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Reviews: “A Late Quartet” – How to Lead an Unscripted Life

An Annotated Script

In the movie “A Late Quartet,” the four musicians of the “Fugue” chamber music quartet grapple with a question about their performance: whether or not to risk playing on stage without their highly annotated scores. The score provides them with a script for how to work together, and, to some degree, each of us operates on the basis of some underlying script, whether it is a script of values, goals, ghosts that continue to haunt us, or even an unknown script that lends mystery to why we lead the lives we lead.

What interested me most about the film, was the story of how the quartet finally found it possible to play without their score – to lead a free, unscripted life. Because it wasn’t pretty. It was painful. It was destructive. It was damaging. Is it possible that it is healthier, sometimes, to break from the constraints of positivity? To break from patterns of self-sacrifice and become temporarily selfish? It is possible that the way we grow embodies both destructive as well as constructive elements? The movie provides a good story about how evolve towards leading a free, unscripted life.

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