Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 80208 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #560 on: July 21, 2021, 06:02:35 PM »
What is your thought of seeing Kurt Douglass as the mighty gladiator in Spartacus in the height of his prowess and seeing him after his stroke as a disabled man with limited mobility?  Should others not be allowed to see this once mighty warrior as a crippled if you are "don't need visual "proof" that he becomes broken mortal?  I hope this doesn't come across as rude, I don't mean it to be.  My dad was a mighty tough guy, a military man who eventually became broken and lame in his dying moments.  That was life.  It isn't a bad thing and not something others should dictate what the image of their life should be.  It is what life is.  A process of dying and not everyone is that comfortable with it.  If you don't like that, then you sort of need to deal with it.  It is life.

I’m not going to say you came across rude, but preachy certainly comes to mind. We all know we’re not going to get out of this life alive. Some of us prefer to not see it acted out in front of us, especially in a documentary on a composer that we admire. You don’t need visuals to know about Arnold’s condition. This is the problem that I had with Palmer’s documentary as well. Like most of his films that I’ve seen on composers, the goal seems to be to provoke controversy and shock instead of talking about the composer’s music and giving the viewer something of value. This, to me, is of greater interest than his mental condition.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #561 on: July 21, 2021, 06:11:00 PM »
I was not comfortable with the filming of those sequences - or at least their inclusion in the documentary.  I don't need visual "proof" that Arnold was suffering from a condition and neither do I require that as an explanation for aspects of his behaviour historically.  I simply know that if it was me or a relative of mine I would not want it shown to the world - especially if I was not in a position to make an informed decision on my own behalf.

I concur completely. I came to the documentary wanting to know more about Arnold’s music and there’s very little discussion of it in Palmer’s film. In several of the Palmer films I’ve seen on composers, I came away confused and saddened. Not because of what the composers went through but because the documentaries could’ve been so much more had they actually stayed on track with talking about the music. Anyone can buy a book on a composer and read a biography about their life. I think some of the best programs on composers I’ve seen have been the Tilson Thomas series Keeping Score. These are informative and he sticks with the music and keeps his own personal interjections about the composer’s life to a minimum. He’s not out to stir the pot or shock people. I think he just wanted to share his knowledge of the composer and what an impressive fountain of knowledge he is!
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #562 on: July 21, 2021, 10:14:13 PM »
What is your thought of seeing Kurt Douglass as the mighty gladiator in Spartacus in the height of his prowess and seeing him after his stroke as a disabled man with limited mobility?  Should others not be allowed to see this once mighty warrior as a crippled if you are "don't need visual "proof" that he becomes broken mortal?  I hope this doesn't come across as rude, I don't mean it to be.  My dad was a mighty tough guy, a military man who eventually became broken and lame in his dying moments.  That was life.  It isn't a bad thing and not something others should dictate what the image of their life should be.  It is what life is.  A process of dying and not everyone is that comfortable with it.  If you don't like that, then you sort of need to deal with it.  It is life.

Having been with both my parents when they died of dementia, I am not sure I need lecturing about the arc of life.  My personal opinion was that I did not feel that the film was "better" for showing those sequences.  Clearly mental health and battles with it were a defining aspect of what made Arnold the composer he was but I don't need a visual prompt for the point to be made.  Clearly, those who were responsible for Arnold's welfare at that time felt that these images would be more powerful than words alone.  I respect that decision but - as I said - it is not the choice I would make for myself or my own - that's about privacy not denial.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #563 on: July 22, 2021, 03:55:13 AM »
I think that much depends on the motive for showing distressing sequences - if they are integrated into the overall narrative and help us to understand the man and/or his music better, then there may be an argument for showing them. However, in the documentary on Vaughan Williams ('O Thou Transcendent') which Palmer made, I felt that images of dying children during the Biafran Famine, which accompanied the Ninth Symphony, were purely gratuitous and added nothing to our understanding of the composer or his music. I think that this was less the case with the distressing images of Arnold (which is what stands out most in my memory when I recall the film) but I can understand both arguments about them being there.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #564 on: July 22, 2021, 05:08:31 AM »
Having been with both my parents when they died of dementia, I am not sure I need lecturing about the arc of life.  My personal opinion was that I did not feel that the film was "better" for showing those sequences.  Clearly mental health and battles with it were a defining aspect of what made Arnold the composer he was but I don't need a visual prompt for the point to be made.  Clearly, those who were responsible for Arnold's welfare at that time felt that these images would be more powerful than words alone.  I respect that decision but - as I said - it is not the choice I would make for myself or my own - that's about privacy not denial.

Fair enough.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #565 on: July 22, 2021, 05:25:14 AM »
Having been with both my parents when they died of dementia, I am not sure I need lecturing about the arc of life.  My personal opinion was that I did not feel that the film was "better" for showing those sequences.  Clearly mental health and battles with it were a defining aspect of what made Arnold the composer he was but I don't need a visual prompt for the point to be made.  Clearly, those who were responsible for Arnold's welfare at that time felt that these images would be more powerful than words alone.  I respect that decision but - as I said - it is not the choice I would make for myself or my own - that's about privacy not denial.

All valid points and it’s actually a shame that you had to reiterate this opinion when what you wrote initially is as clear as it could be.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók