Monday, October 3, 2011

MFF Film #21 - Pianomania

Germany/Austria, 2009
German/English with English subtitles
Director: Lilian Franck, Robert Cibis

Pianomania is a documentary that follows Stefan Knupfer, Steinway's master tuner in Vienna, as he works with various famous pianists to achieve the perect sound they require, which usually varies according to the musician and/or the pieces they are playing.

Though Pianomania is an interesting film, there really is a specific audience it caters to - and that's not even just classical music lovers.  It's directed more to classically trained musicians which, despite several years of playing the saxophone, I am not.  Therefore, a lot of things went over my head, but there seemed to be a lot of reactions within the audience so I guess this film played to the right people.

Though frankly, Pianomania was pretty dull, and didn't help itself by letting the audience know the names of people who were interviewed or featured yet gave us no idea who they were, what they did and therefore, why we should care what they have to say, the film was redeemed for me by its subject, Stefan.  He was passionate about his craft, and handled every situation with an affability that I not only made him extremely endearing, but made me envy him his incredible patience.  He really kept me focused on a film that normally would have been kind of a snoozer for me, regardless of how well executed the film making was. 

There are no frills to Pianomania;it's purely about the intricate sounds of pianos, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone other than hardcore piano lovers or musicians who find the subject of piano tuning an interesting one.

MFF Ballot Rating: 3 out of 5

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