The Silence Before Bach (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

The Silence Before Bach 2007

Die Stille vor Bach

Directed by Pere Portabella

A wonderful, inventive tribute to the great composer. "Brings Bach's music to life with a mysterious, magnificent blend of drama, documentary, and quasi-surrealist whimsy." — New Yorker

Spain In Catalan, French, German, Italian and Spanish with English subtitles
102 minutes 35mm

Director

Screenplay

Pere Portabella
,
Carles Santos
,
Xavier Albertí

Photography

Tomàs Pladevall

Editor

Óskar Xabier Gómez

With

Àlex Brendemühl
,
Feodor Atkine
,
Christian Brembeck
,
Daniel Ligorio
,
Georg C. Biller

Festivals

Venice 2007; Rotterdam 2008

Elsewhere

"Spanish director Pere Portabella's new film brings Bach's music to life with a mysterious, magnificent blend of drama, documentary, and quasi-surrealist whimsy... Portabella tickles the senses with a series of skits: a truck driver who plays Bach on the harmonica; Bach himself (the harpsichordist/organist Christian Brembeck) teaching his son Christoph Friedrich music via the 'Well-Tempered Clavier'; a Bach impersonator hosting tourists in Leipzig; an orchestra of cellists playing a suite while speeding along in a sleek new subway car... From puckish humor and borderline kitsch, a great and serious notion emerges: the construction of modern Europe on the basis of classical music, which, as a result, endures tenaciously there." — Richard Brody, New Yorker.

"At once cerebral film essay and unsweetened ear candy... A high-toned experimental feature that eschews narrative and ponders the social history of music." — J. Hoberman, Village Voice