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It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into which he moves to dedicate his life to music and his two young daughters Madeleine and Toinette, avoiding the outside world. Rumor about him and his music is widespread, and even reaches to the court of Louis XIV, who wants him at his court in Lully's orchestra, but Monsieur de Sainte Colombe refuses. One day a young man, Marin Marais, comes to see him with a request, he wants to be taught how to play the viola. Written by
Daniel Bjoerkman <Daniel.Bjoerkman@p16.lurivax.ct.se>
[in French, using English subtitles]
Open your mouth so we can hear you. I can't follow you. You're not listening. You're going too fast. Let's start over with the first notes of the song. Stop! The Master has signalled. The Master would speak. Speak, Master.
Each note should end dying.
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This is a great movie. It's a stunning look at the nature of music and it's a wonderful example of the relationship between music and film. So often in film, music is the afterthought; it's the last step of the production process and often the least considered through production. Corneau's film really works well to blend the visual medium of film with music and show them working in tandem for a brilliant result.
When you hear music in this film, you hear it because a character has picked up an instrument to play it. The film then cuts away from character and instrument, but the music remains and turns into a soundtrack that enhances the emotional power of the film. This is source music used as score, and very rarely do you see that in film. Using the music in this way really deepens the experience and strengthens both the images of the film and the emotion of the music. A music student gave me this movie to watch, and I want to pass it on to film students looking to blend the arts of film and music.
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