Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A couple more lists

Seen at Borderline Film Festival
March 25 – April 10, Hereford.
Another Year
(dir: Mike Leigh) – Middle-class couple view social/emotional failure among friends; first half tedious/repetitive, second more dramatic.
My Afternoons With Margueritte – Illiterate handyman, Gerard Depardieux discusses La Peste with aged woman doctor; completely charming.
Black Swan – Hilariously OTT; supposed ballerina Nathalie Portman is seen dancing, but only from the waist up.
Genius Within – Amusing but overlong documentary about pianist Glenn Gould; few musical insights.
Rashomon – Four views of murder; 60-year-old Japanese classic; still shines.
The Secrets in Their Eyes – Brilliant Argentinian mystery thriller/love story; amusing and profane.
Of Gods and Men – Austere, truth-based account of Algerian monastery monks, facing life or (literally) death decision about terrorist threat.
Biutiful – Overlong, over-miserable account of petty criminal/father of two in Barcelona; Javier Bardem superb.
The Illusionist – Jacques Tati screenplay in cartoon of musical hall musician ceding his profession to rock-n-roll and TV; authentic and beautiful fifties Edinburgh backdrops.
Blue Valentine – American couple marry too young, squabble, separate; much bonking; do not be tempted.

TEARS, BUT OF WHAT QUALITY? BBC’s classical music channel, BBC3, invited listeners to say which pieces made them cry. The choices (a Chopin étude, for goodness sake) raised the suspicion that the tearful were parading their intellect. But I’m just as bad with Strauss’s Four Last Songs and Mozart’s Soave il vento.

Let’s be more vulgar: the Free French singing La Marseillaise in Casablanca, Jo Stafford’s Blue Moon, the Pogues’ And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, anyone singing My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose and/or Believe Me if all Those Endearin’ Young Charms, Elton John and Kiki Dee with Don’t Go Breaking my Heart (repeatedly on juke box during my first ski-ing holiday), Charlie Parker’s Embraceable You, the Z-cars theme. Salt water a’plenty.


Avus said...

"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"..ah, yes, BB the tears always flow. Eric Bogle's composition has been recorded by many, but the stark, spare beauty of June Tabor's rendering affects me deeply. Should you not know it try:

Fedorovna said...

Bonnie Doon - singing it as a lullaby to the children when they were small, I could never quite get past 'depar-arted ne-e-ver to return'. But how much is it words and associations and how much music or performance alone?

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: The best anti-war song ever. The sneering voice of Shane McGowan (Pogues) helps suggest the contempt for war felt by the man whose legs are gone. Just listened to the June Tabor version and felt the same constriction - singing a capella adds to the poignancy. In the Pogues there's a slight change with one line reading "Christ, I wisht I were dead." the word of the deity being positively spat out.

Fed: It can be both. Only truly superb sopranos can sing the Four Last Songs with with their languorous flowing lines; on the other hand Don't Go Breaking Heart may or may not be a good pop song (I'm no great judge) but it evokes a family-run hotel at altitude in Italy, great company (mainly Scots), perfect snow and the beginning of a love-affair with ski-ing which only decreptitude brought to an end.

Julia said...

Music often makes me cry, but it can be even more potent when wrapped around a movie. Thanks to Hilary and Jackie, Elgar's cello concerto and Jacqueline du Pre are inseparable in my mind, and almost always bring tears to my eyes.

Rouchswalwe said...

Abends will ich schlafen gehen from Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel gets me every time.

Lucy said...

Elton John and Kiki Dee and the Z-cars theme! You have a great soul BB.

I enjoyed the film list too.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: In fact the cello concerto is quite capable of doing it on its own. In conjunction with all that wondrously floating auburn hair - a double whammie.

RW (zS): Don't know it. Perhaps I'd better keep things that way.

Lucy: I'm a bit ashamed of EJ/KD but this was a time for honesty not hiding my bushel behind one of the late quartets. Z-Cars is of course a folk tune. After I'd written the post I turned to my Yamaha keyboard - conveniently close to my left elbow - and picked it out. And the tears were incipient.

FigMince said...

I'm inclined to get a little reflective during 'Surf's Up' (Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks), but otherwise, to quote from said song, I'm 'a broken man too tough to cry'.

My partner, the feminist d'une certain rage and fierce critic of humanity's inhumanity to critters large and small, has been known to get teary about Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending – even though I, as a SMAG (Sensitive Mature Age Guy), have explained to her that the fact that the lark is ascending suggests that it is getting away.

Barrett Bonden said...

FigMince: If ever a bird sounded alive and happy it's that RVW lark.