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Les misérables

The cold, or whatever it is, is getting better. Still seeing a doctor about it.

The last and should I say first time I was so whipped up about a movie was in 2003 with Pride and Prejudice. It did not happen since. There are many movies I like, and many I watch again and again, but none of them compulsively several times in a row with bits and pieces popping up in my head all the time, sometimes several at once.

It is wonderful and mildly scary. I am now watching the musical version and listening to the excerpts of what YouTube insist on the original French version of 1980. The original is way closer to the book... but I don't care for the singing too much. They did an admirable job bringing it into English though.

Don't you love IMDB moments? (When you think you knew that face from somewhere and it turns out you do after checking with that site.) Well, turns out a Colm Wilkinson was both one of (the first British?) Jean Valjean and now Bishop in the movie version. Like him more as Bishop. After having just watched the 10th anniversary in concert, that is.

Простуда, или что это такое, стала лучше. Что за чудовищную кальку с английского я родила? Болячка ведёт себя приличнее, короче. Но всё равно жду доктора.

Последний (он же самый первый) раз я так сходила с ума по фильму в 2003, и это была "Гордость и предубеждение". Много есть фильмов, которые мне нравятся, но так чтобы смотреть раз за разом и чтобы в голове всё время куски крутились, когда по одному, а когда и по нескольку сразу, такого давненько не случалось.

Даже жутковато немного. Посмотрела только что юбилейный концерт английского мюзикла и слушаю то, что Ютьюб считает оригинальной французской версией 1980 года. Оригинал очевидно ближе к книге... только пение какое-то там не очень цепляющее. Но работу над его переводом потрясающую провели.

Я знала, я знала откуда "The Song of Angry Men" взялась, а в оригинале и вовсе очевидно что над Марсельезой поработали.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:22 am (UTC)
It is a hommage often paid to past performers – to give them a cameo role in a more modern production. And not just in musicals of course. For example, in the Reichenbach Fall episode of BBC Sherlock, when John Watson goes to visit Mycroft at the Diogenes Club, he is shushed by an old man in a chair. That old man is 93 year old Douglas Wilmer who played Sherlock Holmes on British television in the 1960s and 70s.

I too am still enjoying exploration of various versions and concert performances of Les Misérables. I went through a similar process of discovery with Sweeney Todd the musical as a result of the Tim Burton film, culminating in seeing a live stage version last summer – in which Sweeney was sung by Michael Ball... who played Marius in the first London stage version (and the 10th anniversary concert version) of Les Misérables.

If you return to the UK sometime, we must go see the live musical version Les Mis together. It's showing almost permanently in London. :-)
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:58 am (UTC)
While I enjoyed seeing Sweeney Todd once, it was too gory to try again. But I am definitely enjoying comparing whatever is accessible of the different versions of Les Miserables.

It is also always fun to find such connections between movies. The first time I noticed this I think was with Colin Firth and Anna Chancellor, in Pride and Prejudice and What a Girl Wants, where in both movies she plays a woman who wants to marry his character but fails :).

As for seeing it together, I'd love to. In fact, we are planning to come again with my mother sometime in the beginning of this June (hopefully, this sickness will not force us to postpone the visa application process). The dates are not set yet, but are you free somewhere in the first ten days of June?
Apr. 1st, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)
Beginning June is exactly when both my kids finish uni for the academic year and need to be moved back home for the summer. But that does not mean that I would be totally unable to grab a day for my own purposes. :-)

Best day for me to travel to London is always a Saturday. Les Mis is a long show, so I'd prefer to attend a matinee performance to enable me to catch a train home at a reasonable time in the evening.

Just taken a look, and tickets are expensive, alas, and already not that much choice available for June: http://www.lesmis.com/uk/tickets/booking-information/

Would your mother also like to see Les Mis? To get three tickets all together we'd need to agree our date/price and buy them soon.

Apr. 1st, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
It's really fun watching you go through the fandom for the first time. I was hugely into Les Mis for years, but it's died down now. I have five different recordings or so, and met some of the original French cast after a show in Paris. I did notice Colm Wilkinson on screen and got very excited!
Apr. 1st, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
Which recordings do you have? :) And did you like Mr Wilkinson more as Valjean? In the version I have just seen he seemed too kind (I am likely projecting the Bishop, but still) and I also did not quite like what he did with, oh, how to even say this, the bits at the end of an aria where the sound is prolonged and ends in a higher note, if it makes sense. Those highest notes, to be exact.

I am assuming that the "in concert version" is different from the musical itself, but during the first part of it the singers also seems kind of stationary, all but Thenardier :) and slightly ill at ease maybe, then it got better and better as the show went on.
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
I have the original French concept album (which Michel Sardou (!) sings on, and I think Schoenberg as well), the 10th anniversary album, the original London cast recording, the original US recording, and the 25th anniversary recording. I do like Wilkinson as Valjean, but it was my first recording and I am used to him. I know what you mean about his high notes, I think it's at the end of Bring Him Home (which I don't like anyway) where he kind of breaks off into this sad falsetto.

The in concert versions are stranger, but I do like the pomp. At the end of the 10th anniversary, for example, when they sing Do You Hear the People Sing in some of the languages that the production has been performed in, it's really cool (if you've not seen it, it's here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC5TqchAbwc)

The London recording is my favourite, despite its mistakes (there's a bit in A Heart Full of Love where Marius sings "Oh God, for shame, I do not even know your name!" and a second later says "Cosette, Cosette, oh were we dreaming when we met?" which always makes me laugh). But yes, the live performances are a bit odd.
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
I have just watched the 17 Valjeans singing it yesterday! It was fun.

Well, one shouldn't be too strict because it is live. :)
Apr. 1st, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
Do you know if the show still runs in French, as well?
Apr. 1st, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think so, at least not in France.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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