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The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach) Reviews

Page 1 of 1
David Phelps
Slant Magazine

Twaddle pitched somewhere between a music appreciation class and a modernist experiment attesting to art's ability to ennoble the quotidian.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

January 23, 2008
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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 Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: D

August 1, 2008
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Driven solely by the filmmaker's prosaic associations. Portabella does not discover the composer through his music.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

February 5, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Like the music it celebrates, this is a film made in glory of the world.

| Original Score: 4/5

January 30, 2008
Richard Brody
New Yorker
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Brings Bach's music to life with a mysterious, magnificent blend of drama, documentary, and quasi-surrealist whimsy.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

January 24, 2008
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze

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.'

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

January 24, 2008
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 29, 2008
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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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 Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

January 31, 2008
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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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 Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

August 20, 2009
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 29, 2008
Boyd van Hoeij
european-films.net

About as far away from a conventional composer biopic as Kraft's products are from real cheese.

Full Review Source: european-films.net

February 3, 2008
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Provide[s] gorgeous lensing and art direction and some of the world's most beautiful music.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

January 30, 2008
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews

Think of it strictly as a wonderful music video. Hey, Pink Floyd has a movie, so why not Bach?

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 3, 2008
Maitland McDonagh
Time Out New York
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A slippery formal exercise of the kind that divides viewers into the enthralled and the infuriated.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/4

January 30, 2008
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
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The engaging enigma of The Silence Before Bach demonstrates an artistic wisdom that is as satisfying as it is challenging.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 1, 2008
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

September 7, 2011
Maitland McDonagh
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2011
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