A Labyrinth of Time - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Labyrinth of Time Reviews

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April 13, 2011
The Juxtapositions series of modern-classical documentary DVDs has featured such great composers as Mahler, Boulez, and Kurtag, and with Frank Scheffer's A LABYRINTH OF TIME we get a full-length overview of the life and work of Elliott Carter. At 98 years old as I write this, Carter has got a long career behind him, but his output has only increased in old age, and this film celebrates him as a major American composer.

Far from being a meaningless jumble of notes, Carter's music is, according to the composer, meant to represent the interaction of various personalities, play on the listener's perception of time, and symbolize the hubbub of the automobile and jet age. Indeed, Carter says that his turn to the avant-garde was motivated not by a search for abstraction, but rather by a desire to write music closer to life in our hectic contemporary society. There are plenty of music snippets here. We see the Arditti Quartet performing the String Quartet No. 1, cellist Fred Sherry helping the composer in the writing of the Cello Concerto and "For Mr. Ives", and pianist Ursula Oppens rehearsing the Piano Concerto. Charles Rosen, Pierre Boulez, and Daniel Barenboim are interviewed about their admiration for Carter's music.

As the title suggests, the documentary celebrates not only Carter's music but also the composer's long life. Indeed, the very first words spoken in the film are Carter reminiscing about Europe in l'entre deux guerres and his return to London after World War II. We see him looking over old examination papers from his time with Nadia Boulanger, reflecting on his admiration for Charles Ives and Edgar Varese. A major theme is how how New York has changed since his boyhood there in the 1910s, with the arrival of the automobile, the shifting artistic landscape, and (communicated only by a camera shot, not with words), the destruction of the World Trade Center. The earliest footage includes some domestic scenes with his late wife Helen Carter, who gave up a promising career as a sculpture to support her husband's music.

I was disappointed that there is no extra material on the disc besides the film itself. Other Juxtapositions discs have a second film or footage of the performance of a work. Nonetheless, if you are a Carter fan, this is a documentary worth seeing.
October 28, 2009
Didint mean to post this one. Lol
August 24, 2008
The Juxtapositions series of modern-classical documentary DVDs has featured such great composers as Mahler, Boulez, and Kurtag, and with Frank Scheffer's A LABYRINTH OF TIME we get a full-length overview of the life and work of Elliott Carter. At 98 years old as I write this, Carter has got a long career behind him, but his output has only increased in old age, and this film celebrates him as a major American composer.

Far from being a meaningless jumble of notes, Carter's music is, according to the composer, meant to represent the interaction of various personalities, play on the listener's perception of time, and symbolize the hubbub of the automobile and jet age. Indeed, Carter says that his turn to the avant-garde was motivated not by a search for abstraction, but rather by a desire to write music closer to life in our hectic contemporary society. There are plenty of music snippets here. We see the Arditti Quartet performing the String Quartet No. 1, cellist Fred Sherry helping the composer in the writing of the Cello Concerto and "For Mr. Ives", and pianist Ursula Oppens rehearsing the Piano Concerto. Charles Rosen, Pierre Boulez, and Daniel Barenboim are interviewed about their admiration for Carter's music.

As the title suggests, the documentary celebrates not only Carter's music but also the composer's long life. Indeed, the very first words spoken in the film are Carter reminiscing about Europe in l'entre deux guerres and his return to London after World War II. We see him looking over old examination papers from his time with Nadia Boulanger, reflecting on his admiration for Charles Ives and Edgar Varese. A major theme is how how New York has changed since his boyhood there in the 1910s, with the arrival of the automobile, the shifting artistic landscape, and (communicated only by a camera shot, not with words), the destruction of the World Trade Center. The earliest footage includes some domestic scenes with his late wife Helen Carter, who gave up a promising career as a sculpture to support her husband's music.

I was disappointed that there is no extra material on the disc besides the film itself. Other Juxtapositions discs have a second film or footage of the performance of a work. Nonetheless, if you are a Carter fan, this is a documentary worth seeing.
August 11, 2008
Hard to describe this movie, kinda 2 movies roled into 1, but some how works?? Knda gripping and trippy, not the kinda movie regulaly released...watch it with an open mind and a degree dilute patience.
October 30, 2007
This is absolutely fantastic!!!
August 22, 2007
This was a good movie
parts of it were pretty gorry but the plot was verry different
its not at all what people expect from it
it has a very sudden and un forseen twist in the plot at the end
½ July 25, 2007
I THOUGHT IT WAS 4 KIDS..OH WELL
July 22, 2007
Was a little slow going for me. Could have been my mood though.
June 24, 2007
already watched it twice and already want to see it again
June 21, 2007
watch because it is so gory.
June 20, 2007
Who cares abouth the subtitles suck it up this movie was great for us who still have the little kid inside us that wants to get good and scared
June 10, 2007
i've never actually heard of this movie but i'm sure it's lovely
April 25, 2007
BEST PUPPET SHOW EVER
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