Friday, August 1, 2008


1) Isabelle Huppert in Michael Haneke's 2001 film called in English The Piano Teacher.

2) Ingrid Thulin in Ingmar Bergman's 1973 film called in English Cries & Whispers.

Many people have disliked both of these movies and I can see why. Two melodramas, each full of lavish images and lavish pain. Lush shadows, lush light. Some people say this is unconvincing, that doom should not be dressed up in such finery. It is dishonest, they say, or at least inappropriate. Joseph Kerman just recently published a book called Opera and the Morbidity of Music. When I read the book's title my first thought was not about opera but about these two movies. "Morbid in a good way." That was my first thought.