I happen to like Petr Weigl's films. I was disappointed in, though I didn't hate them, Wintereisse and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, but Eugene Onegin is a masterpiece and second only to Roman Tikhomirov's film as the best there is of that opera. Turn of the Screw and Let's Make an Opera are also interesting. A Village Romeo and Juliet is another one of his better ones. I did think that Sali's dispatching of Marti was awkwardly done, but actually that was the only directorial approach that struck me as questionable. I found Walk to the Paradise Garden, the most famous part of A Village Romeo and Juliet, to be absolutely ravishing, almost like a beautiful dream. The ending is very moving. The costumes, locations and images as well as the photography are simply stunning, very colourful and almost idyllic. Delius' hauntingly beautiful music is performed splendidly by the orchestra, and Charles Mackerras brings out the sincerity and nuances of the scores while never falling into the trap of lagging. The acting of Dana Maravkova and Michal Dlouhy is convincing, and they are very attractive. One may feel that the voices of Helen Field and Arthur Davies' voices are on the mature side but I ignored that because their performances are so good. Thomas Hampson is also excellent as the Dark Fiddler. Overall, really wonderful, one of Weigl's better films for sure. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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