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.
Blending past and present day in order to show fragmented parts of Bach's life. It is an intriguing piece filled with classic music, architecture and nature. It may not give new followers to either composer or director, but there is a chance that it could create interest in exploring the life and works of both of them.
Quien espere un biopic como los de Mozart o Beethoven, se desilusionará. Para empezar, ni siquiera es un biopic. Es un film experimental de imágenes poéticas y de historias que apenas se rozan: un camionero que toca el fagot; una chelista que va a Leipzig y conoce al kantor de la Thomasschule; Mendelssohn descubriendo la música de Bach. Gran film, sólo comprensible para amantes del buen cine y conocedores de Bach.