Saturday, July 28, 2007
Phil Grabsky's "In Search of Mozart"
At many points, this film documentary has a made-for-TV feel to it. There are the talking heads, the role-plays, the snippets of music. There is also a slightly desperate air in its attempts to make Mozart our contemporary. The operatic productions shown are often in modern costumes and sets. The routes across Europe Mozart took are now replaced by crowded motorways. The biographical information presented seems basic, and straightforward. The film corrects some factual inaccuracies in Milos Forman's "Amadeus" (no, he did not die a pauper, nor was he buried in a paupers' grave), but raises no scholarly controversies about the life, or the works. What makes the film worth watching on the big screen is the beautiful cinematography. Some of the visuals are quite stunning. Also, to echo one reviewer, the performers are terribly good-looking.