Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: The Silence Before Bach

By GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars


Catalonian avant-garde filmmaker Pere Portabella expresses his adoration of Johann Sebastian Bach through an odd, rambling, privately formed essay that all too rarely connects with the viewer. A truck driver having breakfast discusses the disrespect accorded his profession; a female cellist takes a show-all shower; a blind piano tuner does his work while his seeing-eye dog lies beneath the piano. What are those scenes about? Even the interlude re-creations of Bach's life, with Johann (harpsichordist Christian Brembeck) wandering in a wig through Leipzig's St. Thomas Church, offer little insight. There are divine bursts of Bach music — a boy's chorus, Brembeck on the organ, a subway car of young cellists — but they might be more potent on their own as opposed to being spliced into this perplexing film.

Related: Portraits of artists, Review: The Hot Club of San Francisco's Bohemian Maestro, Codeine Velvet Club | Codeine Velvet Club, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Classical Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY