09 July 2018

Zwischen Kino und Konzert

At the start of Zwischen Kino und Konzert, a nearly 50-minute documentary about Nino Rota – I went back and watched it in its entirety, and enjoyed it very much – the narrator warms up with explaining that Rota and Fellini enjoyed a long collaboration, and that Rota’s music helped to impart to Fellini’s films a characteristic aura.

And I am sure that is perfectly true.  The slight irony (very slight, and no discredit to anyone, I trust) is that this documentary is an extra on the Criterion edition of 8 ½  (and fitting, as the opening footage for the Rota documentary appears to be the gala opening of 8 ½), and after minutes and minutes of silence (sometimes sound effects) and dialogue, the first music employed in the film is Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.  And then Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture.  And then Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers.

Staggeringly impressive that he scored (per the documentary) 145 films, including a period (1952-54) in which he scored 12+ films a year.  Funny story about his being denied the Academy Award for The Godfather because he had adapted a tune from 1958’s Fortunella.  With self-effacing understatement, Rota described it as simply taking the “ironic march” he composed for the earlier movie, and “slowing it down” so that its character became romantic.  The adaptation was much more involved than that description lets on.

Meanwhile, in Boston:  Seven days more until we should hear about the Doom upon Ear Buds.

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