Join host Ben Lyons for our live conversation with Mike Colter, star of "Jessica Jones," and Rachael Harris, star of "Lucifer," as we discuss their latest projects and history in Hollywood. Tune into Amazon.com/IMDbAsks on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT to watch, live chat, and even ask a question yourself! This livestream is best viewed on laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they ... See full summary »
A young American woman is kidnapped by an Arabian sheik and held captive in his harem. At first she frantically tries to escape, but as they slowly get to know and appreciate each other the... See full summary »
March 1917. The first world war is already a couple year to pace. A sealed train with Russian emigrants keeps on driving from Germany and Sweden to Saint-Petersburg. The outlaws stand under... See full summary »
A Brazilian snake hunter, trying to make enough money to marry the woman he loves, finds four mysterious chimpanzees. He embarks upon a journey to sell them in the big city, and learns alot... See full summary »
A biographical portrayal of Simon Wiesenthal, famous Nazi Hunter. From his imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp, the film follows his liberation and his rise to become one of the ... See full summary »
Craig T. Nelson
Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »
"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the... See full summary »
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has cost more lives than any other since World War II. THE TESTIMONY chronicles the largest rape tribunal in Congo's history, offering ... See full summary »
The story of Benvenuto Cellinin (1500 - 1571), a soldier and one of the most important craftsmen and artists of Renaissance Italy whose life was marked by many achievements and adventures, but also crimes.
Max von Sydow,
In the western world Shostakovich was always said to be a faithful soviet communist composer. Shortly after Shostakovich's death, Volkov (a friend of Sh.) emigrated to the US, having notes of endless talks with Sh. in the luggage. Volkov published the "memoir's". In this book, Sh. appears the other way round: a silent dissident, a man who fooled the communist authorities, but also a man who suffered dramatically from repressions. Obviously Sh's family and soviet officials took all measures to "prove" the book was a hoax. And even western experts had doubts too. It was not before Sh. son Maxim emigrated, that the discussions about authenticity got new fuel. Today, Volkov's book is widely accepted and trusted.
Back to the film: This was a brave move to make a movie based on this book. There is not much story, just episodes. Perhaps the experimental habit is the only way to approach this challenge. Overall, not a bad effort, but certainly not the big hit. I am not too sure as to whether Ben Kingsley was the best choice, but who knows how Shostakovich really was? In my opinion the music selection is the weak point of the film. Obviously, only the most popular bits and pieces have been used (e.g. symphonies no. 5 and 7, the great pasacaglia from the violin concerto etc.), but this was not in all scenes appropriate. I found it rather disturbing to have this music always in the background, let alone the omission of other important works. The movie focuses on the relationship Shostakovich-Stalin: certainly the most fascinating part of Sh's life. At the end, the movie has an episode on the 13th symphony, which bases on the poem "Babi Jar" by Jevtushenko. This was the only big trouble Sh. got in the time after Stalin - not because of the music but the poem! This episode should have been dropped.
My final verdict: an interesting movie, interesting views on Stalinism and maybe a good approach to Shostakovich's music for people who never heard his music. But, make sure you had enough sleep or there is enough tea or coffee available when you watch it.
I can strongly recommend the book. It is much more enjoyable than the movie.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?