Subject: [club-l] Richter - review

Для читающих по-английски - рецензия на фильм "Рихтер, загадка".
Возможно, вам будет любопытно узнать, что думают о фильме на Западе.

The Film That No-one Wanted

By Joseph E. Romero

PARIS, 9 September 1998 - NVC Arts (a Warner Music Group company) has now 
released Bruno Monsaingeon's acclaimed biographical documentary about the 
pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who died of a heart attack just over a year ago 
at the age of 82. The Ukrainian-born pianist of German descent was one of 
the greatest musicians of the Soviet era, and for many, one of the 20th century's 
greatest pianists.

The video is available in many markets, but not the United States where classical 
music buffs and net users are having difficulty acquiring the video or accurate 
information about it. Not surprising, since classical music videos for network 
TV, once thought to be the Lost Horizon, have turned out to be a mere mirage 
as ratings drop. Still, NVC Arts marketing executive Alexandra Law in London 
hopes the film will eventually reach America but said that no agreement has 
yet been reached with a US distributor.

Moreover, according to a source at the Paris-based production company, American 
and British "cultural" television stations consider the film "too erudite" 
and have shied away from the film because of its length. The irony is that 
America greeted Richter with glowing headlines and a cover story in Life 
Magazine when he first toured the United States in 196O. However, times have 
changed. Has entertainment replaced culture? A single screening of the film 
is scheduled on 17 September 1998 at the Barbican Centre in London and on 
22 January 1999 at the Walter Reade Theatre in New York.

In Europe, the Franco-German television station ARTE has taken the leap and 
will broadcast the two and a half hour epic by the French writer-director 
in two installments tonight at 21h40 and on 16 September at 22h30, on ARTE's 
weekly programme, Musica.

Entitled Richter, l'Insoumis (in English Richter, the Enigma) and produced 
by Idйale Audience/IMG Artists, the film retraces Richter's early life in 
the Soviet Union and the major episodes in his career from the 1940s until 
the early 1990s. The film is significant not only for its exclusive on-camera 
conversations with the iconoclast pianist, but also for Richter's compelling 
first person narrative - a brilliant editorial touch. The result is Richter 
according to Richter - before the biographers, scholars and writers of books 
have a go at him.

While Richter tells his story, Montsaingeon's striking montage of photographs, 
home videos and rare clips flash across the screen to illustrate memories 
and observations about family, music, composers and colleagues such as Heinrich 
Neuhaus, Wagner, Prokofiev or Emil Gilels. Here and there Richter's monologue 
is dramatically punctuated with astonishing performances from concerts in 
Moscow and elsewhere in the 1950s and 1960s. The effect is reviting.

Monsaingeon also interviews several members of Richter's entourage, notably 
his life-long companion, Nina Dorliac, who died last May. Few details of 
the couple's personal relationship are offered, although a marriage was celebrated 
posthumously six months after Richter's death.

Other footage includes eulogistic reminiscences by Glenn Gould and Artur 
Rubinstein. Richter's comments on his relationship with Benjamin Britten 
at the Aldeburgh Festival, Karajan and his collaboration with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 
offer additional perspectives on the artist and his performing career. The 
film also confirms that there was nothing glamourous about life in the Soviet 
Union. Somehow, Richter seems to thrive on austerity and manages to sail 
deftly, albeit naively through the political vicissitudes and bleak background 
of the Soviet era.

If the film has a weakness, it is in the chronology of the war years and 
the dramatic events surrounding the death of Richter's father and his mother's 
remarriage. While repeated viewings might clarify Richter's impressions and 
experiences during that period, it is unlikely that they would ever elucidate 
what seems to be a rather knotty, Soviet version of Hamlet from which the 
scars never healed.

Like many French film makers Monsaingeon tends to stare at his subject as 
if prolonged, visual scrutiny could solve the Richter enigma. It cannot, 
of course, but instead makes only too clear that the ailing musician, at 
the time of filming, is on the threshold of death. This is particulary true 
in the closing images of the film - a moment of profound sadness - when Richter 
raises a hand to his brow, covers his face and withdraws from the camera 
whose presence, discreet as it may be, suddenly seems indecent. That having 
been said, the film is a distinguished achievement and a major contribution 
to the cultural memory of an important musician.