Cycle of Trifles
The maker based her work on the 'Konversationshefte' of Ludwig van Beethoven. In the last ten years of his life, friends and acquaintances were obliged to write down their questions, answers and impressions in small notebooks for the deaf composer. The film focuses on these trifles from the everyday life of a musician. In his last years, Beethoven composed his 9th Symphony, the Missa Solemnis and above all the famous late string quartets, that were to have a special place in music history and partly fill the film's soundtrack. Ana Torfs: 'Beethoven himself stays off screen! The notebooks only comprise the words of others, but he is the silent nucleus, you can feel his gaze, the suppressed emotions.'In this stylish and tranquil film, the viewer is treated to a series of beautiful black & white tableaux vivants of a large number of 'characters': Beethoven's nephew Karl, the doctor, the housekeeper, visitors, friends. Only summary information is provided with narration; the rest of the sound track is made up of quotes from the notebooks. In this way, Beethoven's last years are evoked by contrasts in picture and sound. Small, subtle gestures and facial expressions, subjects and landscapes are choreographers in a minimalistic way into an intriguing unity.