March 30, 2009

adele's song in rosalinda

Why can't this --

-- be more common? Oh... Rosalinda!! has been in my head since watching it. My mind conjures fantasy and farce brought to the awesome heights of abstraction. Has this been properly explored? It seems few intellectuals are interested enough in fantasy and farce to raise it to abstraction. Realism is our dominant trend. Realism has been brought to total abstraction. Realism pervades even today's most robust farces (which are not very robust, not even farces, and replace narrative boldness with vulgarity (a timid substitute)), and every musical must realistically excuse itself to be taken seriously.

This may be why Rosalinda is a forgotten part of P+P's filmography. But probably not; the Archers are well known for their aesthetic outrageousness. And I am now completely taken with their experiments in opera and ballet. This is not only a valid exercise in film, it has not been taken nearly far enough. Adele's song above is given a life I had never known it had; but in spite of the new English lyrics, the impossibly colorful set, the film acting, the somewhat dynamic staging and occasional crosscuts, it is still too similar to the original operetta.

Rosalinda's too static. Too much concentration on the singer. A playful song needs more playful images. Needs more life. Opera and old plays seem to offer a lot of opportunity for experimentation; much of it is obscure... and will probably remain so while filming popular books and remaking popular films remains the dominant commercial trend. Strange that a society should find no utility in its past and culture. Or maybe not so strange. We seem to have no interest in our future either. Oh, I'm getting off-topic...

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