Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Chopin Desire For Love|
Actors: Jadwiga Baranska, Piotr Adamczyk, Danuta Stenka
Director: Jerzy Antczak
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
A TANGLED WEB OF UNRULY PASSION, CHRONICLING THE STORMY AFFAIRBETWEEN THE GREAT PIANO VIRTUOSO FREDRIC CHOPIN & THE FLAMBOYANTFEMINIST AURORA DUPIN, WHO CALLED HERSELF GEORGE SAND. ASWEEPING PORTAYAL OF THE FAMED COMPOSER ... more »
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Often Rewatched/Listened to by Me
Michael J. Cashen | Glen Burnie, MD USA | 12/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own most of the major videos celebrating major pianists - from the 1940's Katherine Hepburn portrayal of Clara Schumann to this 2002 Polish production. There are two that I frequently rewatch (at least my favorite scenes/music) and they are Amadeus and Chopin: Desire for Love.
I lent this Chopin movie to my piano teacher from the Peabody Institute (America's oldest world-class music conservatory), a concert pianist on three continents. She was a major student of Laires who studied under Philip who studied under Mathias who was Chopin's most famous student. She missed the credits then asked me, "Who played the music for that movie? Those were excellent performances played the way I was taught Chopin wanted them played."
Most of the piano music is played by a prize winner of the great Warsaw International Chopin Competition and other instruments are played by world class artists including cellist Yo Yo Ma.
There is a lot of Chopin music in the film, sometimes as background music or sometimes as the focus of a scene. There are several interspective moments where two or three minutes of beautiful music play continuously - including a scene where Franz Liszt plays Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude".
The Chopin: Desire for Love storyline has weak moments but flows well and is relatively historically accurate (I read Chopin biographies/letters extensively and play Chopin on the piano) and the acting is excellent. The characters are refreshingly believable and not simply the lineup of gorgeous models Hollywood seems to believe are required for leading roles these days. The costumes and scenery are top notch."
A gorgeous looking movie about a musical genius...
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's no doubt that in Chopin: Desire for Love, Polish Director Jerzy Antczak has made an imminently watchable film and the important events in Frederic Chopin's life are well dramatized, but all too often the movie trips up, becoming bogged down in whispery, arty pretensions, when it doesn't really need to be. The movie is gorgeous to look at, however, and a selection of Chopin's music is brilliantly used throughout with great performances from Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and other noted classical artists.
The story primarily revolves around Frederic Chopin's (Piotr Adamczyk) affair with the wealthy feminist scribe Aurore Dupin (Danuta Stenka), AKA George Sand. It's a rather significant time period in Chopin's life where he began to write some of his best work. We first meet Chopin as he is leaving his leaving his family in Warsaw and on his way to France in search of artistic enlightenment and public exposure. But upon his arrival in Paris he's meet with a cholera epidemic and finds that no one is particularly interested in his music anyway.
After threatening to leave for America, he meets George Sand who gets Franz List (Michal Konarski) to play Chopin's music at a recital one night. He's meet with a standing ovation and the stage is set for musical fame and also entry into Sand's group of prestigious group of musicians, artists and intellectuals. But Chopin's relationship with Sand is soon fraught with difficulties; artistic egos begin to clash and petty jealousies abound. Their affection for one another is often tempered by Chopin's arrogance and Dupin's unwillingness to compromise.
The movie does a good job of trying to tell the story without being too documentary-like and shows a side of Chopin not often recognized by music lovers, especially the trouble he caused to both his kindly family, and ultimately to the devoted Sand. He was a talented man who was a slave to his own passion and brilliance, and the impetuous and headstrong Sand was constantly caught between trying to fulfill the composer's needs and also attend to the needs of her demanding children.
Much of the dramatic impetus of the story ensues when Sand's artist son Maurice (Adam Woronowicz) becomes jealous of his mother's love for Chopin, and as Sand's daughter Solange (Bozena Stachura) comes of age, she also confesses undying love for the composer much to the chagrin and mortification of her mother. Eventually, the sickly Chopin comes down with tuberculosis and when the four of them leave Paris for the dryer weather of Italy, personalities and egos begin to clash.
The acting is generally good. But the problem isn't really even Adamczyk's performance but the fact that we're far more interested in Stenka as Sand and her offspring. This is probably because the Sand family is portrayed as reckless and intractable instead of dour and mannish. Stenka gives a powerful performance as Sand and she really makes the viewer believe that she is caught between the love of a composer whom she knows is gifted, loves, and wants to support, and the attention that she must shower upon her two temperamental and volatile children.
Ultimately we don't learn that much about Chopin the man as the film dutifully ticks off important events in his life while preferring to concentrate more on George Sand's socially rebellious nature (throughout much of the movie she wears tailored men's pants and smokes thin cigars).
The production design is generally well done, with the costumes and period detail of the mid- 19th century beautifully captured. The movie, however, is mostly worth watching for the magnificent score, which so brilliantly captures many of Chopin's greatest nocturnes and waltzes - the highs and lows of a great and grand musical genius. Mike Leonard May 05.
Sounds better than it is
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 01/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The music in this film is exquisite, with Chopin's compositions primarily played by Polish virtuoso Janusz Olejniczak, and other musicians in the soundtrack are Emanuel Ax and Yukio Yokoyama (piano), Yo Yo Ma (cello), and Vadim Brodsky and Pamela Frank (violin). The music however, no matter how glorious, didn't keep my interest throughout this rather overlong film. Not only does the film need editing in length, but some of the cuts are peculiar, and don't flow well.
It's an uneven tale of Chopin's relationship with novelist George Sand and her children, and Chopin's destructive self-obsession that turn the family into the ultimate dysfunctional scenario. The scene about the chicken leg versus the breast meat descends into the absurd and humorous, and though I realize there are people as silly and petty as how Chopin is portrayed (and I know little about his history), 134 minutes of this sort of petulance gets very boring.
Piotr Adamczyk plays Chopin with a remarkable physical resemblance, and Danuta Stenka fares the best in the thankless role of George Sand, as she tries to keep the sun revolving around Chopin, while keeping her children from doing something unhelpful, like committing suicide.
Filmed in Warsaw, Paris and Majorca, the cinematography is nice (by Edward Klosinski), with a lot of meadow scenes and wildflower picking.
If this film resembles Chopin's life, then perhaps it is best to just listen to his music. Self-absorption tends to become exceedingly tiresome...and one wants to yell at the screen "get over it !".
Best film on Frederic Chopin I ever seen
Lizard | Florida | 04/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So far this is the most historically correct film on the life of Frederic Chopin I ever seen. Why do you say is George Sand a central figure in this? Simple-Chopin's most poetic and expressive works were created when he had his "sinful laison" with this Sand woman. (What the movie failed to show to viewers when Chopin first met Sand, he was revoted by her....Chopin commented "Is this George Sand really a woman? I tend to doubt it!") Interesting to note--despite all of the wonderful musical compositions he created while living with her, NOT A SINGLE PIECE OF MUSIC WAS EVER dedicated to Geoge Sand. Perhaps Chopin was just using George Sand for a stable place to stay, bed and board (I'm not certain of the financial arrangements between these two, but I tend to think she paid most if not all the bills!). Chopin also most likely viewed Sand as socially inferior, and there is evidence he thought her inferior to him, but was equally extremely jealous and possessive of her; remarkably, Chopin was considered an aristrocrat, and not merely a performer of music, among all social circles. So, he never felt her worthy to dedicate a single composition to her.
I tend to think Chopin viewed George Sand as a strong motherly figure who took care of him. As he was very sickly, and possessed an obsessional personality.
True Chopin created his Etudes while he was 19 years old, but never in history was there more beautiful and heavenly tones ever penned during his years with that Sand woman. George Sand cared for him, but her incredibly spoiled children drove a wedge between them. Maurice, the son of Sand, was jealous of his mother's attention to Chopin. Solange--well--she wanted Chopin for herself, and tried to seduce him. Sooo...can you imagine how things went in the family.
Despite all of this perhaps due to the caring of Sand Chopin felt "settled" thus produced his most remarkable works.
I would say his film far exceeds the movie "Impromptu". Chopin: Desire for Love, if you want to have a pretty good idea of Chopin's personal relationship and how it affected his works, please see this movie. I'm not saying it's 100% accurate, and things historical should in my opinion have been included. (For example, a main reason why the couple took off to Majorica is to escape the SCANDAL.) Still, it's a pretty remarkable work. It's VERY WELL acted. Chopin had a lot to blame for the breakup--he was emotionally cold, easily roused to jealousy, and to add to this Sand's spoiled children. Add years of this sort of behavior. The movie SHOULD have included-Just before the Sand and Chopin breakup, Sand wrote a novel entitled Lucrezia Floriani. I truly believe this was the "final straw" that broke up the relationship for it is a thinly disguised account of their rocky relationship. Everybody in social circles, including Franz Liszt, recognized Prince Karole as Chopin, and Lucrezia Floriani as George Sand, even reading to her distingued guests this most back stabbing novel, revealing to all quite shamelessly a thinly disguised account of their own relationship to the world. While Chopin himself listened to the novel being read to her guests, he kept a quiet exterior. It was a kind of revenge George Sand had. It was not far after this reading, Chopin left Nohant and Sand's life forever. THAT should have been included in the movie, as I feel it was extremely important contributing to the breakup. Drama Trauma. Can you imagine how it must have felt for Chopin, who is socially conscious, to have his dirty laundry aired before the world?
The Sand-Chopin affair is reflected in Chopin's music-some creations most sublime and highly emotional; others dark and turbulent. Their relationship was the sum total of Romanticism: Emotion, and huge quantities of it, and extreme. (It was fashionable at the time, for example, to threaten suicide, because it represented emotional turbulence, and anything emotional was....art.)
Did Chopin and this Sand woman really have sex as the movie depicted? To be honest I tend to seriously doubt it. He was infected with tuberculosis, and it's short of a miracle the whole household didn't die of it.
You gotta see this movie! I absolutely worship Frederic Chopin and practice only his music, and I have read many biographical sources of his life including his letters, and George Sand. This movie is closest to the actual relationship that I can think of. I think it's pure genius.
But George Sand should never be seen as a villian, for she was a remarkably liberated woman who was ahead of her time. Remember she existed when the slave trade was going on in the United States in the 1800's. She viewed woman as equals to men, and nothing wrong with being independent. And her contribution of great quantities of love and care toward Chopin that inspired the most sublime works for the pianoforte ever in history that far exceeds the complete powers of an entire orchestra and chorus combined, was undeniable due to the influence of Chopin's love for George Sand.