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Pianomania Reviews

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Sarah Boslaugh

You might not think there is all that much to say about piano tuning, but Pianomania will convince you otherwise.

Full Review Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 7/10

March 22, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Pianomania is the thoroughly apt title for a thoroughly enjoyable documentary about Stefan Knupfer, the chief technician and master tuner for Steinway & Sons

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

November 4, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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It has a pleasing smallness -- it's cinematic chamber music -- that almost makes you overlook its inability to really explain its subject.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 4, 2011
Jennifer Merin

An amazing glimpse into the rarefied realm of elite musicians, giving audiences a fly-on-the wall perspective to which not even devoted patrons of classical music are often privileged.

Full Review Source:

November 3, 2011
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Mr. Knüpfer makes engaging company both because he keeps enviable company and because he's a full-on geek, though one possessed by pianos.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 3, 2011
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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All those months spent following Knüpfer pay off in this crisis, because the filmmakers have complete access to the most sensitive artistic discussions.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 3, 2011
Brian Miller
Village Voice
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Directors Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis fail to plumb their subject's frustrations or any other insightful biographical details.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 1, 2011
Sam Adams
Time Out New York
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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.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

November 1, 2011
Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine

There's a eunuch's melancholy beyond Stefan Knüpfer's humble expertise that might ultimately be the root of his trade.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

October 31, 2011
Harvey S. Karten

A solid, workmanlike look at a profession (piano technician) never before covered in the cinema.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B

October 20, 2011
David Noh
Film Journal International

A too-dry approach and a lack of actual music renders this documentary strictly for nerds obsessed with the keyboard.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

August 31, 2011
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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"Pianomania" is at times engaging but ultimately frustrating; you keep thinking that there's a better documentary nearby, just behind another door.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 14, 2011
Betsy Sherman
Boston Phoenix

You don't need to be knowledgeable about classical music to savor Pianomania any more than you need to know about Donkey Kong to enjoy TheKing of Kong.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 3/4

June 22, 2011
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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I imagine what makes Knüpfer such a talent is his extrasensory grasp of what each musician needs for each piece and piano. He trusts he can locate that abstract perfect disappearing, and, eventually, so do we.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

October 21, 2010

Daily Express

The unflappable perfectionist works tirelessly to make the tiniest adjustments in tone and shading and he's good company.

Full Review Source: Daily Express

August 23, 2010

[Highlights] the curious relationship that exists between pianist and tuner, and provides a new appreciation of just how much work goes into creating each note.

Full Review Source: Scotsman | Original Score: 3/5

August 23, 2010
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph

Delightfully esoteric doc about Steinway's piano-tuner-in-chief, Stefan Knupfer, and his selfless quest for perfect sound.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 4/5

August 21, 2010
Matthew Turner

Pianomania has a likeable subject and offers a fascinating insight into the perfectionism involved in piano tuning...

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 3/5

August 20, 2010
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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A captivating film not just for pianomaniacs.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

August 19, 2010
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times

Ninety-three minutes pass like a bar of the "Minute Waltz."

Full Review Source: Financial Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 19, 2010
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