26 December 2008

So, this might be sacreliege...

...in the ballet world but I really have a hard time watching Margot Fonteyn. All I can see is how technically deficient she is (bad feet, too) compared to even the corps dancers; she must have been mesmerising on stage but she doesn't transfer to tape well. The close shots highlight each missed beat and poorly closed fifth position. I think some of this might also be due to how much both film and ballet technique has changed; steps are both done better and shot better. This confession blurted out because I watched An Evening with the Royal Ballet - which started out like The Nureyev and Fonteyn Show. The DVD opened with Fokine's Les Sylphides (a ballet I happen to know the choreography for because Basil set it on the Dance Department) with Fonteyn and Nureyev, then moved to the Le Corsaire pas that Nureyev turned from a trois to a deux, Ashton's La Valse (which I'd never seen and loved), and finishing with Aurora's Wedding, a mish-mash of mostly Act III Sleeping Beauty combined with a little Act I so Carabosse could make an appearance. I had a little trouble believing Fonteyn was a young girl as Aurora - I had to squint a bit and pretend that I didn't know she was past forty when the scene was shot. But surprise - Gerd Larsen played the Queen; she must have been around the Royal forever. Nureyev was magnificent; such a shame, he passed far too early.

Rounding out movie day, because after I went out shopping I came back home and barricaded myself in. I finished Sylvia which was a good biopic, a little slow in parts and a little melodramatic on the score, but shot beautifully and I thought both Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig played their parts well (Craig with dark hair was a little odd, though). Plath was definitely a woman both brilliant and ahead of her time; I also happen to like her writing so I'm a little partial.

Rounding out the evening was The Reduced Shakespeare Company, a comedy troupe that "does" all the Bard's plays in ninety minutes. This was taped live so the three guys interacted with the audience quite a bit. It was funny until the "pretend-vomit-on-audience-members" gag whenever a female role died got really old. And I mean really old. Maybe it's funnier in person.

PS: I forgot to say that Definitely, Maybe has once of the best literature-related plot devices - and inscribed copy of Jane Eyre. So sweet.

Current book-in-progress: Don't ask
Current knitted item: Red variegated scarf ... still.
Current movie obsession: Wall*E
Current iTunes loop: I finished all the old Filmspotting episodes; I got iTunes gift cards for Christmas....heh-heh-heh, now I must decide how to use them

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