Mr Turner Review *****

Great Film. Was like watching a painting.  A film that was like a painting.

Mr Turner is ugly. His servant is ugly – she is cross-eyed and suffers from extreme dermatitis from mixing his paints – we think. She is in love with him. He barely acknowledges her. She keeps his house in order, and ensures that his paint is always available. He uses her for sex. Turner’s mother was a lunatic. He is a workaholic and very prolific.

He communes with nature, with light and with God – his last line of the film is “The sun is God” He engages with the arts society, the society of artists, royalty, critics and private investors.

There is space and time in this film. Something there is not much of in this world, connected as we are by our umbilical cords to our 24/7 technology. This space and time reminded me of the film “Lantana” – (Andrew Bovell, 2001) The music was haunting. Wind instruments – namely clarients, oboes, cor-anglais and a string quartet. It was sparse and subliminal like Turner’s landscapes. (Composer Gary Yershon.)

The film hinted, only hinted at many things off-screen, before, during and after the events shown on-screen. Much more than just a simple bio-pic, this film left me trying to work out a jigsaw puzzle, or to solve a riddle to which there could never be any solution; a lot like life itself.

All of this was set in a brilliant and beautifully designed England (Suzie Davies) straddling the changes of industrialisation. Stunningly photographed (Dick Pope), costumed, and designed. Acted superbly by a wonderful ensemble cast, not only by the outstanding Timothy Spall as Mr Turner. I haven’t enjoyed a film this much in ages. Left a lasting impression on me, like Ang Lee films do – the last one I remember was “The Life Of Pi”, but similarly “Brokeback Mountain”, “Taking Woodstock”, and his earlier works.

Thankyou to director Mike Leigh and your collaborators for a thoroughly engaging and memorable work. At least 9 out of 10 from me.

John Bellamy 20/1/2015

2 new tracks out for summer

Hi Everyone,

Happy Summer Solstice/Christmas/New Year/Other festivity!
Hope you have a great holiday and that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

Just released “Falling For Him” and “Special Angel” sung by Paul Smith. Great end to the year.

To all my friends, family and colleagues, thanks for all your support, strength and wisdom throughout the year.

John

Don Giovanni Opera Australia Review

Rigoletto is wonderful and so is Otello.
Turandot is superlative, and The Marriage of Figaro made me fall in love with opera, but Don Giovanni is still my favourite.

I haven’t read any reviews yet, and I suspect that this Don Giovanni will divide audiences.

I adored the OA 20 year old production with crashing columns and musicians on stage, so for me this had a lot to live up to.
It was like falling in love all over again.

A beautiful aria here. Then delicious counterpoint there. and so many many layers.

For me the production was like watching a black and white film, with a little hand colouration. Some of the audience were overheard saying that they ‘couldn’t see the photos it was so dark…”

I love Teddy TR in this role, but I’m sure all the ladies, and quite a few of the men will certainly wish they got to see a little more flesh!

I simply adore Tamsin Fiebig as Zerlina. And the rest of the cast are really great particularly the Commendatore played by Jud Arthur.

But most of all I love the story. And the man that serves the story so well with his music, Herr Mozart.
We are NOT worthy (yet!)

Until next time,

John
www.johnbellamy.biz