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ballet_shalom_forever

Center Stage Controversy - I object!

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Speaking of the ABT documentary- which I have watched nth times thru the years, and always find entertaining- who is the very young dancer being offered a contract before she finishes school? I can't see from the angle.

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I was reading an interview with Amanda Schull and she said that the directors kept asking "Would you really do this in a rehershal?" "What about this combination?" "Is this realistic?" So they did try and moake it as realistic as possible but you're right, if it was really what a dancer's life is really like they would be bored to death. Practice, eat, sleep, practice, eat, sleep. Whoa, exciting movie...

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I'm going to say this again: it was a mediocre movie. It was a one dimensional movie about a three dimensional world. I was severely disappointed in the choreography above all else. I was amused by that whole Kent/Steifel/ artistic director love triangle gone horribly sour. That was actually the only part that rang true to me.

And I disagree that a movie about what a dancer's life is really like would be boring. You just have to pick the right dancer.

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Thank you, LMCtech. If I ever have a career in film directing, I know exactly who's life I would base my ballet movie on... Although there is already an amazing documentary, I think a full blown movie would be much more entertaining and reach a larger audience, and there will definitely be more dancing.:) Eh- good dancing.

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I'm assuming, OF, that you're referring to SF...but who could ever portray that miracle? I would rather savor the dimming memory of seeing her bring nuance and phrasing to the smallest moments and movements imaginable, than watch Follywood stumble at capturing the uncapturable.

I would preface the following paragraph by reminding the young balletomanes who love this film that I am just expressing my humble opinion and do not wish to diminish their enjoyment of CS. But a Forum is a place for opinions, isn't it?

I share LMCtech's low opinion of CS. While certainly not an awful film, it's soap opera stereotypes were solidly aimed at a target audience and the film sacrificed huge chunks of dance reality to sell tickets. I thought the walk-out/suprise replacement was ridiculous, exceeded only by the motorcycle/mattress de deux. One of the biggest problems was it had the wrong Director: Nicholas Hytner is primarily a West End/Broadway Stage Director; had a quirky (and very "stagey") artistic hit with "Madness of King George", then a sitcom-like "Object of My Desire" (also written by a playwright: Wendy Wasserstein) Then Center Stage.

Huh? What in the name of Billy Wilder made them choose this guy to direct? He's a journeyman film director at best and I thought it showed. (Some earnest acting and good dancing were exceptions)

BTW: Watch "Mr Holland's Opus" with musicians and you'll get the same cringing reaction. Especially embarrassing is the clarinet practice scene where he ties to get her over "the break", and she's not even near it, nevermind over it. Reed players will know what I mean. What a mess...even worse than CS, I think.

Anyway, brace yourselves: a real film director, Robert Altman, starts shooting his film The Company with the Joffrey in October.

Don't let me down, Bobby...

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I have to say that I adored what Mr. Hytner did with 'Carousel' for Broadway, in the late 90s.

His version with choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan was among the top broadway productions I've ever seen. :)

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Hopefully my movie (haha, can't believe I'm talking like I'm positive it's going to happen) won't be too "Hollywood," or as you put it, "Follywood." I'm looking more into creating independent films that reach far deeper than the surface of things. I don't doubt it will be possible to capture Suzanne Farrell in a nutshell of a movie, since I consider film making an art that in itself should be able to do anything (did that make any sense? I'm not the best with words:(). Of course it will be difficult, though, and I will have to pull out all my resources and knowledge to accomplish something like this. Sorry if you don't want to see a Farrell movie or if you don't think anyone can do it, but I'm willing to try.:)

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Watermill, I also don't think Hytner is much of a film director (can't speak for his stage work, but in principle I'm against these "reinterpretations" of Rodgers and Hammerstein that turn the harmless kitsch of the originals into pretentious depressing kitsch that goes on longer, if you'll forgive me, glebb. :) I think he may be a gifted stage director who just doesn't have much movie savvy. He may acquire more, but I doubt it -- either you show the knack straightaway, as Fosse did, or you don't, I fear.

I'd forgotten that Altman was going to direct the new one. I haven't thought much of his recent efforts, but he at least is a genuine movie guy, so we'll see.

Old Fashioned, if your movie didn't succeed, the fault would lie not with you but with the Catch-22 that afflicts all biographical movies about great stars. It takes a great star to play one, but but part of what makes a great star is that person's outstanding and unique qualities, which are unlikely to be duplicated or even approximated. Even if you can find a person of equal star voltage, that person is likely to be so different that the concept doesn't work. And if you go with a lesser performer, you come up with Brolin and Clayburgh as....Gable and Lombard. (I'm not making that up.)

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I could never get through the movie 'Carousel'. The actors seemed directed to be too prim proper and air headed for me.

Hytners stage version besides being cinematic and amazing to watch, grabbed me with it's dark side of the characters.

:)

Wish you had seen it Dirac. I did not go to see the recent broadway 'Oklahoma' because I didn't think it would live up to the experience I had with Hytners 'Carousel'.

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I agree those movies aren't very good, and you may very well be right about that production. I'm not a big Rodgers and Hammerstein fan generally, although I admire some individual songs, so that may be it.......

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There is no way I'm expecting a clone of Suzanne Farrell to show up on my doorstep, or for anyone else to expect me to find one of her (I mean, it is her) . The only thing I want is someone who can portray her well, and it doesn't even have to be about how well she can dance. That's what actors and actresses (good ones, at least) are supposed to be all about, right? The actress should be a ballet dancer, but I am not looking for her to duplicate Farrell's style- impossible. I may not even show the actress dancing- maybe just in simple classes and rehearsals and such.

I have a long time to think about my "career," considering I'm still in grade school. My mind will probably change at some point or another as I develop more of an understanding of this type of thing, but for now, this is the path that I would like to take.

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Say Old Fashioned, you might have a good idea. What about a film "based" on the SF/MrB story, but with no dancing, just an exploration of the characters. (Including Mrs F, Paul M, etc)

There certainly was a enough drama to make a movie.

Start writing that screenplay!

Watermill

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Actually I was just thinking that "Dancing on my Grave" would make an excellent trashy movie. they wouldn't really have to "spice" it up or "dumb it down". It's kind of already there.

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Someone should do a film based on Tanny LeClercq.

Heck, I'd pay to see just actual footage.

Billy Elliott, the end of the movie was a sellout.

Center Stage was far too many cliches looped into one movie.

The Turning Point, I can't get past Shirley Maclaine in a movie about ballet, something about all those past lives....

Dancers. Now that was a waste of celluloid.

Looking forward to Altman's, but given the ballet film preceding it, I don't have much hope.

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LeClercq would probably make an interesting person to do a biopic on, but I don't know much about her. The only dancer that lead a dramatic life off the stage I'm familiar with is Farrell, so that's why I chose her as a subject for a movie. If there is anyone else I should look up, please feel free to give me suggestions...

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