New film focused on a Quartet struggling to stay together  might provide a metaphor for schools


The film  ‘A  Late Quartet’ , directed by Yaron Zilberman, sees a Quartet begin to disintegrate following a life changing diagnosis for one its  members  (the cellist-played by Christopher Walken). The main work  in the film is Beethoven’s Opus 131 in C -sharp minor a notoriously demanding  piece for even the most technically gifted  musicians, mainly because Beethoven indicated that it should be played “attacca”, so  without pause between its seven movements. It was regarded by   Beethoven’s contemporaries as a masterpiece   and Schubert asked for  it to  be played  for him on his deathbed.

The Director Zilberman says “When playing a piece for almost 40 minutes without a break the instruments are bound to go out of tune, each in a different way. What should the musician do? Stop and tune, or struggle to adapt, individually and as a group until the  end. I feel it is a perfect metaphor for long term relationships” ( Zilberman draws from Walkens speech at the beginning of the film-Zilberman also co-wrote the screenplay)

It could also be a metaphor for a school  . Teachers  have to adjust individually and  collectively  (through collaboration etc) to ensure that their performance remains  in tune, is sustained  and doesn’t suffer  in quality, over time.( disciplined practice also helps)

Just a thought!

ps Its a beautifully crafted  and  well observed film  without falling into the trap of  being too sentimental . It also  avoids  a corny end .


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