Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Schubert or a Cliche?

Recently I sat through a trailer for a new award-winning release in which a recording of the G-flat Schubert Impromptu figured heavily.  As it was a thoroughly cliched recording, it completely turned me off.

An actress friend asked whether I had seen the film.   She was somewhat shocked when I told her why I had no desire to see it, having been so put off by that deadly recording.  After a few minutes she brought the conversation around to her intense dislike of a much celebrated actress who, in her view, in all technique and no heart.  When she sees this famous actress on screen she wants to get up onto the screen and slap her into paying attention.

So I got up this morning asking myself whether the film might not have made some usage of the cliche aspects of performance in revealing its subject matter: Perhaps this cliched recording figures deeply in unearthing levels of meaning rather than being assumed, like wallpaper, to be a mere background.  (Granted, there is wallpaper and then there is Cezanne, Matisse, Bonnard...)

So I will, after all, go see the film.