Tár (2022) – Todd Field (Friday’s Finest)

During and after the Pandemic I went into a movie appreciation hiatus. Then the flame was rekindled when I read fellow blogger Cindy Bruchman’s article of Tár. I wondered why I hadn’t seen this already since Cate Blanchett is my favourite actress of modern times. I lost count how many times I saw Blue Jasmine, so I have Cindy to thank for getting me back into the saddle especially after seeing Tár. What better film for the re-initiated could there be than seeing someone’s script written during a 12-week sprint in the lockdown stage of early COVID?

I went into the movie knowing zero apart from Cindy’s article and that Blanchett was in it. I watched the whole movie believing the main story was a biopic such was the premise of the story and attention to detail.

IMDB Storyline:

Having achieved an enviable career few could even dream of, renowned conductor/composer Lydia Tár, the first female principal music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, is at the top of her game. As a conductor, Lydia not only orchestrates, she manipulates. As a trailblazer, the passionate virtuoso leads the way in the male-dominated classical music industry. Moreover, Lydia prepares for the release of her memoir while juggling work and family. She is also willing to take up one of her most significant challenges: a live recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. However, forces that even the imperious maestro can’t control slowly chip away at Lydia’s elaborate facade, revealing the genius’s dirty secrets and the insidious, corrosive nature of power. What if life knocks Lydia off her pedestal?

I recently described the Wheel of Fortune Christian symbolic meaning and how John Lennon in his song Watching the Wheels was just content to sit there in the centre and watch those wheels roll. To my mind Tár also sits in the centre, but of a triangular prism with movie spokes of ‘Kubrick, Tarkovsky and Bergman’ because there is a linear structure to the madness. As a movie aficionado I was enthralled watching this prism bend and warp in Tár.

As has been mentioned in other reviews, the technicality of discourses when watching a professional composer do her thing can feel a little dull and out of scope for those uninitiated with classical music. But we as flies on the wall witnessing something so distinct from our own little microcosm and insecurities aside can just sit there and witness art, if it so pleases you.
Tár is an exemplar of ‘Art’ in the cinematic and musical form.

Some IMDB Trivia for y’all:

  • Scenes of the orchestra playing are completely, 100 percent real. Cate Blanchett was actually conducting the Dresden Orchestra.
  • Todd Field wrote the film specifically for Cate Blanchett and would not have made the film without her. They had previously planned to work on a different film that Field could not acquire financing for.
  • When Lydia’s tour guide tells her that she cannot swim in the river due to the presence of crocodiles, he mentions that “a Marlon Brando movie” brought them to the location and that they have been there ever since. He is referring to the film “Apocalypse Now,” which was shot in the Philippines.

1. Tár – Wikipedia
2. Tár – IMDB

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Movies and TV
6 comments on “Tár (2022) – Todd Field (Friday’s Finest)
  1. “Tár also sits in the centre, but of a triangular prism with movie spokes of ‘Kubrick, Tarkovsky and Bergman’ because there is a linear structure to the madness.” That’s an interesting observation. Care to elaborate?

  2. Looks good! Yes, Cate Blanchett is excellent! Great reiew!

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