An elderly woman, forced to give up her career as a pianist at the age of twenty-five because of an arthritis problem, refuses to surrender. During forty years she fights against her illness, playing daily piano, but avoiding to hear the sound. Now, she decides to give a very last concert and she entrusts the composition of the music to a former student of hers, that she had once deprived of an eventual career as a composer of classical music.
A complex of futuristic glass buildings.
A worker enters and places a round white carpet in the uncovered area.
A string quartet with its musical instruments enters.
Two people bring chairs.
In the foreground, we see the back of a man wearing a beige jacket and a read sweater.
Someone installs microphones and tunes the musicians.
There is no sound.
The style of shooting has the naturalness of a documentary.
Several passers-by pass in front of the camera.
A girl in a white work suit and a joker hat comes in and gives a folder to the man in the beige jacket, then goes and arranges the last details with the musicians, who are dressed in black suits.
The man opens the folder as he turns toward the camera.
He pulls out a page of paper and reads it, the envelope falls from his hands and a commotion spreads across his face.
INT. LOUISA’S LIVING ROOM - DAY
On the wall, next to the armchair, there is a framed photo of a young pilot.
In front of the window, two women, wearing white waterproof, are bathed by the morning sunlight.
ANNA (44) is dyeing LOUISA's (70) hair. A bell rings.
INT CORRIDOR IN LOUISA’S HOUSE - DAY
A MAN (45) pushes the front door and enters the dark corridor. The man's path is only shown through the illuminated hand that touches the wall step by step.
INT. LOUISA’S LIVING ROOM - DAY
The Man (Mano) arrives at the living room. The light is dazzling for him. Progressively, Mano regain his view and the objects recover their realistic dimension. In the background, the two women do not seem to have noticed him. The man moves forward raising his palm, in a form of greeting. Approaching them and feeling the indifference of the two women, he takes his hand back, shyly. He sits on the sofa nearby, obviously embarrassed. Before installing himself, he hears Louisa's voice, sounding dry and authoritarian, saying:
You have not changed at all!
You have asked for me?
Are you testing my hearing?
You'd better sit on the armchair, opposite, so that I can see you. Mano changes place, embarrassed.
I don't understand....
Twenty years later, and you still lack discipline.
Anna takes off Louis's plastic robe and leaves, acting as if she didn’t notice him.
What can I do for you?
Mano unconsciously stares Louisa's hands. She is wearing black gloves with a metallic knitting, made of a thin material, that almost replaces her skin. Narrow curves across the length of her hands create a non-homogeneous surface that looks more like the root of a tree than fingers. Louisa gazes at him.
She starts speaking with a calm voice, without traces of anxiety, nor hidden arrogance.
You are going to book a concert for me in a big theater of at least five hundred seats. We are in November now, I would like the concert to take place after Christmas. I also want you to sit next to me. You'll get a hundred euros for the rehearsals and a hundred for the concert... I will also probably ask you for something more, but that depends ...
Mano is shocked. His body has a defensive posture and it seems as if he is trying to avoid a train running towards him.Louisa feels like bursting into spontaneous laughter, but manages to contain it. He makes a huge effort in order to articulate the following phrase, like someone who is struggling to climb an endless uphill.
But how... I mean... You haven’t played for over 40 years.
48, counting this year. (She offers him a glass with a green liquid.)
Drink it, it will make you feel better...
Mano takes it reluctantly and drinks it. He feels dizzy, tilts unconsciously to the side of the couch, and comes back like a pendulum.
Anna enters the living room, holding a mirror, bringing it in front of Louisa's face. LOUISA
There is also the bowing part...
Ah, yes! Can you show him?
Anna leaves the mirror on the couch. Mano unconsciously looks at the mirror and distinguishes his horrified face. Anna bows deeply, while Mano watches with half-closed eyes, exhausted.
Do you think that I can arrive that low?
Your left leg should be bent, like this...
Mano gets up, and walks to the door. The two women do not pay any attention to him.
I have to go...
He leaves, while the women continue rehearsing.