Late Quartet, film at the Cut. Unexpectedly beautiful and it’s feeling remaining with me. It was Bob who introduced me to Beethoven’s late quartets. The film opens, quietly observing the internal dynamics of the Fugue String Quartet, an internationally acclaimed musical group founded and based in New York that has been playing around the world for 25 years. Professional, accomplished, polished, intimate and public. The founder is diagnosed with Parkinsons. As he goes through the adjustment and first stages of treatment, the remaining 3 of the quartet fracture. His dance is above it all. His doctor is (unexpectedly) Madhur Jaffrey.
Old sores come to the fore: the marriage of the 2nd violin and viola splinter into sharp pieces, the 2nd violin wants to be the 1st violin, the 1st violin a loner brilliant Jewish player, has a relationship with the daughter. Throughout it all none of their conversation is wasted, no dallying down mean streets, such is their years of practiced professionality.
A head is reached. The final performance, including that of the leader, resolves the conflict intimately as the music unfolds. The story is told in moments: like Philip Seymore Hoffman facing his image in a mirror and shaving off his unkempt beard.
Late Quartet, 2012, directed by Yaron Ziberman, with Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, Philip Symore Hoffman, Wallance Sawn. Imogen Poots, Mark Ivanir