Finally, the End of “Tár“
I want to say one last time: This movie is middlebrow crap.
In this turgid, conservative (politically, yes, but aesthetically, truly conservative) film, our main character, Lydia Tár, is a conductor, writes Jacob Rosenberg. Supposedly, she is a great one. The film takes us through her “cancellation.” There are other plot points, there are other moments. But this is what this film is about. It is a cancel culture movie focused on the abuser.
It is a film version of a finely-wrought Atlantic piece on cancel culture. In each, there are concrete successes—crisp sentences and scenes—but nothing is beautiful, and nothing is challenging. As Brody wrote: “‘Tár’ is a useful reminder of the connection between regressive ideas and regressive aesthetics.” What even is there to analyze here? The shots are languid. Professional lighting. Meaningless and composed frames of Cate Blanchett.
It is not an illuminating movie; it is just quiet. In its silences, the greatest minds of a generation have found much more interesting ways of viewing Tár than director Todd Field could ever imagine himself. What if the end was a dream? What if the hyper-focus on an abuser doesn’t elicit empathy (despite that being exactly what it seems to do)? What if one of the most condescending, ridiculous scenes I’ve ever seen in a film was, in fact, not a poorly written Gen-X jeremiad but something which offers Easter eggs to question art’s nature to reality itself?
The movie is awarded a knowingness it never earns. The film treats you like an idiot.
No scene has been more overlooked and overanalyzed in this way than when Tár teaches and rants at a student. In this scene—the centerpiece of the film—Tár battles against a “BIPOC” and “pangender” student who does not want to play the cancellable Bach.
But the student is not a human so much as something out of Bari Weiss’ collection of finger puppets. This scene has for some reason been treated as purposely stupid—a subtle play on the viewer’s expectations. But it isn’t. It’s just bad writing. It is the fantasia of someone frustrated by cancel culture.
Rosenberg delivers an insightful analysis of the film at the link.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||March 17, 2023 8:38 PM
The awards are over - time to deal with real life.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||March 14, 2023 1:55 PM
Lil’ Miss Rosenberg has spoken! Get her! Guess it needed more buttplugs and hotdog dildos.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||March 14, 2023 2:03 PM
[quote] In the end, what I wanted from Tár was to just say with its chest what it whispers. Show art is powerful. Do a single thing formally or in the script that shocks. Make us squirm not with this annoying logic about cancel culture, but terror: Make us fall in love with Tár’s art as we see the evil she does.
I read that whole essay. How annoying. He just whines throughout the whole thing, culminating in a personal attack on Zadie Smith, and then saying the above quote—that his problem with Tár is that the story is not the story he would have preferred it told. An entirely different story. It's like saying pianos are terrible instruments that should not exist because you were really hoping to have heard guitar music.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||March 14, 2023 2:06 PM
as a professional classical musician, blachett's conducting chops are laughable at best
|by Anonymous||reply 4||March 14, 2023 2:08 PM
This was my reading of the movie as well and I was perplexed at so many film critics creaming themselves over it.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||March 14, 2023 2:13 PM
R4 please expand, I find conducting as an art form so fascinating. What could Cate have done differently for more verisimilitude?
|by Anonymous||reply 7||March 14, 2023 2:24 PM
[quote] What if one of the most condescending, ridiculous scenes I’ve ever seen in a film was, in fact, not a poorly written Gen-X jeremiad but something which offers Easter eggs to question art’s nature to reality itself?
Once I figured out what this sentence could possibly mean, I realised I didn’t know to which scene it was even referring.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||March 14, 2023 2:25 PM
Tar is Mommy Dearest for pseudo-intellectuals and trust fund hipsters.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||March 14, 2023 2:48 PM
Cate's conducting tutor:
“Cate can conduct now, if she wants,” Murray Beale told the Observer. “She is very musical, sings beautifully and now she has the tools to conduct. I suggested she learn the musical lines of the pieces by heart, rather than learning the score or copying another performance.”
“I’m delighted that colleagues say it is authentic,” said Murray Beale. “We went into great detail on the psychology of conducting. These abusive behaviours do still exist. There are not many places where a boss has such power. A conductor is a gatekeeper. I have witnessed anger in rehearsal and even a tussle between conductor and musician. It’s a highly competitive field.”
|by Anonymous||reply 10||March 14, 2023 3:03 PM
This review is ao convoluted to the point of being illegible. He follows more or less the same route of Brody in The New Yorkers. The problem is Brody is profoundly dishonest: in his first paragraph he tell us the movie treats Lydia Tar as a victim and her accusers unhinged or hysterical, which is completely false.
Although we are not given much details about what happened with the student who died, we see her frantic reactions, deleting emails, invading her assistant’s computer, etc. Also, great part of the movie involves her predatory, manipulative behavior in respect of the new musician, she even defrauds the audition process. Her wrongdoing ise ident, only we don’t know the full extent of it, because this is not a movie about (or mainly about) cancel culture.
Like it or not it is an ambiguous, intriguing film which does not provide evident answers.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||March 14, 2023 3:04 PM
Mother Jones has gone down the crapper like NPR.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||March 14, 2023 4:50 PM
[quote] as a professional classical musician, blachett's conducting chops are laughable at best
Oh, [italic]dear[/Italic]... that dangling modifying phrase!
Your grammatical skills are laughable at best.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||March 14, 2023 5:02 PM
R14 if they want to go that route, opera itself is middlebrow. It was generally considered soapy entertainment for aspirants and nouveau-riche, though some Kings & Queens and nobles throughout time been known to enjoy it. Opera hasn't the cachet of classical.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||March 14, 2023 5:03 PM
R9 It’s Mommie Dearest. Dumbass.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||March 14, 2023 11:47 PM
But that scene with the student refusing to play Bach is something that I and many other teachers have seen in the classroom over the past few years. It was remarkable how real that was.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||March 15, 2023 12:03 AM
[quote]Oh, dear... that dangling modifying phrase!
fuck off, cunt. your prose ain't strungk and white, either. eat shit and die
|by Anonymous||reply 19||March 15, 2023 12:07 AM
R18 that was me at 16 vs my flute teacher. I hated Bach then, and while my hate has softened with time I still don't like him now. I find almost all of his work barring perhaps the Te Deum unlistenable and tedious. If I never hear the Airs from the Goldberg Variations again. And it's almost all fucking religious, too.
The reification of this dusty man is absolutely beyond me, and I don't think that automatically makes me a philistine or an idiot. He isn't the be-all end-all of classical.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||March 15, 2023 12:11 AM
Todd Field as a director peaked with 'In The Bedroom', btw.
Nick Stahl & Marisa Tomei were one of the best surprising couples ever put onscreen.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||March 15, 2023 12:12 AM
This idiot is also the Associate Editor of Mother Jones.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||March 15, 2023 12:18 AM
Are you a student at a top musical conservatory, r20? It should also be pointed out that the BIPOC pangender student didn't like any classical composers, not just Bach. He was only interested in one composer, a contemporary female Icelandic composer. It's weird for a conducting student to like only one composer.
R18, do you teach at a "top" (to the extent that Julliard is top) music school?
|by Anonymous||reply 23||March 17, 2023 8:38 PM