Sunday, April 19, 2015

SEEING THE SOUND OF MUSIC AFTER FIFTY YEARS

This week, Sunday, April 19, 2015, through Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies has hosted the showing of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in theaters across the USA.

At this point in time, there are many who have seen this film yearly on their televisions screens. If you have not seen THE SOUND OF MUSIC on the big screen, then you really have not seen it. It is magnificent, a fact that hit me once again today. The makers of the Sound of Music were truly  inspired men (and women if such is the case). Each scene is a brilliant work of art. Salzburg is really another character in the film.

In a day and age where we look for bigger highs, more shock, more violence, pain and outrage to shake us up, The Sound of Music shocks us because of how different it is from all that. The film harkens back to a day when excellence and inspiration were the true goals of the top filmmakers.

The Sound of Music qualifies as a great film because we have many of the opposing qualities we find in reality.. We have gorgeous scenery and a troubled girl, great music and unhappy children getting happy, love against a backdrop of evil as the Nazis move in. We know that the face of the world is about to change forever, even as love triumphs for this couple and this family.

That the music of the film, written by the brilliant Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II makes the film goes without saying. It was great on Broadway, but again, the way the filmmakers have meshed the music with the actors and the landscape of Salzburg brings out it's true grandeur. And again, they could not have chosen a more perfect Maria than Julie Andrews.

In 1965, Julie Andrews was a fresh-faced young woman with an amazing voice. Although she was fairly well-known at that time, The Sound of Music would hurl her into the kind of fame where people can't get enough of you. Christopher Plummer, although handsome, seems rather churlish in a good portion of the film. It is Julie as Maria, who can't help being attracted to him and falling in love with him, that makes us believe he is a decent fellow. The children are brilliant as well. When one takes a simple song like Do-Re-Mi and sees how grand and wonderful it can be, it brightens your entire aspect on life!

I'm not saying I can write anything half decent on this film. It has been written and written about - both as great and as too sweet and silly, but maybe those watching it this week on the big screen, after all we have experienced in our world during the last 50 years, will see it with fresh eyes and find it is a necessary value in our world. We need this joy!

(c) Michelle Russell, 2015

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