Nora The Piano Cat
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DVD features the seven "Nora The Piano Cat(tm)" videos that catapulted her to fame on the internet and in the world-wide media. This 2010 version of the DVD also features CATcerto, created by Lithuanian composer and conductor, Mindaugas Piecaitis, and was inspired by Nora's playing. Nora performs as a guest soloist with the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra via a large video screen placed behind the performers. Mr. Piecaitis conducts.
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Keitel, Hunter and Neill were excelent as the bride in an arranged marriage, the interested neighbor and the husband who felt
he had purchased rather than married a woman. By the time the husband learned to know and care for her, the lover had seduced
the wife through her love of the piano that she arrived with but was disposed of unfeelingly by the husband. This is a highly erotic
love story that developes the charactors and allows you to care for them; you even feel sympathy for the husband despite his
actions. We enjoyed this film and added it to our collection after the DVD came out.
For music to be the backbone of this ENTIRE film - such AMAZING actors, directors, screenwriters & the cinematography - buy it
Note - this movie is VERY... sensual
The absence of subtitles for the sign language between Ada and her daughter as well as the Maori dialogue is unforgivable.
Apart from the very grainy dark scenes; the Blu-ray's quality shines through in the better lit scenes.
This Blu-ray is far from perfect; it will take a bit more dedication to restore it to its original glory. However, for $12.99 I feel it was worth the purchase. If I had paid as much as I did for the Australian release I would be compelled to return the disc.
As much as I miss the subtitles; this release deserves more than 1 star.
For anyone interested; I have posted the missing subtitles with their timings in the comments below.
Note: This Blu-ray is locked to Region A
But really there is more to it then simply meets the eye. Ada's father(who has no speaking part in the film) wants her married off...just to get rid of this burden that he has. He does this because, after all, who was going to marry a mute woman with an illigitimate child? He sure does not want her. He marries her off---and guess what? He marries her off to a man living in New Zealand--to the other side of the world. It might as well be to another planet in the solar system.
New Zealand is no Scotland, and Ada finds herself stuck in strange new world. It's not a rolling-green, hilled countryside that is cultured and refined like her homeland. Its a foreign frontier, a rugged, isolated, mud-messed place of a land that is filled with the Maori natives who are as different from Ada as can be. They don't speak the same language. They don't understand her. She does not understand them. A few white missionaries are close by, but they are oddly amuzing and out-of-touch as can be, and Ada will never be able to befriend them, nor will they like her.
She had no choice to marry Mr. Stewart, so she simply has to make the best of it. She does not want him. He truly repulses her.
So why isn't she instantly in love with her husband? This man is just as complicated as she is. He thinks that her muteness means that she is dumb, less than a human being (like a "silent" pet, the one missionary lady in the film refers to her as). He will never understand her because he cannot even understand himself.
Ada does not know why she stopped talking at the age of 6. "My father thinks it is a dark talent, and the day I take it in my head to stop breathing will be my last". Ada only gives narration in the beginning of the film, and in the end. "The voice you hear is not my speaking voice, but my mind's voice...".
Holly Hunter has a demanding role in this movie. No wonder she got the praise and the award for her peformance! She is amazing in it!
Ada's daughter often translates and is a spokesperson for her mother. She can be adorable, but also wickedly precocious. Ada begs Baines to take her back to the beach where he and Stewart and some Maori people picked her up from her arrival. At first, Ada is a bother him. He can't do it....he does not have the time. Soon, he gives in.
Some really beautiful shots are in this next scene. Ada plays her beloved piano again. For the first time, she actually smiles in this film (Ada is not addicted to happiness). Baines may be illiterate, and less cultured than her, but this man is realizing that he has found a beatiful gem in Ada. She loves her piano. Her playing mystifies him. From that time on, he realizes that he must have her heart. But how?
Only through getting the piano can Baines connect with Ada. What he does in buying her piano from her husband seems cruel, but Baines knows Ada will never go for him. She sees him as an ignorant oaf. Maybe he can have her and her lovely piano? But he has a wife in England (one can imagine that this was a loveless marriage, too). She is married to Stewart, his "possession".
Ada will never really want him, will she?
You will have to watch it to find it out for yourselves.
I do think this is a raw film, full of beauty, ugly cruelties, and mystery. Don't let the kids watch it, but if you want a movie that makes you think, and one that you want to talk about with others, watch it.