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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
When student Jenny is at Frau Krüger's (b. 1926) home, a picture of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and one of Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954) can be seen on the wall above the piano. Earlier, we see a picture of Furtwängler when the young Krüger is being coerced by a member of the Nazi party to rebuke her friendship with her then student (circa 1944). 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 »
I am still feeling quite spellbound, after seeing the film "Vier Minuten" this evening! The director's
opening sequence, with skillful use of silence and a relatively slow pace, immediately caught my attention. The photography was excellent and the acting superb. The story, although slightly contrived, was engaging. I feel that the subplot was not really connected to the main story and could have been developed further. The music was most enjoyable, but I feel that, although music features to a large extent in the film, it is not meant to be a showcase for the music, but rather as a tool to explore the relationship between Frau Krueger and Jenny. This is exceptionally well depicted and the acting absolutely brilliant!
I feel that there is a great depth to this film, which probably needs more analysis than I have had time to give it. I should like to see the film again and wish I could see a version without sub-titles. It is so tempting to peek, thereby missing all the nuances of the wonderful characterizations.
I would recommend this film to anyone interested in intelligent acting and who wants to be able to reflect on a film's deeper meaning, rather than just be superficially entertained. I enjoyed "Vier Minuten" and although it was set in a rather grim environment, I found it uplifting, rather than depressing!
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