Les ventres (2009)

“Les ventres” (2009)




bach is singular, not serial

This was a huge failure to me, but an interesting one. It’s not so common to see things like this, when you feel you watched something that was pretty far from fulfilling you, but you know that the filmmaker meant well, and wanted to do something ambitious. So, i’ll choose films like this any time over serial copy paste work like so much of what we see.

The films slides almost to the horror genre. It’s a well built tale about how everything that is a part of our life, in this case the food we eat, gets more and more artificial, to the simulated point of considering that we may start eating ourselves and not noticing it. So we have a curious game of scales, where men start as eaters (of snails) only to become an unwilling cannibal. Think what you want about such a metaphor; it doesn’t give me the kicks, although i recognize the validity of this reasoning. It’s a good dramatic theme, though.

What i cared about was the music, how it is deliberately chopped and made into the narrative. He chooses Bach. To me he is the zenith of western music, forever untopped in understanding the possibilities, and studying one by one the possibilities of using harmony, or melody, or both at once. The piece this filmmaker chooses, the prelude nº2, of the first book of preludes and fugues, is part of one of the most important works in the history of music. That’s where Bach addresses all his ideas about layering melodic lines that work both as single independent phrases and as harmonies. The thing is, there seems to be two ways of facing Bach: one which considers him a highly rational composer who, through rationality achieves a mythic, religious, otherworldly transcendency. the other way is to consider Bach for his importance in the development of western music, but understanding that music as soulless, mechanic, even repetitive sometimes, so making him something of composer of historical interest. I stand for the first way. This film assumes the second, and that’s where i stand out. Bach as the twisted soundtrack of a cannibal, upside down, decadent lost world? No, i don’t think so. I appreciate the effort of transforming his music to make it suit the context, but i reject it being associated with repetition, cold world, empty streets with repetitive facades, enormous dinning tables where everybody looks the same and eats the same. This is not Bach, not for me.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb


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