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Author Topic: The Soloist
Puffy Treat
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The trailer...

On the one hand, it's so obviously trying to be Oscar bait.

On the other, it looks like it does have some good performances. [Smile]

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Kwea
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I want to see this now.


You owe me $17.00.

[Wink]

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Launchywiggin
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It looks like it will be a good movie. I'm not a huge fan of Jamie Fox, even though he's been really popular since Ray. I also didn't care for August Rush, with its bizarre portrayal of music and musicians. Hopefully this won't suffer in that respect.
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Puffy Treat
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I never saw August Rush, but from the trailers it looked to be a rather ultra-sugary quickie holiday fantasy flick.

This is "based on a true story," so they're probably not going in that direction.

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Launchywiggin
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Oh--I didn't think they'd use the same tone as August Rush, I was just pointing out that I'm not fond of Hollywood's portrayal of the "inspired artist", even when it's Based On A True Story (BoaTS). People are always impressed with the idiot savant type, saying things like "Mozart just GOT music!". It's a portrayal that ignores the HOURS and HOURS of HARD WORK spent studying, practicing, listening, and improving. They'll throw around the word "genius" and "gifted", when I know that "genius" is the guy who did the most studying/listening and experimenting--and the only "gift" we musicians have is a penchant for WORK and PRACTICE.

Anyway--sorry for shouting. This is an issue that is still very hard for me to deal with as I've changed directions from being a pianist to a piano technician.

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Orincoro
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They had also pick the un-listenable recording of the BachcCello partita in G, Prelude (BWV 1007), by Slava Rostropovich.

I understand he' a legendary cellist, and he just died recently, and it was considered a classic recording, but it' too fast, it's almost breathless, and it' so un-legato, it drives me bonkers. Just a very personal pet peeve, but it's about the most overplayed recording of the most overplayed piece- which is just too bad because it's one of my favorites too- just not that recording.

I'm pretty wary of "musician" movies in general, because being a musician isn't very exciting, at least for me. Certainly never in the way music movies make it look. But then, I'm not somebody you'd want to make a movie about either.

Edit: Nod to LW, we once again agree completely on the subject of the "musical genius" myth. Some of the more naturally talented musicians I've known, of which I am most certainly not one, do the least interesting work- and that's really ok with them. I've found that, at least to my taste, hard work and a great deal of time and attention to detail are the deciding factors in music- talent be damned. That, and I think some of the most really interesting and groundbreaking stuff has been written by composers who were not that musically talented: Stravinsky, for example, or Steve Reich- more literary guys than musical in their early lives. Plus, my teachers themselves were composers who played instruments, but didn't necessarily see the two things as compatible.

That, and, it's so often the case that people will mythologize even musicians they know personally, somehow seeming to need to distance the person from themselves as some kind of freak--genius. You can find endless stories about musical prodigies, I even read a book called "musical prodigies," which was about the really exceptionally freakish abilities of a few historical examples and some contemporary artists. For the most part though, I am starting to think that musical prodigies are relatively common- but having the social-capital, the opportunities, the family environment, and the education and personality to make yourself a legend is exceedingly rare. Still, it's like anything else– billion of people can run, but there are only so many people on the Olympic teams- and do you think they got there for no other reason than that they were born with the best legs in the land?

[ September 12, 2008, 02:10 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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theamazeeaz
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I thought August Rush was adorable. But I was on an airplane at the time. It's not as exciting on the second viewing though.
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
They'll throw around the word "genius" and "gifted", when I know that "genius" is the guy who did the most studying/listening and experimenting--and the only "gift" we musicians have is a penchant for WORK and PRACTICE.
Sorry to disagree. I've spent many hours in practice, and still don't "understand" how music works. I've tried to learn theory, and while I can parrot some ideas, I just don't "get it."

Likewise, my brother has spent many hours in practice, and he does "get it" in a way that I don't. I've tried, but I learn songs by rote, he learns songs by understanding how they work. I say he's very talented, but he feels much the same way about his musical heroes as I do about him. They "get it" in a way that allows them to actually compose songs. My brother laments that he has never written a song that is even remotely listenable, that takes a different kind of talent. those that possess both talents may legitimately be called genius in my book.

quote:
For the most part though, I am starting to think that musical prodigies are relatively common- but having the social-capital, the opportunities, the family environment, and the education and personality to make yourself a legend is exceedingly rare.
I agree with this, to a certain extent, but there are plenty of those who did as I do, learning by rote, because they have little to no innate talent. Use that as a basis for comparison and the prodigies are special. Even then, the majority of prodigies have talent as a player, or even as a performer. But the real genius is the one who puts all the pieces together.
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the_Somalian
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I haven't really been able to stomach watching anything with Jamie Foxx ever since I've seen this clip from a Comedy Central Roast of Emmit Smith. In it, Jamie Foxx essentially ruins another comedian (contains strong language):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47r-0VlvkzM&feature=related

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Orincoro
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Glenn, your response boils down to: "yeah... but still."

You don't get to agree with me if you fundamentally disagree. Sorry, but I just don't allow it.


As to practice: there is such a thing as good practice and bad practice. You, like most people (including myself when it comes to instrumental performance) are not good at practice. But it can be taught. There are few who learn it accidentally.

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