Attack of the Montages – The New Music (Film Review)

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It’s weird watching a film set and made in a place you know reasonably well. Part of your brain ends up having a strange dissonance that begins to affect you. You try to make sense of the editing that turns once familiar streets into a labyrinthine nightmare of shifting paths and hidden stops that makes the place you know seem hollow and alien. The other part starts rubbernecking in case you can spot yourself in any of the establishing shots. Which The New Music has plently of.

I mean an actual load of them.

Constantly.

And montages as well.

More than there needs to be.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, pianist and former child prodigy Adrian (Cilléin McEvoy) runs away from his family and agent and heads into the wilds of central Dublin, where he is able to find cheap lodgings at a flatshare in the city centre. This is, obviously, the least realistic thing in the whole movie. Adrian’s new flatmates are Will (Jack Fenton), David (Patrick O’Brien), and Jodie (Martina Babisova). Together with the form the “punk” band The Cellmates. Raised on classical, Adrian has a hard time adapting to his new life and new flatmates’ music. As he goes on a quest of self-discovery, he begins to loosen up. With his new friends’ help discover new outlooks and some other stuff, I don’t know, it got buried under a mountain of montages.

This feels like a student film. And this is as someone who used to make them. There are shots throughout that have no real rhyme or reason, no real meaning behind them except to fill a gap in the runtime.

And the montages. The hoard of montages. I know absolutely nothing about the characters save Adrian, and even then we get a character point. Montages are used to hide what could have shown proper characters. As it is, all we know is Will is the load one, Jodie is the free-spirit and David is just sort of there. I’m not endeared to any of these characters.

But, despite that, there is something warm, if predictable about the story. You can see where it’s going before the rest of the cast do. That said, there is the warmth of acceptance and finding yourself embraced by a new community that is welcoming in these days of late-stage capitalism and plagues.

Though I will be a cold day in hell before I call the music punk. Its whinny. Punk shouldn’t be whinny. It should be an angry, bar rattling, scream.

Dir: Chiara Viale

Scr: Chiara Viale

Cast: Cilléin McEvoy, Jack Fenton, Patrick O’Brien, Martina Babisova

Prd: Philip Kidd, Chiara Viale

DOP: Philip Kidd

Music:  David Sangster, Zachary Stephenson

Country: Ireland

Runtime: 83 minutes

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