Music and cinema complemente each other. Even the silent picture wasn’t “voiceless”: the music filled the motion picture with the concept and made atmosphere. In this article we will “provide” the list of movies on music and musicians filming by the outstanding directors!
Amadeus (1984). Directed by Milos forman
Antonio Salieri: [to Father Vogel] “I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.”
For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer‘s Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he’d left behind during the Czech political crises of 1968. Amadeus is an expansion of a Viennese “urban legend” concerning the death of 18th-century musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the vantage point of an insane asylum, aging royal composer Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) recalls the events of three decades earlier when the young Mozart (Tom Hulce) first gained favor in the court of Austrian emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones). Disguising himself as a mysterious benefactor, Salieri commissions the backbreaking Requiem, which eventually costs Mozart his health, wealth, and life. Among the film’s many pearls of dialogue, the best line goes to the emperor, who rejects a Mozart composition on the grounds that it has “too many notes.”
Ray (2004). Directed by Taylor Hackford
Ray Charles: “Rises like mercury on a hot summer day.”
Born in a poor town in Georgia, Ray Charles went blind at the age of seven shortly after witnessing his younger brother’s accidental death. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard. The soulful singer gained a reputation and then exploded with worldwide fame when he pioneered incorporating gospel, country, jazz and orchestral influences into his inimitable style. As he revolutionized the way people appreciated music, he simultaneously fought segregation in the very clubs that launched him and championed artists’ rights within the corporate music business.
By the way, early review was written for the movie “Whiplash”.
The Legend of 1900 (La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano; 1998). Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
1900: “Take piano: keys begin, keys end. You know there are 88 of them. Nobody can tell you any different. They are not infinite. You’re infinite… And on those keys, the music that you can make… is infinite. I like that. That I can live by…”
Based on a dramatic monologue by Italian novelist Alessandro Baricco, The Legend of 1900 marks the first English language film for director Giuseppe Tornatore. The film stars Tim Roth in the title role and features a stunning score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone. An extraordinary tale of a virtuosos musician born at sea, The Legend of 1900 paints a vivid portrait of a brilliant, but rather unconventional life. Named for the year in which he was born, 1900 grows up in a charmed world of stormy gales and swaying decks as he fashions his existence within the confines of his trans-Atlantic steamer. His natural talent at the piano attracts the attention of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton, who comes on board to challenge 1900 to a dual. Oblivious to his mounting notoriety, 1900 remains a fixture at sea, forever seduced by the sounds of the Ocean.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque); 2011). Directed by Joann Sfar
Serge Gainsbourg: “A guy once told me, if the parents like what you do, then it’s shit. You want me to write you a dirty song?”
Comic book artist Joann Sfar interprets the life of ’60s pop star Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino),1921-1991, beginning with his childhood years in Nazi-occupied Paris, through his early years as a painter and jazz musician, to his life as a wildly popular singer-songwriter, notorious bon vivant, and lover of some of the world’s most glamorous women. Gainsbourg‘s two-sided personality (narcissistic and self-loathing) and his over-the-top antics with Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon), and beatnik icon Juliette Gréco (Anna Mouglalis) share the screen with a giant puppet alter-ego: a scary, libidinous bad-boy who personifies all of Gainsbourg’s worst proclivities.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen
Llewyn Davis: “In my experience, the world’s divided into two kinds of people. Those who divide the world into two kinds of people…”
Jean: “And losers?”
Inside Llewyn Davis follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles-some of them of his own making.
UsaARTnewS will continune this list in the next post.