The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

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The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby justindeimen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:22 am


At once operatic and visceral, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes is a dreamy revelation of intense desires and lush fantasies that recalls Jan Svankmajers early, fairytale horror stories rife with interpretive ingenuity. Aesthetically similar, the relatively distinctive visuals are densely shadowed in its approximation of pop and classical art, creating a shimmering phantasmagoric mirage bereft of the familiar pulse and lucid rationality of mere fables. The painterly pair of directors in the Quay brothers emerge here as designers first, and filmmakers second.

Decidedly abbreviated in scale when compared to the duos vast reposits of imagination, they orchestrate a journey through a sleepy, enclosed dreamscape of fiercely intimidating idiosyncrasies that imbricates indulgence over implication. Impenetrable yet alluring, its gothic eccentricities seem to surface as a wondrous distraction from comprehending the genius beneath the eerie madness. In its most basic form, the film is an amplified variant of the treasured The Phantom of the Opera yarn, of its infernal desperation and its macabre imagery. While adopting a discernable structure, its sequencing is restless if resourceful and always interesting to look at.

Fantasy in film seems particularly difficult to pull off even if it is appreciated, as it requires a degree of supernatural awe that should feel sincere and effortless. The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes does not eke out that sentiment, in fact it seeks out to heighten the illusory process, that while luxurious becomes alienating and overbearing. The performances are wrangled in like puppets to its environment, permissive of wide-eyed expressiveness that mistakes staginess for emotions.

The narrative plants its own set of intrigues, most prominently the idea of reproduction between the fabled piano tuners within its diegesis that falls short of its ominous origins. However effective it might be as a manifestation of imaginative cognisance, the film ultimately undermines itself by becoming laborious and lethargic with a pace that is thoroughly enamoured with its artfulness. The Piano Tuner of Earthquake lends itself to a particular sort of sensibility, even if doesnt enrapture or convince others with its manqu artifice.

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:22 am

Nice review. I've only seen a couple of the shorts from the duo so far. This film definitely sounds interesting.

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:13 am

It had a special mention at the Locarno Intl Film Festival.
It is now screening in Singapore ...

But I think the DVD is available too.
Decision - to watch on a big screen or small screen?!

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby jcdavies » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:11 pm

This is a marvellous film; the plot may be obscure or confusing at times (some would say pretentious)-though yes Phantom of the Opera is the obvious comparison- but the visual rewards are tremendous.

"intimidating idiosyncrasies that imbricates indulgence over implication" eh?

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby wpqx » Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:41 pm

I caught it back in January and was fairly impressed with it. Interesting hearing the brothers speak about the Cremator and that film's potential influence. Very mechanically oriented and definitely sparse on dialog.

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby trevor826 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:05 pm

I've had the dvd for a while and must make every effort to watch it now. Should prove to be very interesting.

Cheers Trev.

Re: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:44 am

ok, i will try to catch on the BIG screen ...

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