Live from China: Coverage of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition
August 2, 2006 at 06:28 AM · What are your favorite violin/classical music-related movies?
I love the movie "Together" and, of course, "Amadeus."
August 2, 2006 at 06:29 AM · "They Shall Have Music!" an old Samuel Goldwyn film. It's all a well-made excuse to watch Jascha Heifetz play "Intro and Rondo Capriccioso" and other great stuff. Really cute!
But very hard to get these days because of business idiocy; the folks holding the copyright aren't currently making it available, if I understand correctly.
August 2, 2006 at 07:05 AM · The red violin!
August 2, 2006 at 02:06 PM · I just saw "From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China". Its a really well-made documentary about a vist he paid there in the late 70's. He teaches several master classes on it and there's lots of footage of him performing, as well as the students there.
August 2, 2006 at 03:02 PM · Amadeus
The Red Violin
They Shall Have Music
Music of the Heart
August 2, 2006 at 03:12 PM · Humoresque with Joan Crawford. Hands down my favorite musical movie, although I haven't watched it for a while. It's a little schmaltzy, maybe, but such a great moody, passionate film.
Rhapsody with Liz Taylor for a laugh. (At one point the music students lept up and started improving on Zig, with Liz Taylor's love interest doing the solo. Really strange, even for musician-types.) But Michael Rabin played the soundtrack, so...
August 2, 2006 at 04:48 PM · Mr. Holland's Opus is by far my favorite movie, musical or otherwise! Music of the Heart is good too (esp. because of Stern, Perlman, and all the other wonderful violinists playing in it).
August 2, 2006 at 05:16 PM · Is Music of the Heart that one with Meryl Streep? I never liked that one.. we had to watch it in school all the time. And, it always bothered me that the entire strings program in that movie is comprised entirely of violinists. Not a single cellist, not one violist. Well, I'm used to it, us violists are always getting left out.. ^_-
August 2, 2006 at 05:47 PM · No doubt : AMADEUS !
August 2, 2006 at 09:14 PM · For me The Competition (Amy Irving, Lee Remick and Richard Dreyfuss), Amadeus and Tocar y Luchar (Venezuelan Youth Orchestra´s history with Claudio Abbado and Simon Rattle opinions)
August 2, 2006 at 10:53 PM · Can there be an achievement like Amadeus? I don't think there's a false moment in the film (not speaking historically, but in terms of representing our art and its world) and it's gorgeous.
I also love "High Fidelity: Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet" and the aforementioned Mao to Mozart, both by the same team.
August 2, 2006 at 11:15 PM · Amadeus, Mr. Hollands Opus, the Red Violin, and Music of my Heart are all great music movies
August 3, 2006 at 05:39 AM · Definitely "Unfaithfully Yours" starring Dudley Moore and a WONDERFUL performance by Pinchas Zukerman.
That's a violin comedy movie about a deranged conductor (Moore) who suspects his wife of having an affair with a top violinist (Zukerman plays the violin for the actor). After a few hilarious male headbutting that includes Moore playing a gypsy piece and bumping his competitor off the stage, there's a final climactic scene where Moore tries to arrange the demise of the soloist but EVERYTHING goes wrong.
I have not seen this movie in years, but I'd like to do so again for the laughs. Oh, and Zukerman was incredible in the Tchaikovsky 3rd movement.
August 3, 2006 at 06:23 AM · Nobody has mentioned The Pianist??? Great director, great actors, true and inspiring story...
I believe it won 3 academy awards.
Doesn't the Red Violin seem to drag on a bit?
August 3, 2006 at 08:49 PM · Speaking of Zukerman, he has some really great performances featured in the movie "Prince of Tides" (Barbra Streisand's husband in the movie is a pro violinist). I tried unsuccessfully for years to find the music he plays at the infamous dinner party and just recently, after over a decade of searching, FOUND IT!
It is "Cavatina" by Brockman. AWESOME!!! Found in through Sheetmusicplus.com
August 3, 2006 at 10:23 PM · Check out "Speaking in Strings" about Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg. I used to just pass her by as melodramatic, unconventional, etc. without really knowing anything about her. This documentary reveals some of her background, motivations, and challeges, and helped me appreciate her fearless commitment to music. Really moving.
August 3, 2006 at 11:18 PM · Music of the heart all the way. Amanda, How cant you love that movie... It is so inspiring. Even if there went any cellist or violists. I understand that though because I am a tuba player and our part in a band is so small that we are often left out too. But she did have a cellist son :)
August 3, 2006 at 11:22 PM · "School of Rock" definately rocked. I found it to be enjoyable, but I guess I have that sort of humor. For serious music related movies the ones mentioned above seemed to work for me as well.
August 4, 2006 at 12:29 AM · I like Music of the Heart, but I think Mr. Holland's Opus is even better. I also saw the Sandy Bottom Orchestra one time - kind of sappy, but not bad.
August 4, 2006 at 12:52 AM · The Pianist
Sorry, really disliked Mr. Holland's Opus. Touching story, but if that piece was my opus, I think I would WISH I was deaf.
August 4, 2006 at 01:25 AM · Gosh, I hated Mr. Holland's Opus. I also didn't like Music of the Hear. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.
August 4, 2006 at 01:42 AM · I think pretty much every movie where music was the focus was pretty absymal. I'll watch the full version of Amadeus, but when I saw it for like 5 minutes, all I saw was some annoying american laughing like the crackheads I walk past at 5am on the way back from drinking myself silly.
The Red Violin dragged on, and I just cannot watch fake violin player and over dramatisation. No one is that attached to an instrument, and no one can play that well with the 19th C. version of Paris Hilton giving you a happy meal.
Mr. Holland's Opus was embarrasing. Touching to be sure, in a very saccharine way... but the music was pretty bad.
I'm a big fan of movies (some are very commercial, so I'm not this big indie snob), and I'd like to think I have semi good taste. I've just never found a movie where music was the focus to be very good, except for Immortal Beloved which I really like.
August 4, 2006 at 02:37 AM · "Ladies in Lavender" has to be in the running, if only because (a) Joshua Bell does a typically beautiful job with the extensive violin solos, and (b) any movie with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith as the stars is bound to be first-rate. The film is beautifully photographed and paced; you have to suspend belief in watching it, and just let it wash over you. The "violinist"-actor in the film could have used more training/coaching in simulating playing, but he's not bad (especially considering that he started from scratch - on DVD special features). Nigel Hess's original score is obviously important; his name was unfamiliar to me, but the music is generally well done, IMHO.
In classical music (conductor, not violin) is the very funny 1948 black & white film "Unfaithfully Yours," in which Rex Harrison plays a conductor who suspects his wife's infidelity. The scene in which he concocts three scenarios in which to deal with her while conducting (variously Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Wagner) is hilarious. I've never seen the 1984 Dudley Moore remake, but assume that's good too.
August 4, 2006 at 03:16 AM · L'Accompagnatrice (The Accompanist): This film depicts well the psychological landscape of the concert accompanist--the pianist who has perfected the art of submission and self effacement. Indeed, when you think of it, it's sometimes a really thin line that separates those who make it as "stars" and those who play only a supporting role in the music-making process.
August 4, 2006 at 03:25 AM · Pieter, I am in fairly close agreement with you on your assessment of the movies in question.
What impressed me about the actors in Amadeus and Immortal Beloved was their skill at faking it. So often, we see bows and fingers going every which way when the music is not going that way at all. In Immortal Beloved, not only did Isabella Rossallini LEARN how to play the violin from scratch, but during the "Ghost" Trio, she was actually playing on the right strings with the correct fingerings! No, she didn't look 100% natural, but I had to hand it to the director and her for the accomplishment. Amadeus was great as well, especially with the young Mozart playing the violin.
The Red Violin is a movie you have to just lose yourself in, I think. Sure, those of us with intimate knowledge of the instrument are going to be watching critically, but I really enjoyed the evolution of the Corigliano score in this movie and the many personalities who played the instrument. Mr. Gypsy did a fine job personifying a Paganini-like character, I thought. It may have been over the top a bit, but isn't our image of Paganini?
Mr. Holland's Opus was okay on its first pass--kind of like how Forrest Gump was interesting in how it passes through many generations in one movie. I even appreciated the sentiment regarding music programs getting cut and how important music is in the development of students, even though these programs keep getting cut. The problem really was that in an effort to cover this man's entire teaching career, substance was lost along the way. More time could have been spent on the benefits of music education, etc. It drove me crazy that they let him conduct LEFTHANDED!!!--still horribly. And about that music he composed that was premiered at the end . . . tragic. It was a 3 minute symphony that took him 30 years to write. Oh dear.
August 4, 2006 at 05:14 AM · Atsushi, I've always thought of "accompanists" as very much part of the performance. I don't think any great soloist wants an accompanist who is "subservient".
August 4, 2006 at 05:45 AM · I can't think of Music of the Heart or Mr. Holland's Opus in the same category with Amadeus. As commented above, there's not a performance in Amadeus that looks fake, whereas the other two movies are full of such fake jobs. I often think that our orchestra would be lucky to have Tom Hulce (as Mozart in Amadeus) in front of us instead of some of the people we have to put up with!
If we're going to talk about Music of the Heart, has anyone at least seen the documentary about the real woman and her story? I haven't, I must admit. Wouldn't that be more interesting and inspiring?
And I loved American Graffiti and Close Encounters, but...
August 4, 2006 at 06:19 AM · Great point Pieter.... But I'm sure you've attended recitals where, during the applause, you see the relatively unknown accompanist bowing most awkwardly and tentatively, as if wondering how much credit he is getting in relation to the star performer. By the way, we're not talking about cases like Kremer/Argerich. More like Fischer-Dieskau/Gerald Moore.
August 4, 2006 at 11:17 AM · Shine (geoffrey rush was amazing...)
hillary & jackie
August 4, 2006 at 08:56 PM · Yes, Shine was really good. I liked Amadeus and I liked the Sam Jackson portions of The Red Violin...didn't care much for the rest of the movie. Most of the others I haven't felt compelled to watch. There's an old black and white film about a violinist that may have been mentioned above...I don't know the title. I can't remember if I saw "The Music Lovers," about Tchaikovsky--it would have been a long time ago. Finally, I don't know if I would still like it so much but long ago I loved "Mahler," directed by Ken Russell. Freaky and fun, that one
August 4, 2006 at 09:55 PM · there's a great movie: the legend of 1900. it's about a pianist; really well-made movie.
there's another nice one: the art of the violin. ;)
Mahler was FANTASTIC. i went and got a few of his scores after that flick.
August 4, 2006 at 10:17 PM · The Art of the Violin? Isn't that more of a documentary? It's a good one, too... that's another one that was constantly in the VCR at school.
August 5, 2006 at 05:47 AM · Erdem!!!
Thank you for reminding me about SHINE!!!
I can't believe I forgot to mention that movie--considering I OWN it on Laserdisc!!! Good golly!
Here again, the performance by Geoffrey Rush is truly remarkable--matching fingers to the piano!
Perhaps the only thing disappointing about this movie is that the film's subject (David Helfgott--sp?) was not actually THAT great of a pianist. I became very interested in learning more after seeing the film and was somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, the film was very moving and well done--a great illustration of the power of music . . . that exists in all of us!
August 5, 2006 at 05:59 AM · Preston,
Blue is great. Are we the only two on here who've seen it?
The Pianist is really well done too.
August 5, 2006 at 06:35 AM · It seems like it. I'd recommend Blue ("Bleu") even if you have to watch it with subtitles. Very interesting movie and I love Juliette Binoche in just about everything she's in.
I hear Red (Rouge) is also a good movie; also a Kieslowski film.
August 5, 2006 at 09:54 AM · you're welcome, Peter :)
August 5, 2006 at 10:17 AM · Kieslowski's Green (Vert) should not be overlooked. Nicholas Cage is great!
August 5, 2006 at 11:32 AM · I love Spring Symphony (starring Natasha Kinski & Gidon Kremer). Also Ladies in Lavender (Joshua Bell plays the soundtrack) & Humoreske (Isaac Stern plays the soudntrack too).
August 5, 2006 at 01:18 PM · There was an old Hollywood movie, and I forgot the name, about the impressario Sol Hurok. It was a fictional biography, and it played fast and loose with historical facts. However, Isaac Stern had a bit part. He played Eugene Ysaye, which is really funny because Ysaye was a large man and Stern wasn't. Anyway, I believe Stern played a couple of pieces on camera. (Imagine Ysaye speaking American English with no accent). The piece I remember is the last movement of the Wieniewski #2 Concerto, and Stern's performance was fantastic. Anyone remember the name of the movie? Was it, "Tonight we sing"?
There is also a Peter Sellers movie called "The World of Henry Orient," in which Sellers plays (to perfection) a lecherous concert pianist who is hounded by two meddling but naive teenage admirers. There is a scene of a "modern" piano concerto that is one of the funniest satires of classical music performance I have ever seen or heard of. It's worth renting the movie just for that one scene alone.
August 5, 2006 at 02:20 PM · This is totally random, but have you guys seen Titanic? The string quartet who is in the movie are actual players!! That was the only thing I liked about the movie though...
August 5, 2006 at 03:51 PM · Yes, and they should have played the Water Music or La Mer. I didn't think Titanic was all it was cracked up to be either. It just gave me a sinking feeling to watch it.
August 8, 2006 at 01:30 AM · I loved the documentary Touch the Sound. It's based on the abilities of the amazing percussionist, Evelyn Glennie. It really changed the way I perceived sound.
August 8, 2006 at 03:07 PM · "The Pianist" is a masterpiece, I absolutely love that movie. And regarding faking in music movies, I read somewhere that Adrien Brody actually learned to play the C# minor nocturne just for that movie. I think that's really him playing in the opening scene! How cool is that?
Other great music movies=Immortal Beloved, Red Violin (of course), and I really want to see some of these old ones like Rhapsody and Humoresque...
August 8, 2006 at 09:11 PM · So many favorites. From long ago: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), with Mendelssohn's music, Korngold's arrangements of other Mendelssohn music (e.g., Scottish Symphony for chorus), and Nijinska's choreography. Wish Warner Brothers would remarket it with good sound.
August 8, 2006 at 05:45 PM · I really liked "Tous les matins du monde" and "Farinelli", both of which have really interesting soundtracks (among other virtues.)
August 8, 2006 at 05:56 PM · I enjoy the classical scores for the Red Violin, and Mr. Hollands Opus. Also the score to the recently released Pride and Prejudice is quite nice as is the first Pirates of the Caribbean.
Of course my favorite would have to be Amadeus which although historically flawed is musically superb. As far as Amadeus, I would have preferred a less freakish plotline and a more accurate historical portrayal of the greatest musical mind ever.
August 8, 2006 at 06:07 PM · Adrien Brody was great in "The Pianist," of course, with regard to learning the C# minor Nocturne; however, I think the award for greatest feat achieved in the category of learning to play an instrument for a movie goes to Gary Oldman in "Immortal Beloved." I saw the making of that movie and he truly learned every note of Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto. (Emanuel Ax is the pianist on the recording used for the movie). Truly remarkable.
A close second would be Geoffry Rush in "Shine."
Of course, on a somewhat less demanding level, Joachim Pheonix was still very impressive on guitar and vocals--he had never played or read a note of music prior to his preparation for "Walk the Line." He practiced many hours a day on guitar with a great teacher so he could play ever chord and pick every note of that film as well.
Hey, let's vote on WORST fake instrumental performance in a movie! Richard Dreyfuss in "The Competition" ???
August 8, 2006 at 09:50 PM · It's a ballade, not a nocturne.
August 8, 2006 at 09:52 PM · Oh yeah, at the beginning? I forgot.
I'd be more impressed if he'd learned the ballade in G minor. But either way, the man swept me off my feet. Always a sucker for melancholy pianists.
August 8, 2006 at 09:56 PM · These accounts of fakery on piano and guitar aren't raising my respect for these instruments... :)
Of course, to play any instrument on the highest level takes great dedication. But-- when's the last time you saw anyone successfully fake the violin in a movie? And please don't give me Meryl Streep or Russell Crowe! Violin has to be one of the toughest instruments to get off the ground.
August 8, 2006 at 10:34 PM · Eh? When did Russell Crowe play violin in a movie??
I don't understand what's wrong with Meryl Streep. I thought her playing in Music of the Heart was excellent, although it wasn't "faking", if that's your objection; she actually learned to play the Bach Double, which I find quite impressive.
Really, the nature of the violin is such that it's difficult to fake convincingly; one really has to be able to play it---even if with poor intonation---to pull it off when the music is dubbed.
August 8, 2006 at 10:48 PM · Schmaltzy and B&W, yet as a young lad was attracted to Brahms by it - "Lieben Sie Brahms?" (engl. title unknown) starring Ingrid Bergmann and Anthony Perkins - still love (and play) Brahms, and his Third is one of my eternal favorites.
August 8, 2006 at 11:28 PM · Emily,
"The man swept me off my feet. Always a sucker for melancholy pianists."
Hell yeah! :) Not to mention sad WW2 movies, and Chopin. Adrien Brody, wartime Warsaw, and Chopin....the recipe for a perfect movie. :)
I have to admit, after I saw "The Pianist" I, a keyboard-challenged musician if there ever was one, I immediately downloaded the sheet music to the C# minor. I also got the G minor ballade, but one look at the second page onwards and I decided it was a bad idea.
August 8, 2006 at 11:53 PM · Why does nobody remember old films in which famous violinists appeared? For example, J. Heifetz in 'Carnegie Hall' and 'They shall have music', T. Seidel in 'Melody for three', I. Stern in 'Tonight we sing', and so on.
August 9, 2006 at 03:14 AM · I'm pretty sure the C# minor (opus post.) is a Nocturne. This is the one Milstein arranged for violin/piano, yes?
August 9, 2006 at 04:11 AM · The Russell Crowe movie was Master and Commander, for which he bragged that he studied the violin for six months. I didn't hear or read anything about Meryl Streep's preparation for her movie, although I remember a teacher or consultant was credited. In any case, neither's playing was used in their respective films, and no wonder! I wouldn't want to study the piano for 6 months and be heard publicly.
I realize that I'm sensitive to violin visuals (like most of us here) but I do find it interesting that it's a difficult illusion to pull off, playing the violin. More than piano or guitar, like I mentioned before, and which we've all seen done both well and badly by actors. That's why I get especially incredulous when movies use actors to play musicians in non-speaking roles. They look bad doing it, and their whole purpose should be to look good!
Oh well, I'm sure there's someone who sounds just like me on countryguitarist.com ripping on Joaquin Phoenix.
Now in Humoresque, I read about Isaac Stern actually putting his arms through the coatsleeves of the actor and playing the showpieces! Now that's special effects!
August 9, 2006 at 04:51 AM · OK, to clear up the "Pianist" Chopin confusion: the piece that Adrien Brody learned, the one in the opening scene where the German bombs disrupt a recording session, is Nocturne #20, opus posthumous, in C# minor. Towards the end, the piece that Szpilman plays for the German officer is the G minor Ballade (even though in real life Szpilman played the C# minor nocturne...) at the very end when the war is over and Szpilman is playing a concert in Warsaw, that's (I think?) the Grande Polonaise Brilliante.
August 9, 2006 at 05:44 AM · Yes. I'm not confused. I was for a second, and I could have deleted my confusion, but I thought it best to pass it on instead.
"even though in real life Szpilman played the C# minor nocturne..." Maura, I always wondered how in the heck a starving concentration camp victim in a sub-freezing room could pull off that ballade without even actually practicing. So he didn't huh? Figures. And you know that piano wouldn't have been in tune at all.
This is why I can't really enjoy movies. But Adrien Brody helps.
August 9, 2006 at 12:44 PM · Richard Tognetti (Aust CO) taught Russell Crowe for M & C. It's true.
August 9, 2006 at 02:27 PM · Emily,
Well, the C# isn't the hardest piece ever written, and he'd played it a zillion times before the war. The piano was indeed horrendously out of tune, and I bet he hit a few clunkers. So in real life I'm sure the scene was not nearly as beautiful as the one in the movie. But it saved his life!
August 9, 2006 at 03:41 PM · David Oistrakh's docudrama "Artist of the People?" by Bruno Monsaigneon is more interesting than any fictional movie I've ever seen.
Also terribly interesting is Nathan Milstein's "Art of Invention" video, which is a two hour interview/performance with Georges Pludamacher.
The same goes for Nadja Salerno's "Speaking in Strings", Stern's "From Mao to Mozart" and Perlman's "Moscow" videos.
August 9, 2006 at 10:59 PM · I forgot mention other two films in which appear Heifetz: 'Heifetz & Piatigorsky' and 'Heifetz in performance'. They are very interesting. And there´s a splendid documental about the Concours Reine Elizabeth (´Le concours d´une reine').
Kevin, Do you know 'Perlman & Zukerman' and 'Pinchas Zukerman..."Here to make music"', two films directed by C. Nupen? If not, I recommend you.
October 31, 2006 at 01:24 PM · This thread seems to be kind of fading, but I would like to recommend "As [it is] in heaven" (it seems that both titles are used). It's a Swedish movie (original title: "Så som i himmelen") about a famous conductor who decides to return to his home village after a heart attack. It's a touching movie (handkerchieves recommended) about how music can affect people. Since the first part deals with the young boy becoming a violin virtuoso, it is particularly interesting to violinists. The movie is still showing here in Germany. It received an Oscar nomination, so there may be a chance to watch it even outside of Europe.
October 31, 2006 at 08:34 PM · Chen Kaige's film 'Together' from 2003 is about a 13 year old violinist prodigy and his father. It is about the contrast between ambition and family.
I too love Amadeus, From Mao to Mozart, and all the others mentioned. I was surprised this movie wasn't mentioned. It's not great, but is quite enjoyable.
October 31, 2006 at 09:49 PM · I'd like to mention 'Kolya' a Czech film about a cellist and a little boy. Lovely story.
October 31, 2006 at 10:32 PM · I LOVE "Kolya!" One of my favorite movies. I was starting to understand Czech by the end of it though, which was pretty surreal. :)
October 31, 2006 at 10:47 PM · Both Together and Kolya are terrific movies, but of the two, Kolya is the one I'll be buying the DVD of. It really is sublime.
November 2, 2006 at 06:55 AM · I just watched "Together" last week. Good film, and children enjoyed it very much.
One comment from them though, referring to how realistically violin learning is potrayed "No class would go like that (student playing, teacher just listening)..teacher would be constantly adjusting, commenting, asking to to stop and pick up notes again, or repeat this and that in this and that way..."
November 2, 2006 at 08:13 AM · Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini)
"Before writing the script", Fellini noted, "I interviewed a lot of musicians, a good hundred maybe. I met the greatest Italian soloists. I managed to keep in mind their crazy identification with their instrument."
Violinist: "It is the brain, the heart of the orchestra... the violin is the most virile instrument of the orchestra because it is penetrating, phallic! It is not feminine but lovesick, vibrant and always actual; it is still the favorite instrument at conservatoire. It is the diva of the orchestra, the star! [...]"
Trombone: "An irreplaceable instrument used for accompanying the clowns when they fall on the ground. [...]"
Great movie, though a little bit fogyish, but it's always a great scene, when some brass players exchange the conductors stand with a giant metronome during the rebellion while an elder woman says in the camera : "Once a child asked me, where does the music go when music ends?"
November 3, 2006 at 04:09 AM · The film about Marin Marais, Tous les Matins du Monde, is my favorite, far and away.
November 15, 2006 at 06:46 PM · The movie about Grammy-winner Thomas Quasthoff The Dreamer (trailer). What a man! Great Jazzer, too.
November 15, 2006 at 07:12 PM · A Mighty Wind. Seriously!
November 15, 2006 at 07:19 PM · Yes, Giorgio---It's silly but fun and has some wonderful singing.
November 15, 2006 at 11:12 PM · No one mentioned Les Choristes (The Choir/Chorus?)? There's some lovely singing in there too, and the little boy Pépinot is adorable.
November 15, 2006 at 09:24 PM · "Un Coeur en hiver"--Emmanuelle Beart plays a violin virtuoso in love with a luthier. The film features the Ravel sonata, duo for violin and cello, and the piano trio.
Another that hasn't been mentioned is "Impromptu", a romantic comedy in which Judy Davis plays George Sand, Hugh Grant plays Chopin, and Julian Sands plays Liszt.
November 16, 2006 at 01:00 AM · They made a romantic comedy about Liszt, Chopin and George Sand???? Excellent, I must see that! :)
November 16, 2006 at 01:39 AM · Bravehart definitely--outlawed music, on outlawed instruments.
November 16, 2006 at 02:12 AM · Not violin related, but Topsy Turvy is fun.
November 16, 2006 at 04:26 AM · Should've added Amadeus and The Red Violin too....
November 16, 2006 at 10:43 AM · oh - Impromptu was hard. Same as having to watch "Sense And Sensibility", "Howards End", etc... Here's a short summary.
Buena Vista Social Club and Fitzcarraldo, should be mentioned as well. And the Boccerini in Ladykillers, feat. Prof. Marcus & his ensemble.
... and thanks to Luis for the tip: Tocar Y Luchar is a MUST. Unbelievable, what has been done there:
[quote from their site]
"Today, the orchestra system directly affects more than 250,000 children, most of which live in rural areas with limited access to the cultural and educational opportunities usually found in more urban centers. This orchestra system has produced some of the most renowned musicians in the world including world class conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Berlin’s philharmonic youngest player Edicson Ruiz. But most importantly, the system has exposed children of all ages, races, and social classes to the wonders of music for ever changing their relationship with arts and their communities."
November 16, 2006 at 11:22 AM · I second Linda..Les Choiristes was a wonderful film..very touching too.Together,Music of my heart,The Pianist and Amadeus are my favourites..:)
November 16, 2006 at 03:17 PM · Mischa, that clip was hilarious! :) I still want to see Impromptu though...I find 19th-century chick flicks immensely entertaining. :)
November 16, 2006 at 03:23 PM · This movie is also a bit off-topic, but I would like to recommend "The Red Shoes", a 1948 movie about a ballerina torn apart by her personal and professional life. It stars Moira Shearer, Marius Goring, and Anton Walbrook. The music, by Brian Easdale, is gorgeous.
I cry every time I see it.
"Julian...take off the Red Shoes..." (sob).
November 16, 2006 at 05:52 PM · Ooh, how did I miss this thread earlier? Love hearing about music movies that other ppl like. Thumbs up on the following
Un Coeur en Hiver
L'Accompagntrice (or however you spell accompanist in French)
Have always felt rather sheepish about admitting to musicians that I fell in love with Mozart's music because of Amadeus, and then listening to the soundtrack over and over and over. (Had never seen a violin up close, back in those days, much less played one.) Oh well, there it is. Just relieved to see here that classical musicians don't bash the movie, b/c I really really loved it.
Am nervous about seeing The Pianist. Holocaust stuff really breaks my heart and leaves me emotionally wasted for days and days. A poll here, for anyone still reading this thread - is the movie a must-see? Like I said, I love good music movies.
November 16, 2006 at 07:05 PM · The Pianist is a must-see.
The Piano Teacher with Isabelle Huppert (based on Elfriede Jelinek's novel) is very good if you can stomach a walk on the wild side. At least you will be glad that you did not have a mother like the main character's (which I understand is pretty much what Jelinek's mother was like).
November 16, 2006 at 08:05 PM · The Pianist is really excellent. Haunting and depressing, of course, but a brilliant film with some fantastic acting (and lots of Chopin). A must-see.
November 16, 2006 at 08:13 PM · Maura - the email on your site is not working. I tried to send you a private message but it sent back an undeliverable.
November 17, 2006 at 12:31 PM · I saw a short yet powerful little film on either You Tube or Google Videos called "Diminished Fifth" that I think ALL parents of young violinists should see. It is VERY powerful. I also liked Hilary and Jackie (minus that really uncomfortable part ;o)
November 17, 2006 at 06:59 PM · All right, Maura and Tom - I'm seeing The Pianist. Just as long as I have a box of Kleenex (and a glass of red wine) nearby.
January 6, 2007 at 04:42 AM · I just saw "Impromptu", it's fantastic. Who knew Liszt was such a wisecracker? :)
January 6, 2007 at 04:31 PM · I watched "Autumn Sonata" the other night. It was directed by Ingmar Bergman, and stars Ingrid Bergman, as a concert pianist visiting her daughters. The movie, although terrific and moving, depressed me terribly.
January 6, 2007 at 04:47 PM · You generally don't see an Ingmar Bergman movie to be entertained or uplifted, as profound as his films are. But there are a few "fun" ones, like Smiles of a Summer Night.
February 8, 2007 at 03:53 PM · How can "This is Spinal Tap" not have shown up on this list? ;-) I thought it was hilarious!
February 8, 2007 at 03:59 PM · This is Spinal Tap is the most pivotal music movie ever made!
~It Goes to 11
February 8, 2007 at 06:55 PM · Amadeus woooo!!!
And the pianist...wow, powerful! its amazing!
February 9, 2007 at 03:11 AM · Another Ingmar Bergman film with a musical theme: "Saraband". Great performances from the 4 person cast and on the DVD an excellent piece "The Making of Saraband" showing the 84-year old Bergman at work with his crew.
February 9, 2007 at 08:59 AM · Red Violin.
February 10, 2007 at 07:58 AM · Phantom of the Opera (2004). One of the guilty pleasures of mine.
February 10, 2007 at 08:47 AM · Amadeus--for sure...
Braveheart "outlawed songs on outlawed instruments"
The Red Violin--a little cheesy on the story line but powerful.
Jesus Christ Superstar--the original, not latest.
Phantom of the Opera--the original.
February 13, 2007 at 11:37 AM · "Vitus" (starring Teo Gheorghiu)
August 16, 2007 at 05:32 AM · To revive this thread for a moment:
Re: "Music of the Heart," aside from its violinistic feature film merits, I highly recommend watching the 77-minute documentary on which it was based, "Small Wonders." It is included as a 2nd DVD disk with the feature film (at least the "Collector's Series" release). It includes footage of the 1993 "Fiddlefest" at Carnegie Hall, which is recreated in the movie. Where else could you see, all playing on stage at one time, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Isaac Stern, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Mark O'Connor, among others of note, and of course Roberta Guaspari Tzavares herself conducting (the role played very accurately, it turns out, by Meryl Streep). Not all were apparently available for the 1999 feature film, which reconstructed the concert, and I don't think Joshua Bell (in the movie version of the concert) was in the original concert. The documentary itself was nominated for an Oscar.
Also notable are some of the special features on the movie DVD, including "Background/Wisdom Sound Bites," in which a number of the professional violinists talk briefly about how they took up the instrument; and an uncut behind the scenes version of the 1st movement of the Bach double concerto as it was being filmed at Carnegie Hall. All worth a look. How can you be a violinist and not give both movies two scrolls up? :)
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