Docs about Music

film 1 of 4

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

Draft Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

Severe and beautiful, the latter quality obviously provided by the music, which in addition to being matchless itself is also revealed in all of its compositional complexity and physical rigour, the very daring and unapologetic end to end and in one shot performances reveal what it means to learn and play these things, and in good Flaherty fashion celebrate the process and honour the craftsman just as much the easy pleasures of the music, which is not tarted up in any way; the distancings and documentary insertions multiply the kinds of craftsmanship: not only Bach, but Leonhardt, the ancient architects, the costumers, Straub-Huillet, God; in the end beauty doesn’t come only from the music, but from the combination of sound and image, the elaborate compositions and settings contrasted with pure white textured walls, stable presentational compositions deepened by lovely diagonals, solemn, even beautiful camera moves, the affectless line deliveries, and endless shots of “peaceable and blessed” characters lit by Vermeer light, the light of Christ!, through a series of most achingly lovely windows