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Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Pianomania takes the viewer along on a humorous journey into the secret world of sounds, and accompanies Stefan Knüpfer at his unusual job with world famous pianists like Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder and Pierre-Laurent Aimand, among others. To find the right instrument with the necessary qualities, compatible with the vision of the virtuoso, to tune it to perfection and finally to get it on the stage, needs nerves of steel, boundless passion, and the extraordinary competence in translating words into sounds. (First Run Features)


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 6, 2011
    91
    Pianomania is the thoroughly apt title for a thoroughly enjoyable documentary.
  2. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Nov 1, 2011
    80
    When sitting through this detail-heavy documentary, nonaficionados may feel like they're watching paint dry, albeit in the company of an artist who savors each and every shade.
  3. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Nov 1, 2011
    75
    Stefan Knüpfer's subtle charisma feels more suited to a beefily human New Yorker article than a documentary film.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Nov 3, 2011
    70
    As Pianomania gradually reveals, Knüpfer is able to do this so well because he is as much of a crazed perfectionist as the pianists themselves, maybe even more so.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 3, 2011
    70
    Although there's more romance in "Buck," a classic American survivor story in the triumphant individual vein, in Pianomania the very dry, very accomplished Mr. Knüpfer makes engaging company both because he keeps enviable company and because he's a full-on geek, though one possessed by pianos.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 4, 2011
    63
    It has a pleasing smallness -- it's cinematic chamber music -- that almost makes you overlook its inability to really explain its subject.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Nov 1, 2011
    40
    Directors Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis fail to plumb their subject's frustrations or any other insightful biographical details.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 7, 2012
    5
    This is a film I usually give a U for unratable. After @20 minutes I started the dreaded fast forward. It's a documentary about a piano tuner but with nothing about the man. Why? How? He must be so aware of the what the artist wants, but how did he get that way? Was he once a musician? It follows him as he prepares instruments for a few artists. No insight, just dialogue. The best part was the end credits where the "tuner" shows some of the intricacies of his craft-working with felt, etc. So I gave it a C, for average but it's not worth seeing. It should get "No rating". Collapse

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