Blending historical reconstruction with very loosely linked ‘dramatic’ scenes and documentary sequences, the film constitutes a playful, painterly sequence of variations on the argument that Johann Sebastian changed the way the world hears thanks to his extraordinary ear for harmony.
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As a studying musician, I appreciate Portabella's ability to celebrate JS Bach's influence on society. Bach was, without a doubt, a brilliant performer and prestigious composer who had an inimitable impact on the history of musical composition.
A manifold film with nice and sometimes surprisingly fresh ideas (like playing Bach in the subway wagon with twenty cellists in unison). But for me as musicologist this filmic essay on Bach and his impact turns out to be a little too heroic. Anyway, I appreciated the short reference to Simon Laks and his fate, because this is a mostly neglected and not well known chapter of music history.
ha — who knew droll anecdotes and skits would be such a tasteful way to approach the legacy of the greatest musician who ever lived? Portabella maintains a through-line while gently examining openings in the edifice of J.S., a process that locates moments that startle with their sly provocations and even (a few times) deep feelings.
Not great, but at least it plays fair with its subject. Charming little film.
ein katastrophaler film, der der musik bachs weder interpretatorisch,noch historisch, noch durch filmische bilder, noch durch das erzählen mühseliger und längst widerlegter anekdoten, noch schauspielerisch im entferntesten gerecht würde. langweilig vom ersten bis zum letzten moment, eine mühselige geschichte, aufführungspraktisch irgendwo in der zeit vor richter oder gar karajan stehengeblieben. sinnlos betäubend.