In ‘Tár,’ a master comes undone at the seams
The rising suspense in director Todd Field’s “Tár” is tunefully orchestrated through a restrained yet evocative visual palette. Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is a renowned conductor whose past indiscretions pull her from the spotlight. The narrative unfolds with a deliberate, unhurried pace — the camera punctuating pivotal moments of Lydia’s psychological unraveling. One such photographic motif is the recurring dreams that haunt her. Set against a black backdrop, it’s as if she is being consumed by the young women she has groomed into having a sexual relationship throughout her career, including Krista (Sylvia Flote), who winds up taking her own life. In achieving the illusory effect, cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister couldn’t be “too specific technically” so as to not “take away the magic,” but he shares that a box was built for actors to go inside to create the scenes. “They were done in a way that was playful and improvisational,” Hoffmeister recalls. “I find personally the most beautiful thing about those sequences is that they decided to keep them so quiet. All those little moments were the precious ones. It was about how we could create a visual language where those little moments would stick out and not disappear in a flood of imagery.”
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