Doc offers impressive singing and insights into opera's nonmusical dramatic challenges TWITTERPhilippe Bezait takes viewers behind the scenes of a French opera production.
A behind-the-scenes performance doc that slyly echoes the dramatic swell of the canonical opera being rehearsed, PhilippeBezait 's Becoming Traviata watches as the theatrical boundary-pusher Jean-Francois Sivadier directs a production of La Traviata at a festival in Aix-en-Provence. Benefiting from long stretches of intimate rehearsal footage and the presence of star diva Natalie Dessay, the film will appeal to serious buffs but also holds interest for any aesthete curious about the interaction between director and performer.
Taking his cues from Sivadier's play Italienne Avec Orchestre. which invited audiences into dressing rooms and the orchestra pit, Bezait obliquely tells the story of Verdi's opera through sequences that roughly follow the chronology of rehearsal and staging -- setting things up with getting-to-know-each-other chorus scenes, closing with the fully staged sight of the heroine's death, but devoting the bulk of its running time to scenes in which Sivadier and Dessay search for the dramatic essence of her character's heartbreak.
Those well-chosen scenes capture the troupe's efforts to make the physical acting on stage as compelling as the singing: Singers whose powerful voices might intimidate the audience are coached in techniques of making themselves vulnerable; subtle blocking cues communicate the dynamics of a fledgling love affair in ways the text barely touches on. It's assumed that viewers know the story already -- in which Violetta, a jaded courtesan, falls in love with an earnest youngster but is forced to leave him by his father -- but those who don't will absorb enough of the love-and-loss template to appreciate the actors' efforts.
Rehearsal scenes offer the chance to hear these celebrated voices without the trappings of a full production, but Bezait sometimes caps a long bit of rehearsal footage with audio of the orchestra-backed final recordings -- underlining the ability artists must have to see a finished work of art in what outsiders might mistake for a few people tinkering uncertainly in a bare room.
Production Company: Les Films Pelleas
Director: Philippe Bezait
Producer: Philippe Martin
Directors of photography: Raphael O'Byrne, Hichame Alaouie, Ned Burgess, Matthieu Poirot-Delpech
Editor: Cyril Leuthy
No rating, 112 minutes
Films as Teaching Tools
This paper focuses on the importance of using films as an effective method in the teaching-learning process and it explains both the main language skills that may be developed by watching movies and the strategies that are employed in using films as an educational material.
As Connell et al. (1996:10) argued: ‘no generation has a bigger media history because no previous generation has had access to so many different kinds of media and such a range of media products.’ So, the knowledge that students have in this area should not be ignored and media (films) should be used as a teaching material, but also as a way to motivate the students.
According to Ala' Elddian Abdullah Ahmed Bani Kalef, films started to have a didactic importance in 1969 when researchers agreed on the fact that videotexts could give students the chance to experience contact with contextualized language and the culture of the target country that would facilitate language acquisition.
In recent years, more studies have focused on the use of films as an educational material whether inside or outside the classroom. As Ll Ling contends in his On the use of films in EFL classroom, the learners’ motivation can be developed through using films, such as familiarizing students with the target culture. The use of video in the classroom offers an exciting and innovative way for EFL learners to learn English.
‘Learning English by watching movies is similar with learning process, since either learning process or learning by movies are promoting learners' skills.’ English is much more than just spelling, grammar and punctuation, so watching films help develop critical comprehension and analysis skills.
The activity of watching films should be an active rather than a passive one. So, introducing movies into the classroom is a challenge most language teachers must face. They always keep searching for more motivation sources to fulfill the learners’ needs and.
Summary: Comparison of two Arthurian films: "Excalibur" and the recent "King Arthur."
Few works of literature or legend are as varied as that of King Arthur and his round table, forever retold by each generation. Without question, the defining work of Arthurian Literature is Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Morte d'Arthur is a compilation of all the King Arthur legends that existed before Malory. Malory tried to bring all the stories together into one cohesive whole. Morte d'Arthur is a trove of stories about magical encounters and various quests that is loosely centered on the rise and fall of King Arthur.
Since it was written, there have been countless interpretations and adaptations. Today, we not only have countless Arthurian books, but many movies on the subject as well. In this paper I hope to compare and contrast two such Arthurian movies, Excalibur and King Arthur, and discuss what each film adds to the treasury of Arthurian lore. It is.
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Film Review: The Green Mile Essay, Research Paper
For my film review on an epic, I watched The Green Mile, staring Tom Hanks (Paul Edgecomb), David Morse (Brutus Howell), and Michael Clarke Duncan (John Coffey). Frank Darabont directed the film. Darabont also wrote and produced the movie. This movie had a very diverse, involving, and changing plot. And to keep this film review somewhat short, I will only share the main, and very important events that happened throughout the film. The beginning starts in a retirement home. Most of the residence are watching television and after changing the channel to an old musical, one of the elder male residence leaves the room in tears. His friend at the home comes to talk to him, and the rest of the movie is his story. You find that long ago he was a prison guard during the depression era in the south. He worked at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary on which a handful of killers lived out their last days before taking a ride on Old Sparky the electric chair. The prison is a normal one, with not many odd occurrences, until one day they bring in a new inmate. A huge black prisoner named John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), like the drink but not spelled the same. He was accused of the killing of two young girls. But after he is brought in, he is not mentioned for a while and the story focussed on Paul Edgecomb, who was currently going through the worst urinary infection of is life. Several of the inmates walk the green mile and ride Old Sparky in this time. And some new inmates come into the prison, but it seems as though that is all normal. Later you find that the warden (James Cromwell) s wife is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. Then, you find that the inmate John Coffey has an incredible power. He has the ability to cure aliments. The first such instance he cures Edgecomb s
urinary infection. It is quite a site to see, with the odd electrical field and the releasing of the illness by Coffey in the form of disappearing gnats. The prison guards, who are all close friends, decide to take Coffey to Warden Hal Moore s wife. They take him, and he cures her completely, but he didn t release the gnats as he had done every time before. They take him back to the jail, where he realeses the gnats directly into the mouth of the corrupt, spoiled, prison guards mouth. He was the guard hated by all the others, and he did not partake in the temporary release of Coffey. While in a confused state, Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) shoots the evil inmate, Wild Bill (Sam Rockwell). It is found by Coffey that Bill commited the murders that he was being blamed for, and in a magical handshake, Coffey showed Edgecomb what Bill had done. Eventually it came time to execute the huge inmate who cries a lot and like the night left on a night, John Coffey. There was no way that there could be a repeal on the execution, so they did not even try. On top of that, Coffey said that he was tired of the world and was relieved that he was leaving. Edgecomb knew he was going to be punished by God if he allowed the execution to go through and it did, but he couldn t stop it. Coffey s only wish was to se a moving picture before he died, it was the one which appeared on television in the home. After the execution of Coffey, you are taken back to Edgecomb telling the story. But his friend can t fit something together, the ages that Edgecomb had stated he was. The truth was, the he was over 108 years old. Edgecomb knew that was his punishment, he had to live so long, he had to witness the death of his wife, son, friends and so on. But later he took his friend to a small cabin, where he showed her a box, with a mouse in it. It was Mr. Jegengles, a mouse that they had back at the Green Mile, which was held by Coffey while its owner, Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter) was being executed. Edgecomb knew it also had the magic from Coffey, the same that he had, and he told his friend, I know I ll die someday, but if he could make a mouse live this long, how much longer do I have.
I felt that this was an increadible movie in terms of acting. There were the great, honest American citizens like Edgecomb (Hanks) and there were the antagonists that you just loved to hate, Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) and Wild Bill (Sam Rockwell). I thought that the acting in this movie was the best part. Every actor was perfect, but some, almost too perfect. The villains, I thought just seemed too real. Tom Hanks had an outstanding performance, which was only rivaled that movie year by Kevin Spacy (American Beauty).
My favorite scene in the movie had to be the very ending one. Where Edgecomb was explaining the part about Mr. Jegengles and the mystery of his long life. That was at the end of the movie, and the death of Coffey was still sinking in, and then this supernatural puzzle came in. Edgecomb had a great line there, about if a mouse could live that long, how much longer did he have. That is when it occurred to me how hard it must have been to live that long. And having to witness the deaths of so many loved ones. This made me think about how it really wouldn t be so good to be alive that long. It would be so hard having to continue on living through so many hardships, not knowing when the comfort of death would some to some one that old, and that is all Edgecomb wanted, his life to stop, for his debt to be up to God for his allowing a gift like that to leave Earth.
Overall, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. This was not a movie I thought I would like going into, a three-hour drama. But I really enjoyed it. This film was really involving, with an involving plot and excellent story. I give this movie all four stars, a 100%. And I can say, that after seeing this and American Beauty, that I feel The Green Mile should have truly won more Academy Awards then it did.
After her triumphs in the world’s great opera houses, Natalie Dessay crosses over. A tribute to the legendary Michel Legrand who has scored some of the most famous musical soundtracks.
This autumn, starting in fine fashion with two concerts at Paris’ legendary ‘music hall’ the Olympia, she undertakes a tour of France with the celebrated composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand.
Legrand trained at the Paris Conservatoire with no less a teacher than Nadia Boulanger and is known around the world for his haunting music for Jacques Demy’s 1964 film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), and for his work in Hollywood, which has brought him three Oscars: for his scores for the 1983 Barbra Streisand film Yentl and the 1971 film The Summer of’42, and for his song, ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’, from the 1968 Steve McQueen movie The Thomas Crown Affair.
Dessay first became aware of Legrand at the age of six or so, when she saw another film directed by Jacques Demy, the fairy tale Peau d’âne. “At the time, I would never have imagined singing with him. Now we are good friends and I am lucky enough to work with him on a regular basis. I think Michel Legrand is a genius, just as Mozart was a genius. He is also a melodic virtuoso. You hear two notes and you know it’s one of his songs.” Dessay describes popular song as “an art that can demand great refinement. A song like Georges Brassens ‘Saturne’ has as much value, for me, as an opera by Bellini. In opera, you open up and let go. In a popular song, like when your singing German lieder or French art-song, you have to concentrate your voice – to learn to say a lot with less power, especially if you are using a microphone.”
The album that Dessay and Legrand have recorded together is Entre elle et lui (Between Her and Him). With a focus on voice, piano, bass and drums, it includes Legrand’s Oscar-winners, a duet from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg – which brings Dessay together with her husband, the bass-baritone Laurent Naouri, the Lilac Fairy’s song from Peau d’âne (as sung in the film by the enchanting Delphine Seyrig), and the sisters’ sassy duet from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, performed in Jacques Demy’s film by Catherine Deneuve and her real-life sister Françoise Dorléac, but appropriated here (in this) album by Dessay and fellow soprano Patricia Petitbon. A further special guest on the album is the distinguished harpist Catherine Michel, who is also Michel Legrand’s wife.
Chanson de Delphine (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)Michel Legrand: Le Cinéma Michel Legrand: Chanson de Delphine à Lancien (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)
Chanson de Delphine à Lancien (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)Michel Legrand: Papa Can You Hear Me (from the movie Yentl)
Papa Can You Hear Me (from the movie Yentl)Michel Legrand: Cake d'Amour (from the movie Peau d'Âne)
Cake d'Amour (from the movie Peau d'Âne)Michel Legrand: La valse des lilas
La valse des lilasMichel Legrand: Les moulins de mon coeur (from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair)
Les moulins de mon coeur (from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair)Michel Legrand: L'âme soeur à l'hameçon
L'âme soeur à l'hameçonMichel Legrand: What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?Michel Legrand: Nous sommes des soeurs jumelles (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)
Nous sommes des soeurs jumelles (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)Michel Legrand: Le rouge et le noir
Le rouge et le noirMichel Legrand: Conseil de la Fée Lilas (from the movie Peau d'Âne)
Conseil de la Fée Lilas (from the movie Peau d'Âne)Michel Legrand: Duo de Guy et Geneviève (from the movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)
Duo de Guy et Geneviève (from the movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)Michel Legrand: La chanson de Louba
La chanson de LoubaMichel Legrand: La chanson Michel Legrand: Paris Violon Michel Legrand: The Summer Knows (from the movie Summer '42)
The Summer Knows (from the movie Summer '42)Michel Legrand: Mon dernier concert
Mon dernier concert