Thursday, 13 June 2013

Something entirely different

War Requiem (Britten & Jarman)

Having just read a book featuring Benjamin Britten and it being the centenary of his birth Mr Norfolkbookworm and I visited the cinema recently to see this film.

I'm not sure what to make of it.  The film is Jarman's response to the Requiem and the first 3rd was stunning telling the simple narrative of a soldiers and nurses in the First World War.

After this I'm not sure what it was about apart from the segment that was set to a crescendo of music as it showed the futility of all wars since 1914.  It was graphic but the images really fitted the music.

The parts of the film that were obviously symbolic passed me by totally I just didn't understand the images at all.

If the whole piece had been like the first movement I think I'd have been totally spellbound and profoundly moved. In the end I was just confused.

On reading about the piece of music I can see why it moved away from being totally a WW1 story - it wasn't written about that war, and wasn't about the 'Glorious Dead' of this war despite using the poems from then.

The music also wasn't quite to my taste, I can see (hear?) that it is technically good but I didn't connect with it totally.

On the whole I'm really glad that we had the chance to see this on a big screen thanks to having a great art house cinema but I don't think I shall be hurrying to anything else by either Britten or Jarman.

No comments:

Post a Comment