The Golden Age of the Piano

Synopsis: The history of the piano with archival photos and film clips of the great pianists of the Golden Age.
Director(s): Peter Rosen

"The voice you hear

is not my speaking voice...

but my mind's voice."

"I have not spoken

since I was six years old."

"No-one knows why. Not even me."

"My father says

it is a dark talent,

and the day I take it into my head

to stop breathing will be my last."

"Today, he married me

to a man I've not yet met."

"Soon, my daughter and I

shall join him in his own country."

"My husband said

my muteness does not bother him."

"He writes, and hark this, God

loves dumb creatures so why not he!"

"Were good he had God's patience...

for silence

affects everyone in the end."

"The strange thing is

I don't think myself silent."

"That is because of my piano."

"I shall miss it on the journey."

Take her hand, come on.

You're with me.

I've got the lady.

You go ahead.

Paddington Station.

Over here, my lovely!

Right, lads, unbutton your muftis.

Piss like a tom.

Jesus Christ,

whose bloody coffin is this?

Christ, it's heavy!

Leave them behind.

It's what they f***ing want.

Aye, leave them

and be lynched for the pleasure?

It's rough out there. Could be they

can't reach you in this weather.

Do you have things for shelter?

She says, "Thank you".

Does your mother prefer

to come on with us to Nelson?

She'd rather be boiled alive

by natives than go in your tub.

You be damn fortuned I don't smack

your puppy gob, young missy!

Damn lucky!

We're all ready now, sir.

Mother, watch out!

The hens! Are they all right? Here.

Look, I'm a very big moth.

Will it catch fire?

I won't call him Papa.

I won't call him anything.

I'm not even going to look at him.

Are we stopping?

Shall we stop?

Tai hoa. Me tatari tatou.

Me tutatou i konei.

We must get on.


Miss McGrath? Alisdair Stewart.

I've got men here

to carry your things.

I see you've got a good many boxes.

I'd like to know what's in each...

Can you hear me?

Well, that's good.

Yes, that's good.

What's in this one?

You're small.

I never thought you'd be small.

And this one? This is very large.

- What's in it, then, a bedstead?

- It's my mother's piano.

Tell them to carry in pairs.

Take all the boxes, table and...


What do you think?

She looks tired.

She's stunted, that's one thing.

And the big case?

No, no. Just the trunks

and the boxes as I explained.

- No, it can't come now.

- It must. She wants it to come.

So do I. But there are too few

of us here to carry it now.

Too heavy!

What, you mean you don't want your

clothing or kitchenware to come?

We can't leave the piano!

Let's not discuss this any further.

I'm pleased you arrived safely.

Can they come back directly for it?

Could I apologise for the delay...

After they've taken

the other things.

Might I suggest that you prepare

yourself for a difficult journey.

The bush will tear clothing, and

the mud is very deep in places.

What do they think they're doing?

We haven't time for this. Baines!

What's the matter?

Why are they stopping?

That's the way to the

burial grounds. It's tapu.

They just want more money. They're

trying to make two days out of it.


No, they know another track

to the side of this.

Septimus, now take that off!

Take that off(!)

Watch your feet! Mind your feet!

- Septimus! Please stop it!

- Stop it!

- Stop, please! You'll tear it!

- Oh, the tag is broken.

Septimus, now stop!

You'll tear it. Be careful.

Arm down.

If you cannot have

a ceremony together,

you'll have at least

a photograph.

The lace is most fragile.

My real father was

a famous German composer.

They met when my mother was

an opera singer in Luxembourg.


I want to be in the photograph.

Going to leave the cloth here?

No, no. It is just to keep

the chair dry.

The planks have gotten very greasy.

Get in that chair.

Pull the tarpaulin off.

I am sorry it rained.

We have not light enough inside.

- The umbrella on this side?

- On t'other!

Can you take this, please?

And sitting...

Very still.

And where did they get married?

In a forest

with fairies as bridesmaids...

each holding a little elf's hand.

No, I tell a lie. In a country

church in the mountains.

- Which mountains?

- The Pyrenees.

I've never been there.

Mother sang in German, and her

voice echoed across the valleys.

- Before the accident.

- And what happened?

My mother and father were singing

in the forest and a storm blew up.

So passionate was the song

that they didn't stop

as rain began to fall.

Their voices rose for the last bars

of the duet, and lightning...

came out of the sky and struck my

father, who lit up like a torch.

And as my father

was struck dead...

my mother was struck dumb.

She never spoke another word.

Oh, dear!

Not another word?

Well, from the shock. Yes.

It would be. Terrible.


Terrible, terrible.


I have to go away for some days.

Some Maori land I'm interested in

which I may buy very reasonably.

I hope you'll spend the time

to get settled in. And perhaps...

in some ways...

...we could start again.

All right?

I'm not able to read.

Please take us

back to the beach where we landed.

I am sorry. I can't do that.

I don't have the time.


I can't take you there.

I can't do it.

Whoa, whoa!

Mumma! Mumma, watch me! Watch!

Mumma! Mumma!

- Hello, there.

- Hello.

You've stopped combing your hair.

Good. It was looking overdone.

The heads will go through

the slits.

Show him, Nessie.

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Jane Campion

Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion (born 30 April 1954) is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. Campion is the second of five women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and is the first—and thus far, only—female filmmaker in history to receive the Palme d'Or, which she received for directing the acclaimed film The Piano (1993), for which she also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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