The Silence Before Bach

  |  Book Tickets: 01/01/2007
  |  Watch Now: 18/11/2010
  |  102 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Right from its initial camera’s prowl through a silent empty studio, which finally alights on and retreats before a balletic player-piano pouring out a Goldberg variation, this latest feature from the eccentrically experimental Catalan director Portabella is a beautiful, sometimes faintly bonkers celebration and contemplation of the role Bach’s music plays in the world today. Blending historical reconstruction (slightly à la Straub-Huillet) with very loosely linked ‘dramatic’ scenes and documentary sequences, the film constitutes a playful, painterly sequence of variations on the argument that Johann Sebastian changed the way the world hears thanks to his extraordinary ear for harmony. Happily, of course, there’s ample glorious music on the soundtrack to support that thesis.