Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Big Red One, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Andrei Rublev

Hiroshima mon amour was not screened at Emory last night so I caught the last 45 minutes of The Big Red One dir. Samuel Fuller. It's yet another serious war film, albeit one that focuses on WWII rather than Vietnam. It's unfair to review the film since I didn't see it from the start but I did enjoy how it touches the rich variety of experience instead of riding the "war is hell" bandwagon. I also enjoyed this bit:

A: [on bombing an asylum] Killing insane people is bad for public relations.
B: But killing sane people is OK.

I went to the Emory library afterwards to listen to Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's recording of the Ravel G minor concerto. I rarely love Ravel, but I did fall unabashedly in love with the way Michelangeli interpreted the slow movement. I felt as though I were listening not to a piano, but to the Platonic idea of music. I also strongly recommend his recording of Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785) sonata no. 5, a piece that surely deserves more attention by living performers. (For what it's worth it was much better than anything I've heard by Hummel, who has of late been resurrected.)

And now for Andrei Rublev. I tried to watch this three-and-a-half-hour monster and gave up after one hour. Last night I was chatting with the music librarian about it and found out that:
a. There are two brothers in the film who are played by the same actor
b. there is no clear demarkation between flashbacks and current plot events.
If this is not pretentiousness, then I am Donald Duck.


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