Sunday, October 04, 2009

La Boheme the Movie

The La Boheme movie was worth the long drive from Sacramento to the Vogue Theater in San Francisco, though the parking situation was ghastly. I parked in a "we will tow you 24 hours a day" lot with no dire consequences. I have been pushing my luck lately.

This showing was not well advertised. I receive all kinds of notifications by way of Google Alerts and Facebook fan page postings, but not many people seem to have known about this.

Besides Anna Netrebko as Mimi and Rolando Villazon as Rodolfo, only Nicole Cabell as Musetta seems to both act and sing her role. She is a very flashy looking woman with a nice voice who provided great contrast to Netrebko.

There was a lot of overlap in effect between this movie and the Zeffirelli production in HD from the Met. One big difference is the shots of Mimi alone in her room listening to the rowdy boys on the next floor. She waits to hear that all but Rodolfo have left before ascending with her candle. It is clearer than ever that she has quietly planned it all.

We love them together: Rolando's Mexican heat and Anna's Russian cool. Let's hope we will get more chances in the future. Anna's Mimi is dying from the beginning and never loses her tragic weakness. In her death scene some of her singing is done in voice over, eliminating the effect of curious energy just before death.

I cried.

1 comment:

Paul said...

How old was this film? By that, I'm wondering if it was shot before or after Villazon's widely recognized "vocal difficulties." I don't believe this was shown in the Denver area, but then (as you wrote), the lack of adequate publicity may be the reason I didn't know about it. Emerging Pictures is showing La Scala productions in the region, but only at a couple of theaters as opposed to the Met's much broader exposure via Fathom Events (which is based here and may be the reason why we have so many screens showing them).

With the exception of the "Tosca" with Gheorghiu and Alagna, I've generally found movies of operas to be less entertaining than the live HD cinecasts of them. Maybe its the imposed artificiality of film in contrast to the immediacy of a staged performance?