Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Les Contes D'Hoffmann |
The Tales of Hoffmann
Actor: Neil Shicoff
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
La Femme Robot Et Autres Choses Increibles
Ellie | North Shore of Boston, USA | 07/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Offenbach at his best - or most camp. You decide. The music is splendid. The characters are right out of the nineteenth century, when incipient science and decaying christianity crossed curves as regimes fell, rose, then fell again in revolution or repression. This was the age of the fantastic - when men wanted to believe something new and bizarre before breakfast. That, when the times were, thanks to the industrial revolution, becoming uglier and less bucolic, nonetheless, artists from Beethoven, Shubert, Mendelsohnn, Liszt to that last romantic (excepting Rachmaninoff), Brahms, strove to put a brave face on the march to industrial anonymity by pasting it over with a pastiche of minor chords, arpeggios and haunting strings.
Despite all the scarcely credible characters and wonderful singing (and acting), the heroine was the mechanical woman who captured Hofmann's heart (which shows how emotionally barren he must have been) with her lovely singing and unapproachable remoteness (being mechanical is about as remote from being human as one can get).
There is a striking scene toward the end when another unapproachable lovely Hoffman was obsessing over gets away from him by stepping through a mirror into death and appears seconds later in a gondola with her devil lover. There's no way he's going to get over that. We're all going to step through that mirror someday without being able to take with us those we love (one must envy those ancient Egyptians who could sacrifice their maids and guards and such to serve them in the afterlife). We can't do that.
The truth is that everyone we love will leave us. This is a work of art that allows us to understand that. Chasing after impossible loves (our limbic system is responsible for that) will lead to the unhappiness Hofmann found. In the end, he is a depraved drunk - as were many in nineteenth century society, gin was cheap, you know - singing his heart out."