Director Thomas Grube (RHYTHM IS IT!) and his accomplished film crew accompany the Berlin Philharmonic on a concert tour into six pulsating, dynamic Asian metropolises, juxtaposing ... See full summary »
Director Thomas Grube (RHYTHM IS IT!) and his accomplished film crew accompany the Berlin Philharmonic on a concert tour into six pulsating, dynamic Asian metropolises, juxtaposing centuries-old traditions against the breathtaking speed of Asian modernization. An inspired examination of the cultural clash between western traditions and far-eastern philosophy, between the modernity of Europe and Asia, this compelling new film takes audiences on a journey into the confidential and private inner life of one of the world's leading orchestras: a backstage pass into the complicated lives of the artists and diverse musical personalities within this distinguished community. TRIP TO ASIA tells the story of the struggle between individual and community, the timeless search for harmony within oneself and with one's neighbours: A unique musical excursion into the overlapping spheres of melancholy, enthusiasm, loneliness and yearning, an adventure told through fascinating cinematic imagery brought... Written by
Screened in the UK as part of the BBC's 'Imagine...' arts series.
Thomas Grube's documentary is fairly straightforward, following the members of arguably the world's greatest orchestra on a tour of the Far East. What what might otherwise have become a drifting hagiograph is focused in frank conversation with orchestral members. A narrative Sturm und Drang emerges as some of those turn out to be prospective new members on their lengthy probabtion (we learn of their fate in the closing credits).
The most effective construction decision though is to intercut the usual woolly words about ensemble with scenes from the busy Eastern cities in which the orchestra finds itself. The civil, political and cultural parallels of trying to get the best from a group of individuals are manifold and subtle.
Grube takes care to allow musical extracts just enough room to breathe and support claims of the orchestra's prowess without supplanting the real interest of the film. Informative, inspiring, highly but deftly detailed: very, very good indeed. 9/10
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