Monday, March 13, 2006

Request: The Sound of Music

Each Monday I'll take a reader request. (Last week you gave me lots of great suggestions --upon which I will undoubtedly draw in the future. This weeks topic comes from "anonymous")

The Sound of Music (1965)
At some point in the late '90s I realized that serious cinephiles weren't supposed to love The Sound of Music. The high caloric count, the music, little children in curtain outfits, marionettes, singing nuns. All of these things, I learned, were embarrassing. I was supposed to turn my nose up when confronting those living hills and their thousand year old songs.

What can I say. I rejected this epiphany. In the Sound of Music scenario I'm most decidedly (and eternally) Maria. Other critics can play the stuffy nuns:

Cineastes/Nuns: "How do you solve a problem like Maria Nathaniel. A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown! ...He is gentle! He is wild! He's a riddle! He's a child! He's a headache! He's an angel! He's a girl!"
Maria/Nathaniel: "My heart wants to sing every song it hears"

About the music: I love every song. I believe that one of the principal reasons for the general musical's decline in modern times is the presence of song filler. I blame Andrew Lloyd Webber (come to think of it: I blame him for a lot of things). All songs in a musical should be memorable. Not just the main theme that you repeat over and over. There's not a clunker anywhere in this Rodgers & Hammerstein masterwork. Even the comic relief songs are hugely pleasureable. I know all the words to The Lonely Goatheard and sang them at the top of my lungs two nights ago @ Marie's Crisis (I was drunk. Don't judge!)

I love all seven and 1/2 hours of The Sound of Music. I love that Marni Nixon is in it (as opposed to just singing in it as she did for so many movie musicals) I love Julie Andrews. I even love that Aryan beauty Rolf (hey, I was like 4 when I first saw this...which is kind of like being Liesl. The Nazi thing escaped me.)

If this post has induced sugar coma, please remember that I usually lurve horribly depressing musicals best. But it's in my nature to go to both extremes.

Your thoughts or requests for next Monday? Maybe I'll choose your pet topic.

28 comments:

John T. said...

Funny, funny post-I too am in love with The Sound of Music. I think it's because I grew up watching it all the time-once every couple of months, it was so much fun to sing along. And I think that Julie Andrews may be the coolest nun ever; seriously, with Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp, who wouldn't want her to be their nanny?

As for next week-are there any miniseries/tv movies that you consider on par with films in theaters?

chofer said...

Nat, this is the first THING in cinema I can remember loving it.
As still today, I can't believe the chemistry between Plummer and Andrews (It isn't suppose to be this way in a good comedy?)
This is as sugary as it can get, but with movies so passionately well done as this one (I'll add some guilty pleasures of late like The American President and The First Wives Club among few others) you CAN only thrown your shield and weapons down and give up to the spell.
I did.

Nick Davis said...

Derek is going to explode into a big ball of love.

Dr. S said...

It's true, Nick -- I was thinking just the same thing. Nathaniel, do you know the story about the time Derek went to see a live production of Sound of Music when he was little?

NATHANIEL R said...

i do not, no.

adam k. said...

I only learned to love The Sound of Music after Dancer in the Dark destroyed and rebuilt it for me. Come to think of it, that's the way I learned to love all musicals...

StinkyLulu said...

I went on The Sound of Music tour in Austria when I was 13. The windows of the gazebo were all shot out but oh oh oh did I swoon... ("To Wriiiiiiite On...")

Likewise, my request is of course all about me.

I have a favorite genre -- "Gourmet Cheese" -- where the movie's just sillybad (never been, never will be good) but is somehow so chock full of such A-list talent that it becomes delightful for the sheer spectacle of it all. The best illustration I can give is Soapdish -- where everyone it seems has an Oscar, Oscar nom, or -- at bare minimum -- a Golden Globe...

So, Nat, what's your favorite piece of Gourmet Cheese?

NATHANIEL R said...

any other requests?

adam k. said...

Is Mars Attacks "Gourmet Cheese"?

What about projects that actually aspire to be oscarbait but fail miserably even though they have all the prestige people and elements in place? Like Chocolat... except yeah, that succeeded as oscarbait, I guess...

adam k. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
StinkyLulu said...

Mars Attacks? I think maybe. Not so much when it was released, but probably with age... (Consider the escalated "gourmet" status of Natalie Portman, Pam Grier, SJP, Jack Black & MichaelJ in the decade since '96 -- PLUS it's got Sylvia Sidney & Glenn Close).

Kamikaze Camel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kamikaze Camel said...

Here's my dark evil secret...

I.

HAVE.

NEVER.

SEEN.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

(OR MARY POPPINS)

In fear of being pounded with stones and rocks, I'm also so go out on a limb and say I sorta love Mars Attacks. It's manic lunacy gets me every time.

*runs away in fear*

(topic idea? bonafide classics you have never seen)

chofer said...

Marst Attacks, Priscilla, Death Becomes Her: all underrated, all with over the top silliness: a pulp frenzy cartoon with A-list stars, a transgender coming of age comedy -only by/for adults!-, an hilarious poison dart to old women and old farts living nearby Mulholland Drive.
I need more cheese like this!

PD: Even Tim Burton's dirtiest socks don't smell as bad as some cleaner ones.
PD2: I love my singing Edelweiss

chofer said...

Kamikaze:

You're so cute:)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well shucks chofer!

Death Becomes Her? LOVES IT!
Mars Attacks? LOVES IT!
Priscilla? LOVES IT

The first two are clearly put down to me seeing them when I was 10 and 12 respectively. They were a hoot. And Priscilla is just gold!

Anonymous said...

Random request: favourite animals in movies.

cal roth

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm frightened. In Australia last week Lassie was released and this week we get The Shaggy Dog. Why are dogs suddenly so popular?

chofer said...

My favorite animal??

This HAS to be Sarah Jessica Parker turned to dog in Mars Attacks, of course!!

I'd love having a dog with her face!!

ben said...

please... i would be disappointed if you *didn't* know all the words to the lonely goatherd, and yodel it at every given opportunity... drunk or sober. the sound of music is kind of like the bible, or the ten commandments or something. has anyone seen "welcome to woop woop"? if you have, you've got some idea of the kind of warped Rodgers & Hammerstein fetishism i'm talking about. really, it's a good thing i'm not in any kind of leadership position because i'd make everyone wear drapery and lederhosen. i'm sorry for this post, i should probably be committed.

Anonymous said...

¡¡¡AM I THE ONLY INE THAT HATES THE SOUND FO MUSIC!!!????

ben said...

Yes.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Some would say Sarah J already has the face of a dog.

but they're horrible people.

Dr. S said...

Sigh. I turned my back for many hours, and now I have to hope that you'll still see this. I probably should let Derek tell his own story, anyway--remember to ask him, the next time you see him. :)

Anonymous said...

Request: thoughts on Audrey Tautou? I like her. Amelie is a bit much, but she's still charming. Dirty Pretty Things is great, and so is He Loves me He Loves me not (a la folie pas du tout). Dare I say Da Vinci Code?

kat said...

I will never forget the time I saw Sing-a-long-the-Sound-of-Music. I was dressed as a Disco-themed Nun and I was surrounded by nuns, goat herders, girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes and someone dressed as a truly spectacular mountain (or hill I suppose). Hysterical. For those who love the film I hope a print comes to your city.

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » »