MrToo with a woman. I can see with the Oscars steer clear of this, there’s enough controversy with anodyne films, let alone one that takes deep stands in the culture wars.

Even with all the courage of tackling the subject altogether, it’s still hidden away and implied, instead of upfront. As a sort of informal Hayes code, the protagonist does get cancelled, but only after extreme actions, and gets relegated to conducting Monster Hunter conventions in Vietnam, or the Philippines, or Thailand, it’s not clear in the film, and the credits mention only “East Asia”. I’m not sure the provincialism is intended.

The lives of high class people in Berlin look dreary. Why do they live in a massive, brutalist house, just massive blocks of reinforced concrete as walls, filled with Herman Miller everywhere? Do they need a jackhammer to put up a painting? Even the kitchen is raw concrete.

This aesthetic extends to the film itself: very old school to put the credits upfront (but not for the cast), with some backing vocals so that everyone did not fall asleep in the first minutes. And then there’s one of the first scenes, the long monologue establishing Tár’s biography narrated by a New Yorker journalist, exactly as the clichés demand. It verges on self-parody, everything is so classy.

The referenced composers they mention were not cancelled for much more important moral failures, like joining the Nazis.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision