What I'm Reading
Tár (2022) directed by Todd Field
Social media has wreaked havoc on cultural institutions. Unfounded allegations pushed out a revered Guggenheim curator. The Phillip Guston debacle led museums to doubt the intellect of their visitors. But despite the frequency and prevalence of these controversies, the theme has gone largely unrepresented in film, literature, etc. Tár is the first film that addresses this unfolding crisis from an elite insider perspective. The main character is a talented but tyrannical conductor in the Berlin Philharmonic. The tension of the story revolves around the elite aspirant motivations of her subordinates and the dictatorial structure of the institution. Lydia Tár is the villain (I don’t think the film could be made otherwise). But its a milestone reflection on our period of elite reckoning. Pay attention to how they discuss the western canon and draw lines of validity around *some* identity politics.
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