By now, many of you have seen "The Talented Mr. Ripley." In this
movie, Matt Damon plays a man who murders another man then steals his
victim's identity. (I'm not giving away the plot; this information
was included in the publicity.) Something quite interesting about
Mr. Ripley is that this character is also a piano tuner! This is the
second movie I've seen in the last six months where the piano tuner is
a crook (see MMD 1999.10.11). Does Hollywood have something against
Several times in the movie, Matt Damon is shown playing the piano.
I tried to determine if Damon was actually playing the piano himself
or if the music was dubbed. For the most part, he looked as if he were
actually playing. However, late in the movie there was a scene where
Damon is at the piano, and you can see his arms, but the keyboard and
his fingers are just out of camera range. At one point, he "plays"
a short staccato note trill -- but his wrist and hand barely move!
Except for this one lapse, the director at least tried to make Damon's
playing look realistic. We've all seen countless movies where the
on-screen piano player's hand movements don't match the music being
heard. The movie pianist who made me laugh the most was a woman who
"played" the piano by placing her hands at the center, then stretching
her hands out to the uppermost and lowest octaves, then back to center,
then outstretched again, etc. (Look ma, I'm playing piano!) The
director was obviously not concerned about making a reasonable effort
to make the piano playing look realistic.
Does anyone else have favorite stories about fake piano playing in the
Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange