot partake in life or in desire. Even the right to watch is a masculine right: The woman is always the one who is watched, never the one who watches. In that respect, to express it psychoanalytically, we are dealing here with a phallic woman who appropriates the male right to watch, and who therefore pays for it with her life. How do you explain Erika’s insanity? She is certainly not insane, not at all. Neurotic, but not insane. As I just tried to explain, this is all the bloody (in the truest sense of the word) consequence of the fact that a woman is not allowed to live if she claims a right that is not hers and that she obtains only in the rarest of cases: artistic fame. The right to choose a man and also to dictate how he tor- tures her - that is, domination in submission - this she is not permitted. Indeed for a woman almost everything beyond the bearing and raising of children is a presumption. You are not particularly easy on women. That isn’t my role. I seek to cast an incorruptible gaze on women, especially where they are the accomplices of men. When it was published, certain critics in Austria qualiﬁed the novel as pornographic. Were you hurt by this response? The novel is the opposite of pornography. Pornography suggests desire everywhere and at every moment. The novel proves that this does not exist, that it is a construct meant to keep women willing, because they are usually pornographic objects anyway, while men look at them, and can almost penetrate their bodies with their gaze. But I am used to being misun- derstood. I am even blamed for what I attempt to analyze in my writing. As so often happens, the messenger is attacked, and not what she expresses. No one is interested in that. SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org The Piano Teacher Interview with Elfriede Jelinek (continued) About your characters you have said, “I strike hard so nothing can grow where my char- acters have been.” Is redemption impossible? My writings are limited to depicting analytically, but also polemically (sarcastically), the hor- rors of reality. Redemption is the specialty of other authors, male and female. My writing, my method, is based on criticism, not utopianism. Behind the description of a pathological case, is there not a denunciation of Austria's musical culture, which contributes to your country's identity? Yes, precisely. The idolization of high musical culture, which thecountry lives off, and how it is paid for. (Think how these great masters were often treated in their lifetimes, and how contemporary artists are treated!) A sort of Hegelian master-servant relationship. High cul- ture is the master, the female piano teachers are the maidservants. They have no right to any creative energy, not even to a life of their own (I suppose I carried this to its extreme in the text). Would you have made the same musical choices as Michael Haneke? We discussed the choice of music beforehand. Anyway most of the pieces are speciﬁed in the text. Just like Michael Haneke with his camera, you wield your penlike a scalpel. Are there similarities in your work? That is why Michael Haneke is so well suited to adapt this novel for the screen, because we both proceed analytically and dispassionately, perhaps like scientists studying the life of insects. You see the mechanisms better from a distance than when you are in the mid- dle of them. SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Isabelle Huppert One of France’s most talented and best loved actresses, Isabelle Huppert was born in Paris, the youngest of ﬁve daughters in a comfortable middle class family. She decided to pursue acting at the age of thirteen. In 1986, she enrolled in the Versailles Conservatory and by 1971 had already played her ﬁrst screen role in Nine Companez’s Faustine. In 1973, she was cast as Romy Schneider’s younger sister in Claude Sautet’s César and Rosalie. The following year she made an impressive and hilarious appearance in the ﬁnal scenes of Bertrand Blier’s epoch-making Going Places, starring Gerard Depardieu. By 1975, By the mid-1970’s, Huppert was one of the busiest actresses in Europe, appearing in no fewer than seven ﬁlms that year. Her eclectic taste in material and her ability to adapt to a variety of styles (both of which were to characterize her later work), were evidenced by outstanding performances that brought her to the forefront of her career. The ﬁrst of these dream roles was Pomme, the simple provincial heroine of Pascal Laine’s novel, The Lacemaker. Filmed in 1976 by Swiss director Claude Goretta, Huppert’s characterization of a country girl undone by a summer romance caused a sensation at Cannes and won Huppert international acclaim. Though she did not win the Best Actress prize at that year’s festival, she won the following year with Violette, the chillingly satiric study of Violette Nozière, a legendary 30’s ﬁgure whose casual murder of her bourgeois father became a cause célèbre. She also received the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival. At this point in her career, Huppert was not only the busiest and most successful of all French actresses, she was also the most inﬂuential. Her participation alone made it possi- ble for a number of ﬁlms by uncommercial “auteurs” to be made and guaranteed main- stream distribution. Among the ﬁlms of this period were Loulou by Maurice Pialat, The Trout by legendary director Joseph Losey (which Losey had been trying to ﬁlm for over a decade before Huppert’s involvement), and two of the more visible ﬁlms made by Jean-Luc Godard since the sixties, Every Man for Himself and Passion. Huppert’s work also became international at this point, taking her to Italy, to Hungary, and, most famously, to America, for Michael Cimino’s still-legendary Heaven’s Gate. For all her work abroad, Huppert never abandoned French screens, alternating ﬁlms by such proven French masters as Bertrand Tavernier in Coup De Torchon, Michel Deville, Diane Kurys and Bertrand Blier with her international projects. In 1988, Huppert reteamed with director Claude Chabrol for Story of Women, which was an artistic and commercial success. Since then Huppert has maintained her status as one of France’s leading ladies by starring in ﬁlms by such bold auteurs as Hal Hartley, the Taviani Brothers, Benoît Jacquot, Raoul Ruiz, Olivier Assayas and, of course, nouvelle vague veteran Chabrol. Her performance in The Piano Teacher garnered her a second Best Actress award at Cannes. SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org The Piano Teacher Isabelle Huppert ﬁlmography HUIT FEMMES by François Ozon (2002) EAUX PROFONDES by Michel Deville (1981) THE PIANO TEACHER by Michael Haneke (2001) COUP DE TORCHON by Bertrand Tavernier (1981) THE COMEDY OF INNOCENCE PASSION by Jean-Luc Godard (1982) by Raoul Ruiz (2000) LES AILES DE LA COLOMBE NIGHTCAP by Claude Chabrol (2000) by Benoit Jacquot (1981) LES DESTINEES SENTIMENTALES LADY OF THE CAMELIAS by Mauro Bolognini (1981) by Olivier Assayas (2000) THE HEIRESSES by Marta Meszaros(1980) SAINT-CYR by Patricia Mazuy (2000) HEAVEN’S GATE by Michael Cimino (1980) FALSE SERVANT by Benoît Jacquot (2000) LOULOU by Maurice Pialat (1980) MODERN LIFE by Laurence Ferreira Barbosa (1999) SAUVE QUI PEUT (LA VIE)/EVERY MAN FOR PAS DE SCANDALE by Benoît Jacquot (1999) HIMSELF by Jean-Luc Godard (1979) THE SCHOOL OF FLESH by Benoît Jacquot (1998) THE BRONTE SISTERS by André Techiné (1979) THE SWINDLE by Claude Chabrol (1979) RETOUR A LA BIEN-AIMEE LES PALMES DE MONSIEUR SCHUTZ by Jean-François Adam (1979) by Claude Pinoteau (1997) VIOLETTE by Claude Chabrol (1978) THE ELECTIVE AFFINITIES THE INDIANS ARE STILL FAR AWAY by Paolo et Vittorio Taviani (1996) by Patricia Moraz (1976) THE CEREMONY by Claude Chabrol (1996) THE LACEMAKER by Claude Goretta (1977) THE SEPARATION by Christian Vincent (1994) THE JUDGE AND THE ASSASSIN AMATEUR by Hal Hartley (1994) by Bertrand Tavernier (1975) THE FLOOD by Igor Minaev (1994) LE PETIT MARCEL by Jacques Fansten (1976) AFTER LOVE by Diane Kurys (1992) JE SUIS PIERRE RIVIERE by Christine Lipinska (1976) MADAME BOVARY by Claude Chabrol (1991) NO TIME FOR BREAKFAST MALINA by Werner Schroeter (1991) by Jean-Louis Bertucelli (1975) A WOMAN’S REVENGE by Jacques Doillon (1989) THE COMMON MAN by Yves Boisset (1975) STORY OF WOMEN by Claude Chabrol (1988) SERIOUS AS PLEASURE by Robert Benayoun (1974) MIGRATION by Alexandar Petrovic LE GRAND DELIRE by Dennis Berry (1975) BLACK MILAN by Ronald Chammah (1988) ALOISE by Liliane de Kermadec (1975) THE POSSESSED by Andrzej Wajda (1988) ROSEBUD by Otto Preminger (1975) THE BEDROOM WINDOW by Curtis Hanson (1987) LES VALSEUSES/GOING PLACES CACTUS by Paul Cox (1986) by Bertrand Blier (1974) ALL MIXED UP by Josiane Balasko (1985) L’AMPELOPEDE by Rachel Weinberg (1974) SINCERELY CHARLOTTE by Caroline Huppert (1985) LE BAL DE LA FOURCHE by Alain Levent (1972) LA GARCE by Christine Pascal (1984) CESAR AND ROSALIE by Claude Sautet (1972) MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL by Bertrand Blier (1983) FAUSTINE AND THE BEAUTIFUL SUMMER ENTRE NOUS by Diane Kurys (1983) by Nina Companez (1971) THE TROUT by Joseph Losey (1982) SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Benoît Magimel ﬁlmography NID DE GUEPES by Florent Emilio Siri (2001) THE KING IS DANCING by Gérard Corbiau (2000) THE PIANO TEACHER by Michael Haneke (2000) THE CHILDREN OF THE CENTURY by Diane Kurys (1999) LISA by Pierre Grimblat (1999) TO MATHIEU by Xavier Beauvois (1999) ALREADY DEAD by Olivier Dahan (1998) UNE MINUTE DE SILENCE by Florent Siri (1998) THE CHILD OF THE NIGHT by André Techine (1996) A SINGLE GIRL by Benoît Jaquot (1996) QUINZE SANS BILLETS (Short) by Samuel Tasinaje (1996) JUSTE AU DESSUS DES LOIS (Short) by Sauveur Msellati (1996) CODE DE BONNE CONDUITE (Short) by Nicholas Klein (1996) LA HAINE/HATE by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995) PUTAIN DE PORTE (Short) by Jean-Claude Flamand (1993) THE STOLEN DIARY by Christine Lipinska (1992) TOUTES PEINES CONFONDUES by Michel Deville (1991) THE COUNTRY YEARS by Philippe Leriche (1991) PAPA EST PARTI... MAMAN AUSSI by Christine Lipinska (1988) LIFE IS A LONG QUIET RIVER by Etienne Chatiliez (1987) SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org The Piano Teacher Annie Girardot selected ﬁlmography CECI EST MON CORPS by Rodolphe Marconi (2001) THE PIANO TEACHER by Michael Haneke (2000) LES MISERABLES by Claude Lelouch (1994) THANK YOU, LIFE by Bertrand Blier (1990) IL Y A DES JOURS ET DES LUNES by Claude Lelouch (1989) COMEDIE D’AMOUR by Jean-Pierre Rawson (1989) PRISONNIERES by Charlotte Silvera (1988) ALL NIGHT LONG by Jean-Claude Tramont (LA VIE EN MAUVE) (1981) UNE ROBE NOIRE POUR UN TUEUR by José Giovanni (1980) LA ZIZANIE by Claude Zidi (1977) NO TIME FOR BREAKFAST by Jean-Louis Bertucelli (1975) THE GIPSY by José Giovanni (1975) THE SLAP by Claude Pinoteau (1974) ELLE CAUSE PLUS, ELLE FLINGUE by Michel Audiard (1972) LA VIEILLE FILLE by Jean-Pierre Blanc (1971) TO DIE OF LOVE by André Cayatte (1970) ELLE BOIT PAS, ELLE FUME PAS, ELLE DRAGUE PAS MAIS ELLE CAUSE by Michel Audiard (1969) A MAN I LIKE by Claude Lelouch (1969) DILLINGER IS DEAD by Marco Ferreri (1968) LIVE FOR LIFE by Claude Lelouch (1966) THE WITCHES by Luchino Visconti (1966) THE DIRTY GAME by Christian-Jaque,Terence Young, Carlo Lizzani,Werner Klinger (1965) THREE ROOMS IN MANHATTAN by Marcel Carné (1965) THE ORGANIZER by Mario Monicelli (1963) I FUORILEGGE DEL MATRIMONI by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and V. Orsini (1963) THE APE WOMAN by Marco Ferreri (1963) GENTLE ACT OF MURDER by Gérard Oury (1961) ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS by Luchino Visconti (1960) THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN KEYS by Léo Joannon (1956) SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Michael Haneke Michael Haneke was born in Munich, Germany in 1942. He studied philosophy, psychology and drama in Vienna. Upon graduation, he became a playwright with the Südwestfunk Theater Company from 1967-1970 and wrote scripts for German television. His theatrical work has been produced in Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Vienna. Since 1970, he has directed and written for both ﬁlm and television. His ﬁrst feature ﬁlm, The Seventh Continent (1989), “one of the cinema’s great debuts,” established the writer/director as a unique new voice in international cinema. His ﬁrst in a trilogy on “emotional glaciation” dealt with real life suicide of a Viennese family and was fol- lowed by Benny’s Video (1992) and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994). His subsequent ﬁlm, an important satire on the commodiﬁcation of violence in the media, would be his most notoriously powerful ﬁlm up to that point. Funny Games (1997) is a shocklingly gory post-modern tale of the slow torture and death of an Austrian family on their ﬁrst day of vacation. Called “The most intellectually stimulating and emotionally provocative piece of European cinema of recent times,” Code Unknown is Haneke’s ﬁrst French language feature. Starring French doyenne Juliette Binoche, the ﬁlm premiered at Cannes in 2000, and explores themes of alienation everpresent in Haneke’s work, which are also central in The Piano Teacher. The director had been wanting to adapt Jelinek’s novel to ﬁlm ever since he read it after its publication in 1983. A very important work in contemporary Austrian literature, The Piano Teacher was in constant demand to be made into a ﬁlm. After years of rights issues, Haneke was ﬁnally given the opportunity to make it with Isabelle Huppert as the lead. Michael Haneke’s work has been in numerous retrospectives, including at the Festival of Central European Culture in London and more recently at the American Cinemathèque in Los Angeles. This travelling retrospective will appear at the museum of Modern Art in New York in Spring 2002. SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org The Piano Teacher Michael Haneke ﬁlmography THE PIANO TEACHER (2001) Writer / director Winner Grand Jury Prize, Cannes 2001 CODE UNKNOWN (2000) Writer / director In Competition Cannes 2000 FUNNY GAMES (1997) Writer / director In Competition, Cannes 1997 Silver Hugo Award, Chicago Film Festival 1997 Fipresci Award, Flanders International Film Festival 1997 13ème Prix Très Spécial Communiqué de Presse, Paris 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award, Biarritz 1998 Konrad-Wolf-Preis awarded by the Academy of Arts, Berlin 1998 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE (1994) Writer / director Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 1994 Golden Hugo Award, Chicago Film Festival 1994 Prize for Best Film, Prize for Best Screenplay, Critics’ Prize, Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival 1994 BENNY’S VIDEO (1992) Writer / director Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 1992 Fipresci Award, Thessalonica 1992 City of Vienna Film Prize 1992 Jury Prize, Châlon sur Saone 1992 Fipresci Award [Felix], Berlin 1993 Golden Frame Prize for best feature ﬁlm, Vienna 1994 THE SEVENTH CONTINENT (1989) Writer / director Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 1989 Bronze Leopard, International Film Festival Locarno 1989 Best Music and Best Sound Award, Ghent 1989 Prize for distribution of quality ﬁlms in Belgium Films, Brussels 1989 Austrian Award of Honour from the Ministry of Education and Arts for Cinema 1990 SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL email@example.com The Piano Teacher Susanne Lothar ﬁlmography THE PIANO TEACHER by Michael Haneke (2000) FUNNY GAMES by Michael Haneke (1997) THE CASTLE by Michael Haneke (1996) TATORT (1993) DER JUNGE MUSSOLINI by Gianluigi Calderone (1992) DAS TÖDLICHE AUGE HAMILTON by Pelle Kirkelund (1991) BORDER CROSSING by Steward MacInnon (1990) DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT by Edgar Reitz (1989) DER BERG by Markus Imhoof (1988) EISENHANS by Tankred Dorst (1984) Udo Samel ﬁlmography THE PIANO TEACHER by Michael Haneke (2000) IN THE NAME OF INNOCENCE by Andreas Kleinert (1996) LIEBE LÜGEN by Martin Walz (1996) KILLER CONDOM by Ralf König and Martin Walz, Luigi Mackeroni (1996) BACK TO SQUARE ONE by Reinhard Münster (1994) MIT MEINEN HEIßEN TRÄNEN / NOTTURNO by Fritz Lehner, Franz Schubert (1986) SUITE 503 • 333 WEST 39th ST. • NEW YORK, NY 10018 • TELEPHONE (212) 629-6880 • FAX (212) 714-0871 • E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
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