Beethoven -- rewriting history?

October 17, 2006 at 06:16 PM · I'll probably see this movie because it's about Beethoven. I love Ed Harris, but this movie looks like it's going to give audiences a false impression of the composer. I'll have to wait until I see it before I comment further.

Replies (15)

October 17, 2006 at 01:15 PM · Here's a link to the trailer:

October 17, 2006 at 06:27 PM · Anything Hollyweird is most likely fiction. Even documentaries.

October 17, 2006 at 06:29 PM · Rarely does a Hollywood "historical" movie present things the way a historian would like. A few have come close. And, incidentally, of the events I have personally witnessed or have been part of that were reported on TV, it has never been portrayed quite the same way I actually saw it. And lest we get too critical of Hollywood historical epics, many serious historians don't always get it right, either. It's hard to know what happened and what these historical figures were "really" like, so let's cut the creative people a little slack. On the other hand, some historical bios have been so outrageously inaccurate, that one shudders to think of what they can do to a Beethoven.


October 17, 2006 at 06:35 PM · "Immortal Beloved" is a fairly decent movie in some respects, but the theory of which woman was Beethoven's Immortal Beloved is simply wrong, and, therefore, much of the movie is fiction.

October 17, 2006 at 07:05 PM · Great movie though. ;)

October 17, 2006 at 07:31 PM · I didn't really care for Immortal Beloved that much. I watched it just recently and I was just like o_O.

The scene with the Moonlight Sonata was fantastic though.

October 17, 2006 at 10:40 PM · This new Beethoven biopic is directed by Agnieszka Holland, and for that reason alone I will give it a try. Holland made "Europa Europa" about 15 years ago, and it is such a terrific film...maybe he will make a decent, if wildly fictional movie?

October 18, 2006 at 01:06 AM · Sander mentions a very interesting phenomenon. We know the things we're witness to are rarely reported with complete accuracy, sometimes with astounding errors. Turn the page to an article we don't have personal knowledge of, and we lose that perspective.

Some things can be accepted beyond question though, and one of my pet peeves is non-historical historical dramas. And I always think they could have made a movie that's just as entertaining (or more so) by handling events more accurately.

October 18, 2006 at 01:15 AM · Well said, Jim!


October 18, 2006 at 09:04 PM · Damn straight, Neil. And another thing....

Well, anyway, the point of Beethoven is the deafness, which puts him somewhere in the realm of a Christ figure and which gives him similarly thought-provoking and inspirational qualities I think. Casting a hot transcriber chick and turning him into Fabio...well it sounds a little distracted.

October 19, 2006 at 03:17 PM · I've always thought that (visually, anyway) the standard pictures of Beethoven always reminded me a little of Harpo Marx.


October 19, 2006 at 03:20 PM · Marty - Harpo? Harpo had curly blond hair.

October 20, 2006 at 12:06 AM · It's hard enough to straighten out history without blurring the lines between purported fact and fiction. That said, if we accept the movie or novel for what it freely is, we can be pleasently surprized. Consider "Amadeus"!

October 20, 2006 at 12:21 AM · I wonder if Ludwig will have perpetual silly giggles:)

October 20, 2006 at 12:57 PM · Not only does Ludwig have silly giggles, but he giggles in an exhalted, sublimated form. Consider the last movement of the 7th Symphony. Isn't that sort of giggling? Or how about the "metronome" movement of the 8th Symphony?

And, by the way, Amadeus was a good movie (historical accuracy aside), but I didn't think it was that great (except for the music and the acting and the dialogue). There was something wrong with the plot. There was no real direct confrontation between Mozart and Salieri, and therefore (to me) it was seriously missing a chance for an incredible climactic moment (in terms of story structure, anyway).


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