The Piano Teacher

This film centres around the character of Erika a virtuoso pianist and and piano teacher who, approaching her 40's, lives at home with her strict and repressive mother, and is seemingly scared of physical intimacy. One of her pupils Walter, a vain young man, make his interest in her clear, and with her frustration rising she consents to Walters advances but bars physical intimacy and instead writes her instructions about the parameters of the sexual relationship in a note to him. She reveals her wishes for him to physically hurt her, but Walter does not want this and rejects her. In her desperation she begs him to take her back and promises that she will be "normal". But the intimacy doesn't go to plan and Walter castigates her and informs her how much her views disgust him. She leaves distraught but she is determined to prove something to him.

This is one of the most intense cinematic studies on the nature of intimacy. Superbly portayed by the incomparable Isabelle Huppert