The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach) Reviews

  • May 02, 2012

    This is a movie you must see. There will be things you will immediately understand and things that you won't. But it is unforgettable.

    This is a movie you must see. There will be things you will immediately understand and things that you won't. But it is unforgettable.

  • Dec 30, 2011

    This movie's general statement consists in trying to 'spruce up' Bach by creating some sort of "bold" audio-visual statement with his music, in some sort of hyper-aware, almost ironical manner. The film's main message is mainly to state that Bach's music is not good enough anymore to be enjoyed 'plain'; it has to be "shifted" towards some sort of cinematic performance art in which the music is never enough: it has to be accompanied by a dancing clavichord, with said clavichord being dumped in the ocean later on; music students playing the Prelude to the first Cello suite in a moving subway train in unison (see how clever the director is?); a dude in a bad powdered wig pretending to be Bach while doing out-of-synch mimicry to the music and all kinds of stupid nonsense and other 'artistic' gimmicks. The point is that the music this film tries so hard to "spice up" is in reality a trillion times better, deeper, more nuanced and more beautiful that whatever hipster statement the filmakers where trying to convey here. Bach's music is a colorful, infinita, intricate tapestry that doesn't need 'help' or homages. It needs to be listened to, without distractions, in a manner in which every synapse is focused on the music. This film, on the other hand, is basically like trying to wipe your ass with a Rembrandt to make yourself look interesting. Bach's music will live on forever, while no one will remember this piece of shit in two years.

    This movie's general statement consists in trying to 'spruce up' Bach by creating some sort of "bold" audio-visual statement with his music, in some sort of hyper-aware, almost ironical manner. The film's main message is mainly to state that Bach's music is not good enough anymore to be enjoyed 'plain'; it has to be "shifted" towards some sort of cinematic performance art in which the music is never enough: it has to be accompanied by a dancing clavichord, with said clavichord being dumped in the ocean later on; music students playing the Prelude to the first Cello suite in a moving subway train in unison (see how clever the director is?); a dude in a bad powdered wig pretending to be Bach while doing out-of-synch mimicry to the music and all kinds of stupid nonsense and other 'artistic' gimmicks. The point is that the music this film tries so hard to "spice up" is in reality a trillion times better, deeper, more nuanced and more beautiful that whatever hipster statement the filmakers where trying to convey here. Bach's music is a colorful, infinita, intricate tapestry that doesn't need 'help' or homages. It needs to be listened to, without distractions, in a manner in which every synapse is focused on the music. This film, on the other hand, is basically like trying to wipe your ass with a Rembrandt to make yourself look interesting. Bach's music will live on forever, while no one will remember this piece of shit in two years.

  • Jul 21, 2011

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  • Sep 09, 2009

    Some sequences are more compelling than others, but overall, this is an engaging film. Recommend highly. Good luck finding it in any medium other than 35mm.

    Some sequences are more compelling than others, but overall, this is an engaging film. Recommend highly. Good luck finding it in any medium other than 35mm.

  • Aug 22, 2009

    From the 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD school of music biopics comprising semi-avant garde vignettes, Portabella's film reminds us that Bach's music lives everywhere, including showers occupied by naked women.

    From the 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD school of music biopics comprising semi-avant garde vignettes, Portabella's film reminds us that Bach's music lives everywhere, including showers occupied by naked women.

  • Aug 21, 2009

    Three stars for the music. I didn't really go for what The New Yorker called a "blend of documentary, drama, and quasi-surrealist whimsy" -- for me the various bits didn't gel into any powerfully cohesive whole.

    Three stars for the music. I didn't really go for what The New Yorker called a "blend of documentary, drama, and quasi-surrealist whimsy" -- for me the various bits didn't gel into any powerfully cohesive whole.

  • May 24, 2008

    It is hard to describe what this movie is about, other than saying that it is about the music of Bach. There are about two dozen vignettes of things that involve Bach's music -- some of them modern, like a truck driver who plays Bach on his bassoon in the evening to relax. Others are reenactments of the life of Bach himself. A bit of a mixed bag -- some of the segments were fairly interesting, and others not so much. The lack of a continuing plot or characters through the film made it hard to care about seeing it through to the end -- you had the feeling that you could get up and leave halfway through without missing anything.

    It is hard to describe what this movie is about, other than saying that it is about the music of Bach. There are about two dozen vignettes of things that involve Bach's music -- some of them modern, like a truck driver who plays Bach on his bassoon in the evening to relax. Others are reenactments of the life of Bach himself. A bit of a mixed bag -- some of the segments were fairly interesting, and others not so much. The lack of a continuing plot or characters through the film made it hard to care about seeing it through to the end -- you had the feeling that you could get up and leave halfway through without missing anything.

  • May 22, 2008

    es una pelicula rara, por lo mismo merece ser vista :), sobre todo si te flipa Bach

    es una pelicula rara, por lo mismo merece ser vista :), sobre todo si te flipa Bach

  • May 11, 2008

    Visually stunning, unpredictable, and strangely brilliant, filled with uplifting music, unexpected detail, and a profound message about the way Bach lives on today, both musically and spiritually.

    Visually stunning, unpredictable, and strangely brilliant, filled with uplifting music, unexpected detail, and a profound message about the way Bach lives on today, both musically and spiritually.

  • Mar 24, 2008

    Decebedora. Alguna metàfora visual inspirada, però, en general, és un film sonso, amb millors pretensions que resultats, tot i que les tesis d'en Portabella són encomiables.

    Decebedora. Alguna metàfora visual inspirada, però, en general, és un film sonso, amb millors pretensions que resultats, tot i que les tesis d'en Portabella són encomiables.