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Renee Fleming: A Film by Tony Palmer
Renee Fleming A Film by Tony Palmer
Actors: Renee Fleming, Daniel Barenboim, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Director: Tony Palmer
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2002     2hr 2min


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Movie Details

Actors: Renee Fleming, Daniel Barenboim, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Director: Tony Palmer
Creator: Richard Numeroff
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Decca
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/26/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 2hr 2min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A must for a true Fleming fan!
D. Fair | Baltimore, MD | 11/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I thought this was just so touching! I could watch this fim again and again and I don't know if I'll ever grow weary of it. So much beautiful footage and very "artistically" put together. Some favorite moments include: --"Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" live, where sings that high note unbelievably easy and on pitch
--"You'll Never Walk Alone" live, and in an AMAZING arrangement where she hits at least a high E flat!
--Renée's mother describes when Renée sung at the Richard Tucker Gala and Mom begins to tear up because "so was SOOO good!"
--She sings "Summertime" for the Clintons
--her being moved to tears while rehearsing for Otello
--The entire "Beim Schlafengehen" from Strauss' Four Last SongsThere's footage you missed and the footage you didn't even know existed! I also found touching all she said about worrying about how to balance her career with being a Mom. She actually discusses how she seriously said to herself one day that's it's been fun but now it's time to settle down, find a nice teaching job, and be a Mom. That was touching.And of course there's just lots and lots of live footage: Desdemonda, Ellington standards, duets with Hvorostovsky, Domingo, Pavarotti, and more more more. Plus, her in some REALLY REALLY ravishing dresses. A little annoying were these clips of Renée lip-syncing some arias. That was a little corney and boring. And there was a lot of just uninteresting dialogue, even by Ms. Fleming! Was it important to tell us that her mother was pregant with her when her mother graduated as the first woman from some obscure college? It seemed like desperate small talk. One thing I would have added to this film is narration or maybe some sort of timeline of her career. And I think the DVD would have really been interesting if Fleming discussed some scandelous or not so great moments in her career, such as the criticism she has occasionally received about her singing or maybe some bad experiences in Europe like the whole Schwartzkopf ordeal. I mean, the entire DVD can't just be happy friendly cartoon happy colors. The good AND the bad will make a compelling and interesting film.It's all just good fun and I'm glad to have gotten my hands on this. A must for a true Fleming fan!"
I loved this DVD, but...
kimcheegal | Canada | 11/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Overall, this DVD is wonderful. The content and interviews with Renee Fleming, her sister, family, colleagues, and fans provided moving and keen insights about the world's renowned lyric soprano. The vignettes were my favourites (separate from the film) as Fleming provided personal details about her past/current struggles as a singer, mother, and person. Her honest descriptions are touching and reflect her self awareness (what a rarity!). In particular, the vignettes "Vocal Beginnings" and "Rehearsal and Recital" were my favourite and should be of immense interest to other voice students--the former includes Fleming's comedic performance of a song that parodies the relationship between a singer and a voice teacher. The film also captures beautiful candid shots of Fleming with her daughters and in rehearsals (one in particular where she must stop singing because the music has moved her to tears). This just goes to explain why she is such a communicative artist.What I didn't like about the film was the way it was put together. It felt like a quilt made up of incongruent patches. Throughout the film, there are patches of Fleming singing/speaking stitched together with nature scenes. The inclusion of these nature scenes makes the film feel a little corny and choppy--almost like something one would envision in a New Age relaxation/meditation video. I also didn't care for the mini interviews with some of her fans. When asked what was so special about her voice, the opinions were oftentimes predictable and mundane. Why not ask the real experts? I suppose there is some merit in getting the audience's opinions but it does not make for interesting footage. More interviews with individuals like Sir Peter Hall (a stage director with whom Fleming works in the film) would have made the film more enlightening and insightful.I must give credit to the director, however, for his touching personal note (in the enclosed DVD booklet). In it, he describes his observations of Fleming over the 9 months it took to make the film. Too bad he didn't interview himself in the film!Overall, the film has wonderful CONTENT and it could have gotten the 5th star, had the film been put together more thoughtfully and aesthetically."
A beautiful dedication
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many will know Tony Palmer from watching his movie on Maria La Divina Callas and IMHO it's nice for a change not to have merely a bio and a chart of big successes but fantasy and interesting footage such as the incredibly moving 911 tribute. Renee Fleming has become an American treasure, America's great opera diva, but here you can see what a charming and down to earth person she is. Sweet with her children, always working on herself, she herself is her own worst critic. Hearing her sing "Amazing grace" or Manon's big aria floored me, her exquisite Marschallin and Contessa are beautifully presented as is her rendition of Rusalka's song to the moon, the clip that was made after she won the Richard Tucker contest. This GORGEOUS clip is worth the entire money alone, this is a very enjoyable DVD, not just another boring singer-bio."
A little more information please...
Jennifer P. Kistner | Crown Point, IN United States | 01/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am an extreme fan of Fleming and couldn't wait to find out more about her than I already knew in this DVD. However, I was able to see and hear a bunch of clips of CDs that I already own. It was great to see some of it live, but there was only about 10 seconds of each clip, but about 10 minutes of her rehearsing for the Verdi Requiem. Some questions that I would have liked answered were, who was/is her inspiration? When did she know she wanted to be a professional singer? Where all has she studied? What is her favorite role? With whom does she love to work? There could have been numerous questions answered. I also would have loved to see clips of her as a young singer and also in many different stages in her career. I also think that the film was boring at times and very choppy. I was extremely dissapointed with this DVD, but I still had to give it 3 stars because it is Renee Fleming after all. I am still a huge fan despite this poor DVD."