Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Things I truly despise #1: The Piano

In the first of yet another series for which I may never get around to writing many entries (see also the Great websites and Whatever became of...? series), today I introduce the Things I truly despise series. This one is quite liberating for me, since it allows me simply to vent spleen on a given issue that gets under my skin.

And today's theme?

This first one is one that I keep pretty close to my chest these days. Fortunately it is slowly becoming but a distant memory. But the truth is this:

I can barely express how much I fucking hated, hated, hated with a fucking passion that pile of bullshit dog-turd movie The Piano. The arguments I have had with people on this... violent, aggressive debates peppered with personal insults... make this the single, unrivalled, undisputed champion of things I truly despise.


The Piano: pretty scenery, nothing more.


Rare are the occasions that I talk about it. I watched it with three or four other people back when it came out, and they all loved it. I couldn't get my head around why. Sure, it's purrdy and all, but the story is just dumb. Here's my synopsis:

Non-talky woman with disinterested hubby and boring kid move to New Zealand. Mute meets local "savage". He fingers the hole in her stockings. She goes ga-ga. She gets her fingers chopped off (by hubby? For infidelity? Who the hell remembers?!). Savage makes her some wooden fingers. And she gets to play her precious piano again.

Someone drip-feed me the coffee, cos I'm falling a-fucking-sleep here!

Anyways... a part of me is curious as to whether I would detest with quite so much venom now, some 15 years later. Maybe I would. Maybe I wouldn't. But I don't even think I want to put myself through it, not even as an experiment.

After this, Harvey Keitel was virtually dead to me. And truthfully he's hardly done anything good since.

Fucking cunting idiot bastard film.

And yet I know some people love it. Red even has it on video. Although of course she has never watched it since we met! What do you all think of it?

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42 Comments:

Blogger Pendullum said...

You knowIcan't remember the film... I went with my husband and a friend...
and to our surprise a friend walkied in with a date andsat in front ofus...the girl was like twelve... and had us all distracted...
In fact I an certain she would not hadmadeit in if it were not for our 'adult' friend...
Not exactly a good date with a twelve year old type of movie...

16 May, 2007 14:33  
Blogger Milla said...

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!??!??!?!??!?!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!

I LOVE THIS FILM.

16 May, 2007 15:17  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Nice Nyman soundtrack but otherwise unremarkable.

Puss

16 May, 2007 15:40  
Blogger furiousBall said...

You know, this is one of those things like 5 years ago when a buddy back in Austin sent me an email with the subject line "DRUNKENPARTYGIRLS!" and the attached jpg had three 70 year old men engaging in some eye gouging worthy activities. Then about a year ago he sent an email with the subject line "Hey Man"...with the same picture attached.

I was just done with the therapy to remove the image of those eldery men engaging in sodomy and he puts what can't be unseen back in my head...so I'm equating that dumb movie with eldery porn...and I say to you sir, thanks...damn it, I almost had that movie out of my head.

16 May, 2007 15:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Pendullum: Sounds like you at least had something in front of you worth watching, rather than this ghastly excuse for a movie.

Milla: Really? Wow. Why?

G/puss: I could make Michael Nyman my number 2 in this series, but I have other plans. Darn it!

F/ball: Sorry, man. I don't even know why it came up for me today. You want to wash your brain now, don't you?

16 May, 2007 16:22  
Blogger ldbug said...

You know, I can't ever remember seeing that film...maybe I'll have to try and view it so I can leave a more colorful comment;-)

16 May, 2007 16:45  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

never seen it. but now i doubt i will.

thanks for the warning :)

16 May, 2007 17:34  
Blogger martinobhoy said...

Feck Jonathon Ross! Get your name in the frame for Film 2008.

16 May, 2007 18:38  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

LDB: Do yourself a favour, pet, and DON'T watch it!

Martha: Yay for you, girl!

Martino: Too bleedin' busy, ain't I? Otherwise, y'know, I might be tempted.

16 May, 2007 19:00  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

never saw it, and after your review, I think I'll pass.

16 May, 2007 19:57  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

looked like a chick flick. Never saw it. I did see that other piano movie about the jewish polish piano player in ww2. I read the book first and the book was insanely touching in ways the movie couldn't be.

16 May, 2007 20:34  
Blogger The Anti Crapitalist said...

She looked nothing like Jimmy Durante. Shite idea. Shite film.

16 May, 2007 21:40  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Well, it's a chick flick so I wouldn't recommend almost any guys to see it.

However...I loved it. I loved the mum and daughter, I loved the feeling of oppression and it being slowly fought by the woman, her oppression began sometime in the past when she lost her voice. Maybe her lack of voice works as a metaphor that women weren't allowed to have a voice back in the day.

I also really liked her clothes and hair...

I can't say I like all Campion films though...there were problems with Portrait of a Lady.

A small family tradition grew out of The Piano. When my daughter and I play cards and after I make a particularily clever move or play or discard...I say "If you don't love me go"...in my best (but it's horrible) Harvey Keitel impersonation from this movie. It both irritates the hell out of my daughter and sort of makes her laugh.

17 May, 2007 04:40  
Blogger Biddie said...

Well, I have never seen it, but then again, I'm not much for chick flicks. I'd rather watch a blood bath, or laugh myself silly...

17 May, 2007 05:32  
Blogger riviera writer said...

Le Lecon du Piano was peak viewing in France a couple of nights ago - and as usual no reasonable alternative - and I can confirm plot and acting still as bad.
BUT it got three Oscars!! Best actress, best supporting actress and screenplay. Screenplay? But she's mute!

17 May, 2007 05:56  
Blogger AmyTree said...

I haven't actually seen it - thought it looked kind of dull...

Instead I offer up that idiotically terrible time-waster of a film "Creep". The heroine is so awful we were cheering for the monster, who is dull dull DULL. Christopher Smith - you are a bad, bad man who does NOT deserve to make any more films. I want that 90 minutes of my life back, please.

17 May, 2007 11:31  
Blogger Red said...

I liked The Piano.

Judging from the comments this post elicited, I wonder if perhaps it takes a European (as in continental) sensibility to appreciate it...

Candy and Milla, we three should hook up and watch it together and swoon at Harvey Keitel's once-in-his-career sexiness.

17 May, 2007 12:05  
Blogger Milla said...

Actually, for me it is not Keitel that does it. It's the Scottish accent in the mind of Ada that makes me love this film. And when she cannot scream when her finger is chopped off...oh my god, I cry tears as big as oranges.

17 May, 2007 13:08  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Mr A: Wise, I think.

Pool: I've come to the conclusion that the only piano movie worth watching is The Piano Teacher, by Michael Haneke.

AC: Quite. And yes.

17 May, 2007 13:13  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: I had a feeling you might like it, I must admit. And I can half see how women might like it more than men would. But man oh man, what a bloody painful old slog it is! I just can't be arsed with a woman who decides not to speak cos she's all unhappy and shit. And then goes, "Oh I loves me piana. Oops, where's me fingers gorn?" Just don't get it. It's that missing chromosome, isn't it?

17 May, 2007 13:16  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Biddie: I don't mind a chick flisk once in a while, but give me a chick flick with something I can hold on to, not all this vague pseudo-cerebral mumbo-jumbo.

Riviera Writer: Welcome. Thanks for the confirmation that it hasn't improved with time. Saves me the bother, then!

Amytree: Welcome to you, too! Shame about Creep. I've not seen it, but I kind of wanted to. That bad, huh? Oh well...

17 May, 2007 13:19  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Red: You might be on to something. I kind of see that Campion was going for a European vibe, in that old school of Euro movies where fuck all happens. Remember Vendredi Soir? Hmmm. And remember Keitel all naked and grizzly in Bad Lieutenant? Hahaha!

Milla: Scottish accent? Who's Ada? [whoosh] That's the sound of things going over my head, so forgotten is this movies plot (such as it is). She's like one of those CIA operatives: you can even torture her and she won't speak! Tears as big as oranges? Sounds like a great idea for one of your artworks, no? With actual oranges. Cool. Very Sevilliano!

17 May, 2007 13:22  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

Would you like me to burn off a copy of the soundtrack for you?? It is a 90 minute variation of the same song... You can use it for when you have trouble sleeping.

17 May, 2007 16:52  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Yes, Red...count me in for chick flick nightt! Oh god, wouldn't that actually be fun? I have a fantasy of going to some spa in Italy or Arizona and getting masasges etc and then at night watching chick fliks. I am half way through 6 part mini-series of Bleak House...just watching last two installments this afternoon and I am so into it. It's almost 12 hours...and such tension and manipulations and oh it's wonderful!

Hey *, I think the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice is conducive for guys to watch...it's got humor, chivalry, and obstinate charaters...etc Have you ever seen it? Did you survive? I just got a copy of the dvd...Stagg is afraid, very afraid...but I think he'll get into it...

love ya guys!

17 May, 2007 18:59  
Blogger Tanya said...

I was made to sit through this film and I couldn't wait till it finished. The person I watched it with insisted it was amazing and carried a deep and brilliant message. What? That time was too valuable to be wasted on this crap? If so, I got the message.

17 May, 2007 19:20  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Hey...*, have you seen this?

http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2007/05/on-lot-30-promo.html

I am so stoked is it going to play over there or do you need more tapes?

18 May, 2007 00:58  
Blogger angelsarentfree said...

HA! I've never seen it either, but your rants always have me cackling my head off. I love reading when you get all wound up because it reminds me of me when I go on tangents at work. Fucking awesome!!

18 May, 2007 01:29  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Camie: Red has informed me that she already has the soundtrack and loves it, so I'm all good, thanks...

Candy:It would be great for Stagg and me just to watch you gals having a chick-flick night, I think! He and I could just drink beer, eat chips, and laugh at whatever crazy film you choose! He has my condolences on Pride and Prej!

18 May, 2007 06:10  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Tanya: I think that was the message. Well done for catching it!

Candy: I missed this over at yours. I'm sure it wasn't there yesterday. I'll get back to you, but I've not heard of it.

Angel: I can't help it sometimes... Some things are just so wrath-inducing!

18 May, 2007 06:15  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

mega boring film

18 May, 2007 11:36  
Blogger ginkers said...

Have you ever seen the Italian film Barnabo of the Mountains? It won my crown for most boring film ever. I think there were 20 minutes before the first piece of dialogue and that was just a kind of grunting sound...

18 May, 2007 12:35  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

4D: Oh yes, it sure is.

Ginkers: That film sounds excellent! Oh how I hate films that go for minutes on end at the beginning without any dialogue.

18 May, 2007 13:55  
Blogger Judith said...

I only like one or two tracks on the soundtrack, visually there are stunning shots, but for the plot its a bit shite. Just curious as to what you think of Amelie?

18 May, 2007 15:01  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Judith: I agree that there are some beautiful shots in The Piano. But I can look at some postcards of New Zealand for that. A film should be more (IMHO).

Amélie is a horse of an entirely different colour, bien sûr. While I wouldn't say that I love it, I do think it is very very good. The colours, the surreality, the acting, the directing... Everything comes together in a beautiful whole. Got to be high 70s out of 100, that one.

18 May, 2007 15:09  
Blogger Milla said...

ahahahahah *A wrote In My Humble Opinion! ahahhaahhahaahha humble my arse.

P.S. I still love you as a brother *Asterisk, even if your taste in films is peculiar.

18 May, 2007 15:15  
Blogger Red said...

And I still love you as a husband, despite your peculiar taste in films...

Milla, ask him to tell you about that pile of shite he made me watch last night. Of course, he loved it.

18 May, 2007 15:29  
Blogger Lee said...

You know I tried to see the film but accidentally rented The Piano Teacher instead, which is by far, the most bizarre demented film about a repressed-cutting-herself-watching-cubby-porn-n-sniffin-the-tissues-piano teacher I have ever seen. After that I was afraid.

Very, Very Afraid.

18 May, 2007 19:10  
Blogger Melanie said...

I neither liked or hated The Piano. It did have great scenery, and the cinematography was gorgeous, but the plot was quite eye-rolling.

I guess my comment is as boring as the movie. Sorry.

18 May, 2007 21:49  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Milla: You're right, of course, I don't think my opinion is humble. Indeed, no one's opinion is humble. If it's your opinion, shout it from the rooftops. Unless you're embarrassed about it. In which case, ask yourself why. Oh, but it is not me who has peculiar taste in films.
;-)

Red: Thank you, amore mio. But it's not me who has peculiar taste in films.

Lee: I really liked The Piano Teacher, as I mentioned in my comment to RefPoolio above. But I like most films I've seen by Michael Haneke.

Melanie: Eye-rolling, indeed. What can ya do?

19 May, 2007 16:09  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

It took me a while to warm up to this movie, but I really do love it. First of all, the soundtrack is fantastic. Secondly, like Candy, the oppression theme and the setting were brilliant. I also loved the mother/daughter dynamic. Now, most people sided with Ada, but I was sympathetic to Sam Neill's character. This wasn't my favourite Harvey flick; afterwards, whenever I saw him ins something else, I always used to joke that I didn't recognize him with clothes on.

26 May, 2007 22:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should stick to the Porky's trilogy. Sounds more like his speed.

21 March, 2008 21:55  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Coyote: Nah.

Anon: I don't like the Porky's films either, so I guess they're out. Shame you don't feel able to share your identity when voicing what is clearly meant as an insult.

22 March, 2008 08:29  

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