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Giacomo Puccini - Die dunkle Seite des Mondes (2008)



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Credited cast:
Peter Hladik ...
Sabine Wegner ...
Elvira Bonturi
Rüdiger Kuhlbrodt ...
Maria Anna Coriasco
Jutta Fastian ...
Sibyl Seligmann
Giulia Manfredi
Aylin Esener ...
Rose Ader
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Calixto Bieito
Melanie Blocksdorf ...
Josefine von Stengel
Riccardo Chailly
Stefan Demmel ...
(as Stefan Demel)
Majca Erdmann ...
Dieter Schickling


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Release Date:

20 December 2008 (Germany)  »

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Puccini's private life
13 February 2009 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

According to this documentary Puccini's private life seems to have been a good subject for a soap opera. While apparently happy married with a good wife who was not a big music fan but supported him for his whole life entertained a number of extra-marital relations with women from all social circles. This film is as close as we can get to a soap docu-drama, maybe creating a new kind of genre. Puccini is represented at the end of his life confessing to another man who never talks or asks questions, doubt friend, doubt psychoanalyst and the confessions are combined with what seem to be after his death memories of his wife and lovers, kind of an inquiry TV show filmed almost one century after all the participants are dead. Beautiful and well filmed scenes from Puccini's operas are mixed with interviews with specialists that are less interesting, and sometimes fall on the slope of cheap psychology. This strange combination works however better than expected, maybe because of the good selection of the actors (especially in the women roles) maybe because the photos and interiors are well selected and filmed with a consistent and well suited aging effect, and certainly because Puccini's music envelops everything in beauty. Focusing on the composer's private life the film tells less about his work, and what it tells is nothing that we did not hear before, mostly semi-negative (he was somehow limited, he wrote no more then twenty hours of music, he was rather conservative and only guessed the path of modern 20th century opera without daring to walk it) but all these words are easily wiped away by the magnificent music we hear all the time. After all the important thing a composer leaves for posterity is his music.

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