Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Re: Latest MND Film: The Score
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0954  Tuesday, 8 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Pete Guither <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 07 Jun 1999 10:04:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score

[2]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 11:47:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score

[3]     From:   Douglas McQueen-Thomson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Jun 1999 10:42:01 +1000
        Subj:   Latest MND Film: The Score

[4]     From:   Randal Putnam <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 20:43:34 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pete Guither <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 07 Jun 1999 10:04:25 -0500
Subject: 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score

I would imagine that the music chosen for MND was more likely selected
for mood/evocation rather than expecting that many audiences would know
these arias (although the designer was surely aware that those few who
did know the operas would get the point).  Part of my reasoning for this
is the fact that the forest seemed to be populated primarily with birds
from Australia (Australian birds sounds are delightful and added a nice
touch to the scenes). This was clearly not a case of expecting the
audience to immediately think of Australia, but rather to add strange
and wonderful sounds to the forest.

Peter Guither

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
http://www.arts.ilstu.edu/shakespeare

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Jun 1999 11:47:14 -0400
Subject: 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score

>In reviews of the most current MND film, I've seen little comment on the
>musical track.  A query to OPERA-L elicited the opinion that the
>familiar opera arias were used (cynically) to make the ignorant feel
>they knew something about music.  I wonder whether Casta Diva and Una
>furtiva lagrima are instantly recognizable to most people likely to see
>this movie?  Would they be sufficiently familiar for the audience to get
>the (rather heavy-handed) point about the moon as a chaste goddess, and
>about longing for the love of an unattainable beauty who just perhaps
>has shown some sign of reciprocal love?  Or are they intended just as
>romantically pretty tunes, as programmed as Mendelssohn's fairies and
>wedding march, or as obviously emotive as a jolly Brindisi for party
>scenes, or the plaintive Cavalleria intermezzo for the exhausted lovers?

Thank you for bringing this up!  I found myself really somewhat annoyed
by the opera score, and actually, my opinion is that it's yet another
example of the director stealing ideas-in a rather silly way-from *Room
With a View*.  In that film, the two Puccini arias selected fit
seamlessly into the fabric of the film.  I had no problem with the
Mendelssohn, but some of the selections were just odd.  The use of the
Brindisi for an outside scene?  Casta Diva for the unhinged sexuality of
the woods?   It looked to me as though he simply hadn't thought it
through sufficiently, the way he didn't think through why he would want
to set the film in Tuscany in the first place.

As for whether or not those tunes are recognizable-I'd characterize them
as "greatest hits" music, stuff even people who don't know anything
about opera would recognize-and that they were used much the same way
the Triumphal March from Aida is used in car and pasta commercials.

Melissa D. Aaron
(who gets ready to pledge support every time she hears the Pachelbel
Canon)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas McQueen-Thomson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Jun 1999 10:42:01 +1000
Subject:        Latest MND Film: The Score

I agree that the operatic music in the new Midsummer Night's Dream film
was used in part to obtain an aura of sophistication and refinement -
certainly a cynical exercise. However, I found the most notable feature
of this opera was its pop culture familiarity. Virtually all of the
chosen operatic music had been used many times in TV advertisements,
usually in ads promoting a lifestyle or beautiful moment in association
with a product (e.g. idyllic Italian village life along with instant
coffee). My opinion is that the short grabs of music used in MND were
designed to tap into these established associations, acting as metonymic
substitutions for broader sentiments in feel-good moments. Through its
position in pop culture, much of this music functions as a conditioned
emotional shorthand.

Another notable feature of the music was its brevity; many of the
extracts seemed to have been selected to appear on the CD soundtrack
rather than playing a substantial role in the film. A parallel can be
drawn between this product placement and the more obviously commercial
sponsorship by 'Maxfactor' makeup.

Cheers,
Douglas McQueen-Thomson

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Randal Putnam <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Jun 1999 20:43:34 -0700
Subject: 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0952 Latest MND Film: The Score

The following is from the web site:

A director's note:

I knew when I decided to set A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM in Tuscany at the
turn of the century, it would force me to rethink the fairy world. There
would be no more jolly leprechauns crouching under toad stools. I was
less aware of the impact it would have on the music. I knew it would
free me from the tyranny of the "Hey Nonny Nonny" Elizabethan thing, but
with what would I be left?

So, popular music in Tuscany on or about Midsummer night 1895. I decided
to consult an expert. This expert told me that while there were popular
traditions in Naples, Rome, and the North of Italy, in Tuscany there was
none. "They must have listened to something" I said. "Oh, they did. They
listened to Opera."

A door opened. Standing before me were Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, the
entire bel canto tradition, I love so deeply, with its wit, playfulness
and sublime naivet

 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.