The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach) Reviews

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Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 20, 2009
The Silence Before Bach is a movie in which to take refuge, and it abjures the summer heat of pop culture for a cool and lasting immersion in the miracles that people are and can create.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
August 1, 2008
The engaging enigma of The Silence Before Bach demonstrates an artistic wisdom that is as satisfying as it is challenging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 1, 2008
A dog watches its blind master tune a piano. It's only 10 minutes into The Silence Before Bach and already I am bored as that dog.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
March 3, 2008
Think of it strictly as a wonderful music video. Hey, Pink Floyd has a movie, so why not Bach?
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
February 5, 2008
Driven solely by the filmmaker's prosaic associations. Portabella does not discover the composer through his music.
Boyd van Hoeij
european-films.net
February 3, 2008
About as far away from a conventional composer biopic as Kraft's products are from real cheese.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
January 31, 2008
The demolition of the music bio-pic as witnessed by Todd Haynes' I'm Not There and the parody Walk Hard continues robustly with this time-tripping melange from Spanish director Pere Portabella.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
January 30, 2008
Provide[s] gorgeous lensing and art direction and some of the world's most beautiful music.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 30, 2008
Like the music it celebrates, this is a film made in glory of the world.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
January 29, 2008
Arguably stronger conceptually than visually, surreal mix of the unexpected and the banal is definitely not to everybody's taste. But the music is inarguably sublime.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
January 29, 2008
At once cerebral film essay and unsweetened ear candy, Pere Portabella's The Silence Before Bach is nearly as tough to categorize as its maker.
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze
January 24, 2008
The film swings back through history with its own delicate meshing of enchantment and mystery, contemplating a planet whether before Bach or in our own time 'of emptiness with no resonance.'
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
January 24, 2008
Brings Bach's music to life with a mysterious, magnificent blend of drama, documentary, and quasi-surrealist whimsy.
David Phelps
Slant Magazine
January 23, 2008
Twaddle pitched somewhere between a music appreciation class and a modernist experiment attesting to art's ability to ennoble the quotidian.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B
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