Looking for a fugue good men: sneak preview of “A Late Quartet”

Yesterday evening, a few of us attended a sneak preview of the movie A Late Quartet at the Arbor Cinema.

Here’s the trailer:

The wonderful cast (and the easy assumption of a stellar film score) make it a first choice for any film fan who eschews non-stop CGI effects for more realistic drama and comedy. The plot centers around a world-class string quartet that has been together for 25 years, and reveals their personal strengths and tribulations, both individually and as a familial team. Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Imogen Poots are the primary actors.

Classical musicians will feel right at home with this plot vehicle as it honors the depth and skill of mastering this fine art, and non-musicians will respect classical music professionals more by having watched this film. But any movie-goer will enjoy the layers of character, the implications of choice, and the perpetual human struggles that are portrayed with such insight. Classical music is wonderfully symbolic of this balance of passion and control.

The fictional Fugue Quartet takes the stage

There was one surreal cinematic effect that occurred at the beginning and at the end of the film: the scene of the quartet performing onstage was filmed from the center of the audience row of the concert hall, and remained static in such a way that it looked like it really was a concert we were attending, with a life-sized cast walking onstage to take their seats (see photo above).

I hope you get a chance to see this fascinating movie during its limited run in Austin. You can see A Late Quartet at the Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills, beginning Friday, Nov. 16th.

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