Tuesday, November 01, 2005


THE PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES is a stunnigly beautiful mood-piece from the imaginations of the Quay Brothers. Turning from their beloved puppet animation they have created a live action feature that is a rare treat of visual style and evocation. It is quite simply unique. The story revolves around a mysterious Doctor Emmanuel Droz (Gottfried John) who lives on a sort of Prospero's island populated by disarmingly life-like automata and his house-keeper, Assumpta (Assumpta Serna - veteran of early Almodovar.) Droz has taken a beautiful dead opera singer to his island. In life, he haunted her performances, phantom-like and in death he summons a piano-tuner, who looks mysteriously like the singer's fiancee to his island...

This is no ordinary film. It feels like watching an old silent movie, where events unravel at a leisurely pace and the landscape is full of surrealist imagery. It is about longing, sexual desire and the power of dreams and fantasy. It is certainly not for everyone and at all times - I suspect you have to be in the right mood for it - but I was lucky and found it utterly bewitching.

THE PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES was shown at the London Film Festival. It opens in the UK in February 2006, in Germany in August, in France in September, and in the US in November 2006.

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