Yesterday my sister and I went to see the movie Quartet. I really enjoyed it. I really laughed at times, too. For the right reasons, that is. I won’t fill you in on the plot, and no spoilers from me.
I usually struggle with music movies. They just don’t portray my world in what I think is an accurate way. Sometimes they make me laugh for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes I just get annoyed.
Quartet didn’t bother me in the way most music movies do. Except for one thing.
I noticed that when they are setting up the lights for a show, you hear the sound of the lights being screwed in and it’s right in sync. When a woman is mopping you hear the mopping in time with her movement. But at one point in the film there’s a string group playing and the bowing sure didn’t work with the music we heard. I found it terribly distracting. Surely if they can get that mop sound timed perfectly, along with the bulbs being screwed in, they can watch the bowing and someone could say, “Hey, that’s not right!”
In any case, it was a fun movie, and I was happy to get out with my sister and enjoy it. I so rarely go to movies … maybe one or two a year. I suppose I should get out more often!
This is a recorded live performance (September 24, 2011) of Mozart’s opera Idomeneo presented by Opera San Jose and The Packard Humanities Institute in the California Theatre. King Idomeneo returns home to Crete after the Trojan War. Terrified by a violent storm, he vows to Neptune to sacrifice the first person he meets on shore. That person is his son, Idamante, who meanwhile has fallen in love with the captive Trojan pricess Ilia. Idomeneo’s dilemma is how to satisfy Neptune without killing his own son. Idomeneo is set in ancent Crete, and this unique production has sets and costumes based on Minoan art. It also includes Mozart’s ballet msic, which is often omitted. Idomeneo was Moaart’s favorite of all his operas. It was first performed in Munich in 1781.
Where & when, you ask? Here you go: California Theatre, Sunday, March 10 at 7:00PM
I do hope to get to this. Being as it’s in the California Theatre I probably won’t have any playing work, after all!
old film projector of Esther Cinema, in Cinema Hotel, Tel Aviv
(By user: idobi (user: idobi) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
Movies really can’t exist without music. Or most movies can’t. Even when they were silent music was played. So … think you know what the best movie music is? You can see a list of the top 100 and see if you agree with it.
I know absolutely nothing about some movie called “The Tree of LIfe”. Heck, I have to confess I don’t even know who Terrence Malick is. But someone has put together a list of the music used in that film.
The film is set in a beautifully re-imagined Venice of the early 1920s, where people have gramophone heads. A young composer called Hero Wasabi lives with Jacuzzi his loyal oboe-playing cat, and is in preparation for the upcoming Abacus Scroll music competition. But when his piano and composition are destroyed by a musical rival, the unscrupulous Count Telefino, Wasabi may be running out of time to write that winning melody.
Yep … seems like one I should see, eh? And I think I need a reed making cat, myself!
And then it says something about a “classic score” along with:
The movie is due to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France next month and reports now suggest Madonna is hard at work writing the soundtrack for “W.E.” with producer William Orbit ahead of the picture’s big debut.
… I can’t, in fact, remember the last one I saw in a theater. Hmmm. Maybe it was (embarrassed shrug) that James Cameron movie that was winning awards a few years ago … what was it called again?
BUT …! :
First announced early last year, Dustin Hoffman‘s directorial debut—an adaptation of Ronald Harwood‘s stage comedy “Quartet”—is now set to begin production this fall after the actor-turned-director wraps up on the David Milch-backed HBO horse-racing drama “Luck.”
The project is shaping to be a real actor’s film boasting a powerful leading trio with English thespians Maggie Smith, Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay for the story of “four retired opera singers living in a retirement home, who decide to sing once more at a gala concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday.” And it looks like some more accomplished talent may be joining the ranks: the original play’s scribe Harwood, who won an Oscar for his work on Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist,” is adapting for the screen.
The producer who inspired a fashion for Shakespeare in recent British cinema now plans to bring the operatic work of Mozart to mainstream film audiences.
Twenty years ago Stephen Evans produced Henry V, starring Kenneth Branagh, despite scepticism from investors and distributors who predicted it would be a commercial failure. In fact the film won two Oscar nominations for Branagh as best director and best actor and is still making money. Now Evans is banking on a romantic comedy inspired by Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte – and with a Mozart soundtrack – becoming a similarly unexpected hit.
The film, just finished and provisionally titled First Night, is a feelgood British drama. In it Richard E Grant, star of Gosford Park, plays a wealthy businessman who assembles a troupe of singers to stage Così Fan Tutte in his stately home. At a test screening last week the audience loved it.
Evans said: “People who didn’t know opera were more excited than the people who did. The music is so wonderful, so lyrical. People uninterested in opera found themselves loving the music.”
Some years back I saw the movie Cosi, about some mentally ill patients putting on the opera Così fan tutte.
Guess Così is movie worthy, eh?
Um … Sarah Brightman is in it. I will keep my comments to myself. Aside from that sentence.
Operaplot is over tomorrow. I’ve submitted a whopping 17 entries so far. And I’ll do more. It’s been fun to put them together, but what I’m sure was the winning entry popped in and then out of my head. Rats! If it doesn’t come to me by tomorrow, I guess it’ll have to wait until next year. If it’s done again next year.
Several people have complimented my efforts, and I have to say it really made me blush (well, not literally) and get all warm and fuzzy inside (again, not literally). I love wordplay, and I love opera. So getting positive words about what I’ve done is quite “happifying”. (Literally.) ;-)
Meanwhile — since I won’t post all my entries here until tomorrow — enjoy a bit of Darth Giovanni. (Thanks, Mona!)
This is fantastic publicity, immeasurable. What comes from this is recognition on an unbelievable scale. Some of the nicest sequences in the film are the chase through our building. Of course, it’s not a very good film otherwise.
-David Pountney, artistic director of the Bregenz opera festival in Austria
Hmmm. I’m gonna guess the Bond people aren’t terribly appreciative of that quote, but I guess he can say what he wants to say as he enjoys what “We charged what it cost and a little bit more.”
I read it here, and I’d blogged about it before, including the vido clip. I do love that part. I have yet to see the entire movie. Knowing me I won’t until it’s available for rental.