Slovenly semi-literate geek with far too much time on his hands
Unlike the other opera shorts in this series, this one uses real world ambient sounds as part of its soundscape as opposed to just instrumentation. Added to this it has vocalised sounds that are rarely recognised as words, which makes in the music this the most unusual yet. Video-wise however it has a somewhat conventional use of video as background that would be familiar to opera theatre goers (this same company did something similar in a really excellent Aida-as-an-allegory-for-totalitarianism production a few years ago), though overall the results are quite agreeable, another fine short.
Like so many of these opera shorts produced during the pandemic this one is *about* the pandemic - inevitably, fairly, I suppose. However, this one finds genuine humour in the subject - there is a brief mention of John Wayne films and cancel culture that’s very Twitter, in general this operatic duet hits enough relatable points to seem very modern. Admittedly theatrically staged though good use of closeup; the inability to touch and the yearning it engenders suits an operatic duet extremely well, really. Rather rich orchestral scoring too, one can hear the romance stir as it were. Anyway this one was good!
J. J. Abrams does not do endings, period. He has been involved in co-creating multiple TV series (Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe, among many, many others) and directing films in three major franchises (Mission Impossible, Star Trek, and this.) In the case of the former he was actively involved in series during the pilot, but eventually checked out of the process, sometimes staying on a couple of seasons but never being involved in the writing, directing or any decisionmaking regarding the…
So I’m sitting down watching this at the Berlinale having grabbed last minute tickets with only a dim awareness that the film had some buzz about it and that was rather long. Settling into the first part of the film I wondered if this was going to be like the Wild Pear Tree, a languorous film that seeps you into its world and lets the dramatic roots of its premise gradually blossom. And well, I was right - at first,…