New to DVD and VOD this week: TALENT HAS HUNGER
Josh Aronson’s look at music and mentorship debuted at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts this Spring. Screenings have followed at various music festivals, the Minneapolis-St Paul Film Festival, at museum screenings, and other limited theatrical engagements.
At the center of Aronson’s portrait is Paul Katz, a master cello teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music. Over the course of seven years, the film follows Katz as he helps hone the talents of four of his promising young students – ten-year-old Lev, practice-averse teen Sebastian, committed Emileigh, and the “hungry” Nicholas, willing to work hard to feed his Yo-Yo Ma inspired talent. Dispensing with much in the way of character profiles, concerned with their musical talent and dedication moreso than their personalities or biographies, Aronson instead focuses in on the impact of Katz’s instruction on their burgeoning abilities. Along these lines, Katz himself remains firmly in the mode of teacher, with little provided of his backstory save for his stated gratitude to his own cello mentors, and the importance of continued relationships with former students. As a result, for all of the cello music demonstrated here, this is a very quiet, smaller film, but one that pays tribute to the love of music and to its generational lineage.