Annotated Bibliography: The Piano

Bihlmeyer, Jaime. “The (Un) Speakable FEMININITY in Mainstream Movies: Jane Campion’s The Piano.” Cinema Journal 44.2 (2005): 68-88.

An analysis of the female gaze and poststructuralist themes in The Piano. This article also distinguishes the film and filmmaker’s symbolic representations and deconstructions/reconstructions of architypes within the piece that confront traditional ideations of femininity as a female “Other” and contemporary feminist narratives. For example, the wedding photo scene in which the eye of the photographer and then the eye of the husband-to-be become a central shot that underscores the objectification at the heart of the film’s overarching theme. Metaphorical perspectives on female castration are also referenced as an interpretive study into the violence and subjugation of women in film.’s_’The_Piano’/links/00b7d52f3a8d04d803000000.pdf


Giuliana, Elisa. “Challenging Bluebeard:‘Bluebeard’s Egg’(1983), The Piano (1993) and Barbe Bleue (2009).” Opticon1826 (2013): Art-7.

In “Challenging Bluebeard” Giuliana discusses the metaphoric relationship between Jane Campion’s The Piano and the classic folktale Bluebeard The film makes a very direct reference to the relationship between these two pieces by featuring the story of Bluebeard as a play performed within the story. Bluebeard has become a common focus in the study of feminist narratives in which the central female character is infantilized, objectified and, ultimately, in need of rescuing by a male hero. It helps to remember that for more than half of this country’s history, women were considered chattel that could be bought or sold into marriage without agency. While Giuliana toys a bit with the idea of role reversals and disruptions between the classic Bluebeard theme and The Piano, it seems a bit of a stretch, but worth discussing.



Angela Carter’s reworking of classic narratives present effective counter-narratives which engage the topics, themes and architypes along new lines of sociological and psychological thought. This essay discusses Carter’s interpretation of the story of Bluebeard specifically, however, reading her interpretations of many traditionally marginalizing feminine narratives gives a more useful perspective on the absurdities and romanticism of the classic infantilized female as the familiar tales are upended and retold in challenging and intelligent forms.


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