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form y separately published work icon The Piano single work   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 1993... 1993 The Piano
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Ada, her nine-year-old daughter, and her piano, arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of 19th century New Zealand. Of all her belongings, her husband refuses to transport the piano and it is left behind on the beach. Unable to bear its certain destruction, Ada strikes a bargain with an illiterate neighbour. She may earn her piano back if she allows him to do certain things while she plays: one black key for every lesson. The arrangement draws all three deeper and deeper into a complex emotional, sexual bond, remarkable for its naive passion and frightening disregard for limits.'

Source: Screen Australia.


The Piano : The Ballet Jiří Bubeníček , 2018 single work drama

'25 years ago, cinema goers around the world were captivated by an extraordinary tale of desire, violence and hope. The story of Ada McGrath and her daughter Flora, husband Alastair and lover Baines unfolded against the wild grandeur and desolation of Aotearoa, as Jane Campion’s award-winning film took audiences on a visceral journey into New Zealand’s imagined past, as it had never been portrayed before.

'Drawing on the rich inspiration of The Piano, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is honoured to stage the world premiere of this new full-length dance work by Jiří Bubeníček. Originally conceived as a short work for Dortmund Ballet, The Piano: the ballet is now re-imagined and expanded for the RNZB, giving Ada’s story a new and distinctively New Zealand voice and, in dance, a powerful new means of expression. Excerpts from Michael Nyman’s iconic film score are blended with evocative music by Debussy, Arensky, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Brahms and Shostakovich.' (Production abstract)


Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia

    Type of disability Mutism; digital amputation (traumatic).
    Type of character Primary.
    Point of view Third person.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Form: screenplay
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Bloomsbury ,
      1993 .
      Extent: 153p.p.
      Description: illus., ports
      • Includes notes and extra dialogue; glossary; cast list; and 'The Making of The Piano'.
      • Copyright date: 1992 by Jan Chapman Productions and CIBY 2000.
      • Epigraph: 'There is a silence where hath been no sound/ There is a silence where no sound may be/ In the cold grave, under the deep, deep sea.' Thomas Hood (1799-1845)
      ISBN: 0747516855
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Miramax Books ,
      1993 .
      Extent: 153p.p.
      Edition info: 1st American ed.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 1562827030, 0747516855

Works about this Work

The Heart Asks Pleasure First : Economies of Touch and Desire in Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993) Joanna Di Mattia , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , September vol. 84 no. 2017;
Primary Producer Benjamin Law , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 19 March 2016;
The Piano Rewatched – Re-examining the Erotic Via Sexually Charged Music Lessons Luke Buckmaster , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 21 February 2016;

— Review of The Piano Jane Campion , 1993 single work film/TV
Translating Place : 'The Piano' from Screen to Tourist Brochure Alfio Leotta , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Words, Images and Performances in Translation 2012; (p. 176-193)
Following the Impossible Road to Female Passion : Psychoanalysis, the Mundane, and the Films of Jane Campion Hilary Neroni , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Discourse , Spring-Fall vol. 34 no. 2-3 2012; (p. 290-310)
What Music Is Kerryn Goldsworthy , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , October/November no. 7 1993; (p. 46-48)

— Review of The Piano Jane Campion , 1993 single work film/TV
The Piano Rewatched – Re-examining the Erotic Via Sexually Charged Music Lessons Luke Buckmaster , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 21 February 2016;

— Review of The Piano Jane Campion , 1993 single work film/TV
After Viewing 'The Piano' on Video i "The pattern of her fingerprints arc", Clayton Hansen , 1999 single work poetry
— Appears in: Small Packages , no. 4 1999; (p. 60)
Schindler's List Puts Spielberg on Top Shane Burke , 1994 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 24 January 1994; (p. 5)
Sour Notes, Sour Grapes? Sandra Lee , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 18 March 1994; (p. 9)
y separately published work icon The Piano Gail Jones , Strawberry Hills Canberra : Currency Press Australian Film Commission , 2007 Z1382127 2007 single work criticism

'The Piano, written and directed by Jane Campion, is one of the most honoured films of the new Australian cinema, and is considered by many critics to be a modern masterpiece. Campion won the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1993 for the film, making her the first woman ever to win this prestigious award; it also won Best Original Screenplay (Campion), Best Actress (Holly Hunter) and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin) at the 1994 Oscars.

'In 1880 the widowed, and mute, Ada (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin) leave their native Scotland and travel to New Zealand’s remote South Island, as the arranged family of Stewart (Sam Neil), an Englishman who lives and works the land there. With them come Ada’s piano which serves as her outlet of expression, her ‘voice’. Despite fierce insistence from Ada, Stewart leaves the piano on the beach after he decides it is too heavy to carry back to his homestead. Stewart’s neighbour Baines (Harvey Kietel) makes a deal with Stewart for the piano and lessons with Ada, which has dire repercussions for them all.' (Publication summary)

Tender, But it's Still Harassment John Spooner , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Age , 22 March 1994; (p. 15)


1994 nominated Golden Globes (USA) Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
1994 winner Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Original Screenplay
1994 nominated British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards Best Screenplay - Original
1993 winner Writers Guild of America Award Best Original Script
1993 winner National Society of Film Critics (USA) Best Screenplay Award
Last amended 25 Feb 2019 15:40:13