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Persona, May 25, 2007
Posted May 25, 2007
Posted May 25, 2007
Considering that Dancer was Von Trier's stab at a musical, an operatic version isn't too strange.
Or was your primal scream about the last paragraph:
He said in a recent interview that a period of depression had left him unable to work, and he expressed doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.
Posted May 26, 2007
Considering that Dancer was Von Trier's stab at a musical, an operatic version isn't too strange.Or was your primal scream about the last paragraph: He said in a recent interview that a period of depression had left him unable to work, and he expressed doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.
No, we've already covered that elsewhere. The scream is the same kind of scream as Alan's in the (horribly terrible film) The Princess Diary thread, and much for the same reasons -- there is no need for this. The telling of this story, even down to the music, has already been perfected. To make it into an opera, or to change anything about it, is an awful idea.
Like the Lord of the Rings musical. Ugh.
Posted August 2, 2011
A von Trier Tragedy, Recast as Opera
Recycling is at the heart of art, but contemporary culture has added a new twist. Now the source material can live on alongside the adaptation, allowing — daring — the viewer to compare them. If you wrote an opera based on “The Sopranos,” you wouldn’t just be dealing with audience members’ slowly fading memories of James Gandolfini; you’d be competing, forever, with the DVDs of the show sitting in their homes.
This raises the stakes. It’s not that adaptation is no longer possible, but artists need to make even more compelling cases for their new versions. And that is the problem with Poul Ruders’s drab new one-act opera, “Selma Jezkova,” based on the 2000 Lars von Trier film musical “Dancer in the Dark,” starring Bjork.
The opera — first performed in September at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, directed by Kaspar Holten and conducted by Michael Schonwandt — had its American premiere in the same production on Friday evening at the Rose Theater as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Its issue is not simply a lack of fidelity to Mr. von Trier’s film; it’s that the opera fails to persuade you to consider it on its own terms. . . .
In the film’s most inspired conceit, Selma is obsessed with musicals, and in her darkest moments she escapes into Technicolor production-number daydreams (featuring Bjork’s songs) that Mr. von Trier renders with surreal splendor. It’s fine that Mr. Ruders uses none of her music, but he hasn’t replaced it with anything nearly as memorable. The score of “Selma Jezkova” is recognizably Ruders — moody, pulsating surges and atonal, wandering vocal lines; punchy, anxious riffs in the winds and brasses — but without the inventiveness of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Kafka’s Trial.” Selma’s reveries are indicated merely by little ariosos in a lyrical style that halfheartedly evokes early Bernstein. . . .
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, August 1
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