“Tár,” a film for the chattering class, with Vinson Cunningham
The critic and friend of the pod joins us to discuss a hot film Jay did not fast-forward through
Hello from Juilliard!
This week, our friend Vinson Cunningham, award-winning critic at The New Yorker, joins Tammy and Jay to discuss 2022’s wokest(?) film, “Tár.” (Spoiler alert!)
[1:00] Before we get into it, we address Kyrie Irving’s request for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets… and what makes him so annoying. (We recorded before Irving’s move to the Dallas Mavericks was announced.) Plus: What does his situation say about workers’ rights, in the context of highly-compensated NBA players?
[12:50] In our main segment: “Tár,” the dark portrait of a high-powered orchestra conductor’s fall from grace, starring Cate Blanchett. How does the film see the dangers of artistic personas (with a #MeToo plotline reminiscent of James Levine’s abuses), “cancel culture” (per Richard Brody’s review), and labor relations? And how do the movie’s heavy-handed academic scenes compare to Vinson’s experience as a college teacher?
[33:40] The film also critiques a specific type of (aging? resentful? arrogant?) second-wave feminist, as Zadie Smith argues in her illuminating piece in the New York Review of Books. We also discuss Becca Rothfeld’s analysis of “Tár” and the obsession with reputation management. Plus: the orientalist narrative of a Western (anti-)hero finding herself in the East.
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