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February 1994


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"Gloria Monti (GD 1995)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 23 Feb 1994 18:44:28 -0400
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> Otto, I feel you've badly misinterpreted the director's intentions
> here.  Since any criticism is based on interpretation, what follows
> is mine...
        Chris, I want to exercise my spectatorial resistance and disregard
author's intentionality (which guarantees no reception).  However, I like
Jane Campion's woman's look--it is one that I am willing to embrace.
 > Baines and Aida are put in a difficult situation from the beginning.
> Baines recognizes Aida's pain, caused by her separation from the
> piano and the uncaring attitude of her husband.  Baines' decision to
> take her to the piano establishes that he is a much different type
> of man than Stewart (?), a fact Aida must surely take notice of.
> His feelings for Aida intensify, and he has the piano moved so that
> Aida will have access to it.  By the time she arrives at his cabin,
> the piano itself begins to take a back seat to the fact that these
> two people have become quite attracted to each other.
        Just a film buff point here:  Hunter's character is named Ada, not
*Aida.*  You must be thinking about Italian opera or something.
>  > I felt
that both Baines and Aida found themselves incapable of
> moving forward in a relationship that both wanted to pursue.
> Despite the attraction, neither one feels comfortable with it, for
> all the obvious reasons, and the issue must be resolved indirectly.
> So, what we have is a dilemma with no apparent solution.  How can
> Baines approach Aida?  What should he say or do?  How can Aida let
> herself become a party to this situation, while maintaining the
> degree of pride she requires?
> Baines' idea of bargaining sex (not *unwanted* or *one-sided* sex,
> mind you) for the piano keys is the excuse that Aida is looking for.
        Hey, that's sharp.
> Under the pretense of doing anything to regain her piano, she is
> able to let go completely, with a man that she knows cares more for
> her than her husband ever could.  My point is that Aida is hardly
> "whoring for piano keys", Otto.  She is giving in to one of the most
> intense of all human emotions -- the desire to become intimate with
> someone you care for, and who cares for you -- and Baines comes up
> with a perfect excuse that allows her to do so.  By this point, Aida
> cares less about the piano, she just wants to be with this man that
> looks at her with such emotional yearning and such sexual hunger.
> Without being too contentious here (as I've been *asked* not to be),
> I think that Jane Campion sets all of this up very well, and anyone
> who doesn't see the romance, the lust, that has built up between
> these two characters must have missed the point completely.  This is
> sad, because I feel that it's quite possibly the most intense moment
> in the entire film, and one to be savored, not ridiculed.
        "I miss you already."
        Gloria Monti