Popping up in an unexpected virtual appearance at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, filmmaker Martin Scorsese presented “Tár” director Todd Field with the best feature award.

Cate Blanchett stars in the film as a world-renowned maestro and Berlin Philharmonic conductor whose personal life and professional career become upended by her toxic behavior. Blanchett won the best actress honor at the Venice Film Festival and the film is widely expected to land multiple Oscar nominations

Scorsese often champions the films he loves most in a given year, and Field’s “Tár” along with Ti West’s “Pearl” were singled out for praise in 2022. Previously Scorsese said “Pearl” was “so deeply disturbing” that he had difficulty sleeping afterwards.

The famed filmmaker, who directed Blanchett in “The Aviator” for which she won an Oscar, heaped praise upon “Tár” saying it briefly shone through the clouds of the dark days that cinema is currently facing:

“For so long now, so many of us see films that pretty much let us know where they’re going. I mean, they take us by the hand and, even if it’s disturbing at times, sort of comfort us along the way that it will be all okay by the end.

Now this is insidious, as one can get lulled into this and ultimately get used to it, leading those of us who’ve experienced cinema in the past – as much more than that – to become despairing of the future of the art form, especially for younger generations.

But that’s on dark days. The clouds lifted when I experienced Todd’s film, ‘Tár’. What you’ve done, Todd – is that the very fabric of the movie you created doesn’t allow this. All the aspects of cinema and the film that you’ve used, attest to this.

The shift in locations for example, the shift in locations alone do what cinema does best, which is to reduce space and time to what they are, which is nothing.

You make it so that we exist in her head. We experience only through her perception. The world is her. Time, chronology and space, become the music that she lives by. And we don’t know where the film’s going. We just follow the character on her strange, upsetting road to her even stranger final destination.

What you’ve done, Todd – it’s a real high-wire act. All of this is conveyed through a masterful mise-en-scène, as controlled, precise, dangerous, precipitous angles and edges geometrically kind of chiseled into a wonderful 2.35 aspect ratio of frame compositions. The limits of the frame itself, and the provocation of measured long takes all reflecting the brutal architecture of her soul – Tar’s soul.”

Scorsese has famously decried the state of modern cinema, saying at the New York Film Festival back in October that “cinema is devalued, demeaned, belittled from all sides, not necessarily the business side but certainly the art”. He added that the fixation on a film’s financial success played a big part in the problem.

Source: Indiewire


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