Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Ivan Raykoff

Dreams of Love: Playing the Romantic Pianist

The Piano meets The Power of the Dog

In Jane Campion’s 1993 film “The Piano”, and her new film, “The Power of the Dog”, the grand piano serves as more than the emblematic instrument of feminine domestic music-making and of European bourgeois culture transported to the hinterlands of the nation or empire; it also functions as a gender technology because it regulates the metaphorical sound-body of the woman who plays it.

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Music and touch in Call Me By Your Name

A rich sensuality of touch permeates Luca Guadagnino’s new film Call Me By Your Name, based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name. This tactile quality comes through not only in its evocative visual imagery: close-ups of hands and fingers and feet, shoulder rubs, sweaty bare skin glistening in the sun, bodies lounging on lush grass or jumping into chilly spring-fed ponds, soft-boiled eggs and ripe fruits bursting with juices, the broken limbs and pitted patina of ancient bronzes.

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Carol: a “touching” love story both literally and musically

Todd Haynes’ new film Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical novel The Price of Salt, first published in 1952 under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. Daring for its time, the novel depicts a passionate lesbian romance between Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a well-off middle-aged New Jersey housewife divorcing her husband, and nineteen-year-old Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who works as a department store salesclerk.

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Grand Piano: the key to virtuosity

“Play one wrong note and you die!” The recently-released feature film Grand Piano, directed by Eugenio Mira and starring Elijah Wood, is an artsy and rather convoluted thriller about classical music and murder.

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