In Search of Mozart

I saw this film over a month ago, but I’ve been behind on posting.

I saw it at the Camera Cinema Club. The director was not available, but we heard a recorded conversation between him and the director of the club. Here are a few things I wrote down:

  • Why Mozart? He had just done a documentary in Afghanistan and wanted to do something closer to home. He had also seen an opera and noticed that the house was packed. And just because he wanted to.
  • He liked Amadeus, but wanted to find the truth. Salieri doesn’t really figure in the real story. He also wanted to get sense of the various places Mozart lived and traveled to.
  • He wasn’t sure if Mozart’s mental and financial state would figure in his music, but the emerging consensus was that it did. The director picked some pieces for biographical reasons, some for critical status, and some because he or the musicians liked them.
  • He started with no budget, but filmed lots of different performances (around 70, according to my notes).
  • Mozart wrote almost everything on commission, not for fun. Besides composing the music, he also did all the work of setting up concerts, such as booking the hall, selling tickets, and so on.
  • The film ended up opera-heavy, though that wasn’t planned.
  • The first cut was 11 hours long.
  • It was shot on the actual locations, digitally (DVCam).
  • It is scheduled to open in New York on 7/20/2007, and in San Francisco in September.

My memory of the movie is a little fuzzy at this point. I remember being quite interested at the start, but fading over time, and frankly not being entirely awake for the whole thing. Given that it’s not a subject that I have a great deal of interest in, I’ll still rate it 2.5 stars out of 4 stars.

Seen 7/15/2007.


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