Earlier this afternoon I read an 11.25 review of Todd Field‘s Tar by WBGO’s Harlan Jacobson. Definitely worth reading or listening to.

Final portion: “Tar is a lineal descendant of Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (’30), with Marlene Dietrich’s Lola dangling a heel in a cabaret to undo Emil Janning’s Professor Rath, wrecking the old world with a flick of an ash.

“Add a queer spin nearly 40 years later and you’ll find Tár in 1973’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, another German milestone. Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had the cheek to tell the story of a dissolute lesbian fashion designer (Margit Carstensen) who turns her back on her S&M lover-factotum when she becomes fatally attracted to a vanilla young thing (Hanna Schygulla).

“Even at 2 hours and 37 minutes, some critics say, Tár still fails in its duty to be passionate about music or life, which is not what the film is about. That’s another film. As it happens Tar is passionate about music, if doubtful about the life inside it.

“But this is the year of the two-and-a-half-hour film — they’re everywhere. And Tár had me on the edge of my seat for all of it, as if it was named War, not Tár.”