Stravinsky in Hollywood, a film by Michael Capalbo, tells the story of an "old school" European artist knocking heads with the brash New World. The documentary uses a combination of existing archival footage (some never before seen), interviews with Stravinsky and his assistant Robert Craft, and premieres several big studio film scenes of the 40s with music Stravinsky wrote for them.Stravinsky in Hollywood, a film by Michael Capalbo, tells the story of an "old school" European artist knocking heads with the brash New World. The documentary uses a combination of existing archival footage (some never before seen), interviews with Stravinsky and his assistant Robert Craft, and premieres several big studio film scenes of the 40s with music Stravinsky wrote for them. Read less
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
A special man in a special place and timeSeptember 17, 2014By Dean Frey See All My Reviews"Stravinsky may have been a towering genius and the greatest 20th century composer, but he was also an odd duck. The time Stravinsky spent in Hollywood in the 40s, 50s and 60s was considerable, and the artistic journey he took there was profound, in spite of his eccentricities. The stories told by the filmmaker Marco Capalbo in this film present both the music and the personality of a special man in a special place and time. Some have complained about the re-enactments with actors portraying the Stravinskys and Robert Craft, but I enjoyed the performances enough to forgive the ingenuousness of the presentation. (With the focus on archival film, its not made clear in the DVD/Bluray packaging that these reenactments are part of the project at all. Ive read reviews that talk about home movies, but theres no mention of the actors.) Eric Gorlow, who plays Craft, has a Tony Perkins vibe, which is entirely appropriate for this charming but slightly sinister character. And Giovanni Ombra channels Stravinsky as Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson: bald, smoking cigarettes with a holder, and walking completely self-absorbed a few steps ahead of both Craft and Mrs. Stravinsky. Stravinskys Hollywood hopes, like so many others (Heitor Villa-Lobos, F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner to name a few) didnt pan out, either in terms of his artistic or his pecuniary dreams. Neither composers nor writers were particularly valued by the system at the time. In one of the most striking sections of the film, Capalbo matches music Stravinsky originally planned with the scenes of classic movies he worked on, including Jane Eyre and The Song of Bernadette. What might have been! The Bluray of the film looks and sound splendid. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole project."Report Abuse
Bad newsJuly 7, 2014By Paul Alter (Wilkinsburg, PA)See All My Reviews"A prominent film maker, whose name I cannot remember, once said, Don't do something just because you can. The makers of this so-called documentary should have heeded that advice. Just because they had the facilities to make this production doesn't make it worth making. One of the first rules of motion pictures/TV is that the picture and sound should complement each other. In the case of Stravinsky in Hollywood they do not. It's simply the bugaboo of all didactic films -- write a lecture and then find pictures to fit. That's pretty much the case here; if you play the DVD with the pictures turned off you get almost as much information as you would with the picture on. The promo for the disc promises that we're going to see scenes from Hollywood movies as scored by Stravinsky. Well, we don't. The story is that Stravinsky scored some scenes but his score was not used. So, he took the charts and adapted them for concert performance. What we get, therefore, is music by Stravinsky that may or may not relate to the visuals, and in most cases the effect is not kind to the music. I've been listening to, and loving, the music of Stravinsky since I first heard the suite from Petrouchka some 75 years ago. After watching Stravinsky in Hollywood I'm wondering whether my love, respect, and admiration was misplaced. It's like hearing Karajan conduct a score you love and wondering if the music really that bad."Report Abuse
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