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Presented by Visit Knoxville and Regal


Angela Schanelec · 2023 · 108 minutes
November 12 · Regal Riviera · 1:00 p.m.

Summarizing the plot of Music requires some creativity. The official logline is: “Abandoned as a baby, Jon finds himself in prison on a manslaughter charge. He falls in love with prison guard Iro, unaware of their fateful connection.” Knowing that the film was inspired by Sophocles’s play, Oedipus Rex, offers only a few basic signposts for navigating this utterly fascinating and mysterious narrative.

The tenth feature by German director Angela Schanelec, Music feels like a kind of breakthrough for her–the culmination of her steady movement toward a uniquely elliptical and personal cinema. “It was a matter of finding images for incidents for which, in my opinion, there are no words,” she has said. Adding, “As in life.” Schanelec is one of the last European Modernists, in the lineage of Robert Bresson, Alain Resnais, and Chantal Akerman–an artist in search of new forms.

With sparse dialogue, Music finds its power, instead, in the movie-star faces of its leads, Aliocha Schneider as Jon and Agathe Bonitzer as Iro, and in the voice of Canadian singer/songwriter Doug Tielli, whose original music features memorably. Music won the Silver Bear for best screenplay at the 2023 Berlinale and recently had its US premiere at the New York Film Festival.

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