I am seriously disturbed after seeing "Copying Beethoven." Did anyone see this?
This film is almost as irritating as "Amadeus." It is good enough - like that one - to present the time and place, but then it proceeds to depict one of the greatest artists of all time as a goofball who shows his ass, who makes fart noises to ridicule another composer, acts obnxious, cruel, annoying and stupid. And once in a while acts like "a genius."
This is Beethoven! And Mozart - What is wrong with these directors? Milos Forman did Amadeus - a competent director though completely dependent on his scripts not being a real auteur - and he had a simplistic script which was ax-grindingly attempting to show the "Idiot Savant" Mozart as opposed to the ernest but mediocre Salieri - a simplicistic equation, since Mozart worked his ass off to be a composer, and his music didn't just fall out like turds.
And this Beethoven film - very irritating, since it was by Holland who collaborated with the great Kieslowski earlier. But on her own she directed a film which to put it simply, is lame and simplistic and DOES NOT RESPECT Beethoven. I am not saying one should treat him as a god, without any human qualities, but what one sees today is stuff like this over and over again - filmmakers, artists, writers, etc. who constantly try to find every negative or small or wretched characteristic of a great artist and then SHOVE IT IN YOUR FACE. As if that is just as significant as the fact that these people created works and accomplished art that the entire world loves and admires. What is the real significance of a human being? That he acted like a goofball once in a while or did something great? In the modern era, all that people can see is the crap somebody did. Not his greatness. And it is a total distortion. These so-called artists should have some RESPECT! Simply realize that a great artist is more than the sum of his faults. On top of that, Beethoven was not even noted by any contemporaries for being particularly disgusting. He was simply grouchy since he was going deaf! Holy crap! Try doing that if you are a composer. Wouldn't you be a bit irritated?
Anyway, that film really annoyed me almost as much as the overrated Amadeus. What is needed is a GREAT filmmaker like Bergman, or Kubrick, or Kieslowski - to make a film about a great composer. Not this kind of director.
However, this got me to thinking about what films were good composer bios. One that was very good was "Song of Love" that is not even available on video! (Except maybe on an archive collection I am going to check out.) It was with Paul Henreid and Kathryn Hepburn. It did not show the usual artificial Hollywood glossy bullshit, but rather accurately depicted Robert Schumann's bio with a good style and very good actors and managed to put just about everything known about Schumann into one movie! There are two other films about composers I can think of - "Song to Remember" about Chopin and another one about Lizst "Song Without End" (a lot of "songs"!) and I seem to vaguely remember one about Grieg. I am wondering if anyone can recall any other good or bad ones about the famous composers. There haven't been very many. There were some occasionally good TV docudramas by Ken Burns on Mahler, Debussy, etc. but other than these I can't think of anything else.