Is the end of Tar about divine punishment or recovery? (2023)


Todd Field's Tár ends on a brutal note, but is it a joke or a revelation for Lydia?

Is the end of Tar about divine punishment or recovery? (1)Voncorvo david | |

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Is the end of Tar about divine punishment or recovery? (2)

This article containsdepositRevelation.

During the last 10 minutes of Todd Field's matchdeposit, an elusive but haunting character study of the downfall of an elite musician, Lydia Tár's fate remains a mystery. We know that Lydia played with academic greatness.Cate BlanchettYou've been exposed to a lot: a sexual predator, a manipulative employer, and a relentlessly selfish spouse. Even her name is a joke, as the disgraced EGOT winner returns to her forgotten childhood home, where her estranged brother calls her Linda. In this context, it is not difficult to imagine that the accent in her last name is a similar affectation, a pretense that betrays a flattering self-respect.

But after her brother suspects she has no idea what her life is like and accuses her of not knowing "where the hell you came from or where you're going," the film transports Lydia to an anonymous country in Southeast Asia where her El Modest hotel life is a million miles away from the fresh air the movie opened in Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel. only whereEsis your life going?

Slowly but surely, Field begins to absorb Lydia's new reality. She was banished from the privileged society that coveted her for being a foreigner in a strange land, not knowing that because of the crocodiles that inhabit these waters, it would be unwise to even touch the local tributary (which is said to be a tributary). invasive species introduced by another magnanimous artist who has already made a film here: Marlon Brando). And finally, we find out what really happened to the former chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. He leads a new orchestra, which he conducts with the same authoritative zeal he devoted to the performance of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 5".


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... It's just that this orchestra plays video game music for an audience that doesn't give a damn that the music "destroys" itself on the podium. They just want to hear their favorite music.Monsterjägerplayed live while a giant monitor stitches together gameplay footage. As the end of Tar's fall nears, Field's camera pans across a sea of ​​cosplayers dressed as aliens, heroes and monsters.

That latest hit is dark and fun. There was also a lot of discussion. There have already been persuasive essays arguing that LydiaThe final descent is a hallucination, the one caused by that hideous blow to the head he suffered at the beginning of the third act; others find their loneliness portrayed in an exotic landpaternalistic colonial form of racism; while other viewers prefer to cite the final scene as confirmation of this.Seriousness of video game music composition.. . . . (The Monster Hunter Orchestra tourit's a real companywho travel the world for cosplayers and conventions).

However, they all seem to come to the same immediate conclusion. This is a fitting and bitter fate for a woman who began the film while she was being interviewed byNew Yorker's Adam Gopnik at the New York Film Festival (also a true writer for that revered magazine). Lydia began to antagonize the modern world when she aggressively defended Bach against a Gen-Zer; now she is doomed to find art in the supposedly naive.

While this reading is certainly believable, my first reaction to seeingdeposit- perhaps he is cruel to Lydia herself. This is an easy position to take. This is a cruel, harmful, hypocritical figure who evidently made his name early in his career championing the indigenous sounds of Peruvian music, but donned the literal garments of white patriarchy as he rose to fame and privilege. She proudly tells a group of Juilliard students that she is "a U-Haul lesbian," but in the film's most talked-about sequence, she refuses to accept that a young pangender BIPOC has a different view of Johann Sebastian Bach. yours

The scene is challenging because, on some level, it legitimately calls into question what Bach's surprising bedroom habits (he fathered 20 children over two marriages) have to do with a B minor. Still, Field relies on a grueling 10-minute tracking shot, all shot with near-clinical depth of field, to heighten the suspense as Lydia transitions from condescending irritation with Juilliard student Max (Zethphan D. Smith-Gneist) to intensifying hostile contempt. She uses her power and authority as a respected songwriter to isolate and humiliate a minority voice that questions its own comfort with conformity. She tells Max that he must submit his identity to the composer's intent, but she does not submit his identity; She transforms him to look like people traditionally expect a wielder of the Force to appear. She is a "U-Haul lesbian" and wears slim-cut tuxedos.

More conventional studio films might have portrayed this paradox as a tragedy, or at least as a compassionate form of selflessness. But the truth that Field and Blanchett seek is more obscene and distant. Blanchett's demanding performance, defined by a fluid physicality and a rueful smile that suggests weariness derived from wearing the crown, masks a predatory insatiability that takes most of the film to uncover. Lydia is a throwback to the kind of deeply concerned antihero protagonists that used to populate a different kind of cinema and who, like Lydia's classical music idols, were exclusively male. But in the modern age, when an 18th-century composer can be "disregarded" for marital excess, having such a selfish, smug lead on screen is an anomaly. In other words, nobody wants to see the story of Lydia Tár's redemption today.


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And, of course, there is no personal or professional redemption after she has cleaned up and exploited her young assistants, and certainly not after she has beaten her male replacement (who is mediocrity following her) in front of all of Berlin! It's the end of her reputation, her marriage and her pride. Yet this character has a temper that hints at a long-abandoned integrity. It cannot be redeemed, but perhaps it can be claimed, if only for themselves.

Edepositbegins at the aforementioned New York Film Festival, and the sequel acts as a clever display of Field's screenplay. Gopnik reads a brilliantly accurate resume to the Lincoln Center audience, so detailed it almost must be true. At the end of this recitation, Gopnik says that he watched Lydia shudder as she unwrapped her many triumphs and successes. He then appropriately plays the humility card, making a self-deprecating comment about how polite society worships the expert, not the jack of all trades.

However, this false self-flagellation is false. Later in the same scene, Lydia explains how the director's role is to create the illusion of revelation or sudden inspiration before the audience during a performance, "but reality is right from the start. I know exactly what time it is and exactly when you and I will reach our destination together. The only real discovery for me is the show. It's never the performance."

Yet Lydia's entire life is an act, right up until her supposed flinch in Manhattan's isolated literary bubble. We never see Blanchett's face during this shyness. Instead, Field interrupts the scene with intimate moments in Lydia's timeline. We see Tar's image hovering over his record collection of Mahler performances, including that of his idol Leonard Bernstein. Field's bird's-eye view of how he directs his writing suggests he's also minding his own life's work. However, the insidious reality is already present when a young girl's disembodied foot enters the picture. In hindsight, they're probably the toes of convict Krista Taylor (Sylvia Flote) or her current assistant Francesca Lenten (Noémie Merlant). It is illusion and reality side by side.

Francesca is also in the opening scene, uttering every word that Gopnik is supposed to embarrass Lydia with. Tar and his assistant apparently edited this introduction (if they didn't write it themselves), and the only thing that makes Lydia cringe is Gopnik inserts an offhand joke about Tar's upcoming memoir,memory over memory, an excellent sock filler.

The irony of this orchestrated self-adulation is that Lydia clearly walks in the shadow of her mentor, Leonard Bernstein. In fact, it's the recording of Mahler's "Symphony No. 5" that she highlights when organizing her record collection. And by the end of the film, for the first time in decades, Lydia actually seems capable of doing just that.listento what the legendary New York Philharmonic composer has to say.


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In the aftermath of her exile in Southeast Asia, Lydia revisits her childhood bedroom. It's from another lifetime when people in Staten Island called her Linda, and on one of her old VHS tapes, she finally called her Linda.I'm listening"Lenny", tells the audience that "music is what you feel when you hear it". He also says, "A note is worth more than words... [a] note says more about how we feel than a million words."

Lydia's performative illusion of the grandmaster is nothing more than a cacophony of words. She uses them brilliantly in the opening scene and sets them up to vile effect against a BIPOC pangender kid at Juilliard, but it doesn't take a full hour to see her stop talking and hear an orchestra in the only place she sits. creative. Rehearsal room. Even so, she imitates Amber's spirit, unaware of the literal spirits she created who now lurk in her Berlin apartment, waiting for their piece of flesh to come from her downfall.

Lydia says that Bernstein believed the song's power lay in "teshuvah," the Hebrew word for repentance or "turning away" from sin. His idol said that music has the ability to "go back in time and change the meaning of past actions". The significance of Lydia's past actions becomes clear when the truth about how she used her own power to nurture young women is revealed; Her former public image of genius is turning into a monster, for good reason.

Still, towards the end of the film, Lydia finally seems to hear Bernstein's words. The goal is to make music, not the luxuries and vanities it offers. And Lydia may be taking her first steps towards repentance. When she tries to get a massage in an unnamed town, she realizes that it is actually a brothel. There, the young women look at her with the same cynical look that the novice cellist discovered when she noticed the director's romantic quest. Lydia's reaction to seeing this is to throw up in embarrassment.

As Bernstein suggested, he accepted that he must play music, any music, for its own sake. He followed the advice he gave Max with poison mixed in; he erased his identity and repressed himself. And he seems to have found peace in that, even if he's just playing the song.Monsterjäger. Call it her equivalent of performing in "graveyards" like the disgraced Berlin Philharmonic conductor Willhelm Furtwängler before her.

It's what it deserves, but at least the illusion is over and the music continues to be heard.


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Is the end of Tar about divine punishment or recovery? (3)

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David Crow is film editor at Den of Geek. He has long prided himself on his geek credentials. I grew up watching movie classics made by…

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