Tár [Todd Field]

Tár - watched this last night. you may have heard this is a "cancel culture" movie, but that is merely the surface. that's like saying, "that's not an omelet, that's eggs, cheese, ham, etc." there is so much more going on with this film. it is not at all what it seems to be. massive spoilers, so hiding them. DO NOT READ until you watch the film!
first of all, the first 20 min of the film present as sort of hum-drum, day-to-day life of a conductor. this is the lure - what's actually happening is that she's explaining exactly what's going to happen in the movie you're about to watch. you may not be paying attention, as you believe this is merely an interview, but it's vital you pay attention to what is said here. secondly, the way tension is built is insidious - it creeps in when you don't even realize it's happening. why am i feeling tense here? why do i care about this person? it's a master class in how to subliminally create an unreliable narrator - that is to say, without most people even noticing what's happening. there are red herrings - or are they? you're never quite sure what exactly is happening here. what's the scream in the park? is someone in her house fucking with her? who is filming and texting with their phone in several scenes - or is it more than one person? then something happens at some point in the movie that completely changes things. very subtle techniques - how it's filmed, how it's framed, how it's presented, POV, etc. - change, and if you aren't paying attention, you may not even notice. that's why everyone is talking about this being a "cancel culture" movie - while that is the surface plot, that's merely a distraction from what's happening here. this is a horror film, a ghost story, a film about someone snapping, i'm not even entirely sure, frankly. it's not as overt a shattering as betty/rita in mulholland drive, but don't be fooled, it is absolutely a shattering. i went in cold, not really knowing anything about it, and after it was over i searched some analysis pieces. i found this, which is a great breakdown of how it's not at all what it seems: https://slate.com/culture/2022/12/tar-c ... lyzed.html. i didn't even notice the figures in the background of certain scenes, and after reading this, can't wait to watch it again. i went to sleep thinking about it, i woke up still thinking about it, and plan on watching several more times to see if i can pinpoint exactly when things changed, and how.

this is a fucking phenomenal film. i absolutely loved it and will be watching many, many more times. cate blanchett is unbelievably good in this. you may be fooled by the marketing to think this is some sort of fictional biopic drama, but please do not believe that. watch this film as soon as humanly possible. can't wait to talk about it with someone else.

Re: Tár [Todd Field]

Is this Drama or Horror or something else? Is it reality or fantasy? Is Tar the hero or the villain? Is the red-haired woman real, a ghost or a figment of the imagination? Could Tar be the dying old woman in the neighbouring apartment?... Watching Field balance the film in perfect ambiguity towards all these questions and more, whilst simultaneously ensuring his directorial presence is evenly felt - unshowy for the most part, but the camera is always well-placed and the unnerving tone a constant, the pace gradually accelerating like a performance of Bolero - for the best part of 3 hours was exhausting but thoroughly rewarding. Shades of Eyes Wide Shut (seems Field was paying attention) and Lost Highway and Cache, but not in an overt or derivative way. Also one of those rare films suited to a digital capture format, the oppressive greys and browns and modernist interiors and not a ray of sunshine.

OK occasionally the conservatoire dialogue doesn't quite ring true (would a conductor of Tar's stature really hold such a philistine view of New Music? Would Kaplan, amateur as he may be, really not spot the string section free bowing?) and the vomiting after the brothel scene was slightly heavy-handed, but otherwise no complaints I can think of. Easily a 4 out of 5 and maybe more... Fidelio.

Re: Tár [Todd Field]

yeah, exactly. and like i said, some of the things i linked in the story above i didn't even pick up on first viewing. it's one that will be very re-watchable to see if you can pick up some of those things and pinpoint exactly where things turned, why, etc. it's been weeks and i'm still thinking about it. due for a rewatch.