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Tony Palmer's Film of O, Fortuna
Tony Palmer's Film of O Fortuna
Actors: Kate Baxter, Jeanne Bull, Susan Chilcott, Kurt Eichhorn, Clara Huber
Director: Tony Palmer
Genres: Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 55min

The true story of CARMINA BURANA, the ever-popular masterpiece performed in Orff?s original orchestration and sounding is utterly different from what we normally hear. It forms the backbone of Tony Palmer?s explosive film ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kate Baxter, Jeanne Bull, Susan Chilcott, Kurt Eichhorn, Clara Huber
Director: Tony Palmer
Creators: Tony Palmer, Korbinian Mayer, Mike Bluett
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Tony Palmer Films
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/05/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great documentary
A. Lupu | Rochester, MN USA | 05/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Palmer shows us Carl Orff the man on all his facets, the good and the dubious. As expected from Palmer, he delivers it artistically, with the right amount of beautiful scenes as well as the ugly ones; the puppets and the hands performance are just great; the short clips of the Nazi era are also well placed and relevant to the story at play. This documentary goes to great length to show Orff's contribution to education through his Schulwerk (Schoolwork) and its dissemination through the world. Orff's music is used extensively through the film, but I was a little bet disappointed that it is not described or talked about too much. Obviously Carmina Burana is explained in terms of his history and background, but no about the music itself. For example, any correlation to Stravinsky's music is not mentioned at all, and there certainly is! Carl Orff the man was exactly that, a man with virtues and guilt. What endures in time, aside of the Schulwerk, is his music, somehow missing in this otherwise great documentary."
The problem of Orff
R. Ellis | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have watched "O, Fortuna!" once and, contrary to the DVD product description, there is no interview with Orff himself. Moreover, they mention that he consistently refused interviews with the comment "let them pick over my life when I am dead".

His sins in the Nazi era appear to be primarily of omission. He did nothing to help anybody, nor to hinder the Nazi party and was on their payroll. Compared to him Winifred Wagner was a saint in that she did save lives of artists and their families in the course of preserving Bayreuth. From the accounts on the documentary he was very much an "ivory tower" person: his work was everything. Members of his family say he hated the Nazis. He was far from being a hero and lived with a burden of guilt, but neither was he an active Nazi. Surprisingly, he was of Jewish heritage and managed to hide it from the government. Perhaps that forced him to keep a low profile and not rock the boat.

The film gives a number of short excerpts of his works. I guess I have to agree that as a composer he is not top rank, but "Carmina Burana" will endure. The other works appear occasionally, perhaps more in Germany. I live in Los Angeles and "Die Kluge" was performed recently in Long Beach.

Ultimately, his greatest worth may be as a music educator. A number of instances are shown on the DVD. I found the portion dealing with teaching cerebral palsy kids long and for a layman difficult to see progress. Perhaps Palmer should have shown short clips of sessions over a several week period. At any rate I would skip over this in subsequent viewings.

This is an important DVD in that it is a well balanced overview of a difficult, little understood man in a horrible time. Let the timid be warned that there is incidental full frontal female nudity."