7 Reactions to The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher (2001) chronicles the psychological, emotional, and sexual pathologies of a lonely pianist whose obsession with her pupil turns from bad to worse. Known for transgressing boundaries and his ambivalence towards the audience, director Michael Haneke has evoked the following reactions from this contributor, whose sensibilities in film are fairly mainstream and conventional.

1. Sniffing semen in porn booth

This woman must be really lonely; at my worst (before the internet), I’ve ventured into porn booths to watch porn, but never thought about masturbating because it was gross: semen on the floor, its distinct smell, the faint rumble of other men jerking off in adjacent booths, etc. The irony with porn booths is that it’s a very asexual place, completely non-arousing and somewhat clinical. That this lady leafed through the trash to find and smell some random man’s cum was like “damn lady, you got issues,” which was sort of what I said the entire film. It’s odd how she used gloves, like she thought it was gross too, or maybe she didn’t want to leave her fingerprints.

Colloquial reaction: “Damn.”

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