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In Germany, the elder Frau Traude Krueger gives piano classes in a prison for a few prisoners and the security guard Mütze. When she sees the rebel and aggressive Jenny Von Loeben playing piano, she immediately identifies her potential and offers to teach her for a competition. Frau Krueger finds that Jenny was a prodigy when she was a child; abused when she was a teenager and has been imprisoned for murdering and decapitating a man. Along the period they work together preparing for the exhibition, Frau Krueger discloses secrets about her love in World War II while the self-destructive Jenny has four minutes of glory and recognition of her talent.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Monica Bleibtreu is the mother of actor Moritz Bleibtreu, famous for "Das Experiment" (The Experiment) and "Lola Rennt" (Run, Lola, Run). Monica herself was known for acting in the popular German television series "Tatort". See more »
In several sequences where we see Jenny playing the piano, the notes we hear do not correspond to the keys she plays. See more »
Vier Minuten left me admiring a young actress, respecting our cultural achievements, and pondering freedom and what part music and literature plays in dividing us from the animal kingdom. Yes, I think this movie is a statement of cultural development in relationship to physical, mental, and emotional stress, anger, hatred, cruelty, and violence.
That is the Conflict theory of social progress.
It reminds me of all the rebellious youth who had something shocking, abrasive, antisocial, and yet astonishing to say in a new format. Hail, hail, rock and roll, Hip-Hop, Punk, Goth, New Wave, Rap, Swing, Jive, Big Band, and even Classical. We have come a long way since the days of Turlough O'Carolan or Steven Foster.
The plot is not as simple as you might think. Two women, both gifted, both abused and injured as youths, both driven. A father seeking redemption at the end of his life... a vast array of opponents meaning to deter hope and subdue expression. Movies have been built on oppression and hardship for a long time. It makes for a great story (like Purple Rain, for example).
Beauty and the beast... continuance, salvation, rebirth, dignity... you could ponder the factors of this movie for some time. The music itself is meant only to be representative, not sterling, and you must remember the settings. I found the opening hard rock song of the piano being transported to the prison absolutely fantastic, and the finale innovative, and yet reminiscent of the "Acid Freak Concerts" of the late 60s, oddly enough. Listen to The Rolling Stones - "Their Satanic Majesties Request", 1967. Maybe they even used the same piano and the strings in the same way. However, I won't tell you how this one ends....
Nevertheless, make no mistake: Hannah Herzsprung's performance throughout the movie is absolutely stunning, for lack of a better word. You will not forget it.
I had a great deal of trouble tracking down a copy of this movie, since DVD copies are hard to find. In the end, I was really glad I took the time, and now, I am tracking down the CD soundtrack as well... yes, I think it is well worth seeing the movie, and owning the music too.
If it only reminds us how to curtsey, and rebel at the same time....
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