(Alex Ross’s article appeared in The New Yorker, 8/11; via Pam Green.)

When classical-music fans hear that a new Hollywood production has a scene set at the opera or the symphony, they reflexively prepare to cringe. Typically, such scenes give a klutzy picture of musical life and come loaded with corrosive clichés. Actors portraying violinists hold instruments in ways that would generate a toneless screech if they were actually playing. Pretend conductors flap their hands a beat or two behind the orchestra. Alleged geniuses compose N.F.L.-highlights music. Although classical listeners sometimes make a sympathetic impression—“Moonstruck” and “The Shawshank Redemption” come to mind—for the most part they present a creepy gallery of repressive parents (“Shine”), pompous gangsters (“The Untouchables”), sneering Bond villains (“Moonraker,” “The Spy Who Loved Me”), glum vampires (“Interview with the Vampire,” “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”), kinky lunatics (“A Clockwork Orange,” “The Killer Inside Me”), fastidious serial killers (“The Silence of the Lambs,” “Hannibal”), and Nazis galore (“The Boys from Brazil,” “Schindler’s List”).


Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *