26 july movie rev That Pärt Feeling

Spiritual maestro: Arvo Pärt

Music documentary, not rated, 75 minutes, Center for Contemporary Arts, 3 chiles

Most of what we learn from Paul Hegeman’s sweet, understated documentary comes from the music itself. The music is the work of the Estonian Arvo Pärt, described here as the world’s most-performed living composer. If you’re familiar with his music, you know you’re in for a treat.

But chances are you’re not familiar with the reclusive Mr. Pärt himself. And on that front, this film has very little to offer. Born in Estonia. Studied in Moscow. We do get to see and even hear something of the composer as he sits uncomfortably for brief, unrevealing bits of an interview with the film’s director, or attends rehearsals and explains to the musicians the effects he wants from the music he has put on the page. Perhaps most revealing of all is the extended scene near the end where the camera stays on his face as he listens to the Cello Octet Amsterdam perform one of his compositions.

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