Immortal Beloved?

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Immortal Beloved?

Postby Jewelle » Wed Jan 03, 2001 11:28 pm

Hi! I'm just wondering if the movie "immortal Beloved" tells the truth about Beethoven's life? 'Coz the encyclopedia says different story about Beethoven. The movie shows that Beethoven's deafness was caused by his fathe's beating during his childhood, and the encyclopedia tells that it just happened to him unexpectedly in his early thirties. which one is true? PLEASE HELP ME...IM CONFUSED!
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby ~Leslie » Thu Jan 04, 2001 2:35 am

Hi Jewelle,<BR>Your post is quite an interesting one, because it tells us why this movie<BR>didn't work, in the eyes of many. <P>The music, scenery, and costumes were<BR>beautiful in this movie, but the facts<BR>were distorted. <P>Beethoven's father was a wastrel and liked<BR>to imbibe, but no where in any biographies<BR>could I find any accounts that he was this <BR>cruel. Yes, he fudged about his son's age,<BR>and he wanted in on the child prodigy fame enjoyed by the likes of Leopold Mozart.<P>Besides this, as far as I know, his greatest crime was to force Ludwig to practice in the wee hours of the night. ~<P>
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby JasonK » Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:38 am

I personally liked the movie, it was a feast for the senses...a great showcase for the music and a good story...unfortunately, you may just want to take it as an interpretation of a story. In the DVD version, the featurettes does explain that the movie is a theatrical interpretation, not literal. Jewelle, if you are looking to find the truth, there are certainly allot of good written works on Beethoven and interesting in their own right....check them out and see what they have to offer...tehn draw your own conclusions. Schindler, in real life, wrote pieces on Beethoven as well as a collection of letters from the Maestro himself.<P>BTW, I can not help that the filming was heavily influenced by Monet paintings. I must believe that Rose, the director, is a fan. When they show scenes of the countryside or Beethoven walking outside, the scenes are almost exact stagings of Monet's "Field of Poplars", "Haystacks" and "Gardens at Giverny" works....I may be biased, because I am a huge Monet fan...has anyone noticed the same?<p>[This message has been edited by JasonK (edited 01-05-2001).]
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby serge urtizberea » Fri Jan 05, 2001 1:07 pm

Jewelle, your topic has brought up (again) my favorite movie. Immortal Beloved does have its faults, but all the good things about it far outweigh the bad. <P>I have the DVD version, too, like Jason. The director's commentary throughout the picture is fascinating to listen to because he digs deeper into where and what his inspirations were for the filming of the movie. Bernard Rose did not just throw off this movie; he spent lots of time and lots of money to make it (BTW, he was lucky to get this thing off the ground in the first place, I think. Thank God Sony [Columbia Pictures] is recognized as a charitable studio for arty and otherwise not-too-profitable pictures. You'd never have seen this movie produced by Warner Bros. or Disney.).<P>The thing that got me about the whole movie was the idea that Rose did not want to make a film for the Beethoven-appreciative public who may or may not paint the man in purple prose. He knew, as I do, that Ludwig was not an infallible shortchanged nobleman. He was far more gifted and more endowed than his noble peers, certainly, but he was never really one of them. Rose made a film that spoke of a person we could all relate to, I think. Ludwig was an emotionally-complex man who likely had lots of sex (at various times...) and composed knowing he was the start of something better. We can see that very clearly in the movie. There can be no way, really, to watch IM and not feel inspired or elevated unless you are determined from the start to pick apart the movie. The faults do exist: Ludwig goes deaf too quickly, the pieces that are played not as mood music but as plot development are usually anachronistic, and the idea that Schindler would actually bother to help find the immortal beloved is laughable considering in real life he only helped B. for the vicarious esteem it would earn him and his bio about the composer was a tissue of lies. But almost everything else about the movie is accurate enough: the women involved in the story, the whole legal battle for Karl, the tutelage of Karl and the eventual suicide attempt, the events at the premiere of the 9th, the suspected truth about B.'s youth, the general progress of B. career in Vienna, the patrons he had, the places he premiered at and the people who performed them... in fact, if you really think about it, the things that are arguable in the movie (Karl's parentage, Ludwig's degree of involvement with women, the truth of his childhood) will never be resolved with any finality. There's simply no way to prove one way or the other what actually occurred. And I cannot think of another truly glaring error or inconsistency in the movie.<P>So, assuming that my logic is correct in claiming the movie only got the age of deafness and pieces played in the movie "unforgivably" incorrect, and allowing that a certain degree of dramatic freedom must be allowed for to make up for the lack of hard facts in the ambiguous areas, then we can safely determine that IM got more of Beethoven's life right than most other biopic movies ever did--especially more than what Amadeus got right of Mozart's life.<P>Rose said that he felt that his film got more bad review than it deserved, and I completely agree. I do hope you like the movie, Jewelle.
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby Peter » Fri Jan 05, 2001 2:28 pm

Serge, Immortal Beloved was a nice enough-looking movie, but, its true worth, for me, lies in the fact that it perpetuates the legend, keeping our hero in the public consciousness. Why the film is fundamentally flawed is that its objective, from the start, is to reveal to us the mysterious lady of the title. When we are finally `privileged` to learn that this is his sister-in-law, Johanna, well......all credibility goes out of the window.<P>Other moments in the movie also seem to be based on nothing but whimsy. Ludwig`s beatings at the hands of his father; Beethoven`s frustration with the orchestra during a supposed performance of the `Emperor` concerto; Schindler`s OTT Scrooge caricature; etc. The film may be visually/aurally entertaining, but fact-based it ain`t. There are too many holes, & the knowledge that Gary Oldman did NO research for his role, makes me reluctant to watch it again. The overall feeling is that they COULD have done a much better job.<P>I`d be interested in a refresher from our resident movie buff, Michael.
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 05, 2001 4:11 pm

This "resident film buff" hasn't seen that many movies relating to classical music - they are rather thin on the ground. I remember I quite enjoyed "Immortal Beloved" when I first saw it - it was only on viewing it again that it started to annoy me.<BR>As I mentioned elsewhere, I was in some trepidation in my local cinema, as I had heard that the director/writer had come up with a radical solution to the "Immortal Beloved" enigma, and I was convinced they were going to portray Beethoven as gay, in much the same way as some scholars claim that Shakespeare's "Dark Lady of the Sonnets" was a man. My first reaction was sheer relief when they dredged up Joanna van Beethoven!<BR>In spite of his non-involvement, Gary Oldman, I think, gave quite a good performance and in some scenes he looked quite convincing as Ludwig. But, ultimately, as Peter says, it could have been so much better.<BR>The DVD sounds interesting, with the director's commentary. I hope he highlighted all the glaring errors, some of them completely pointless. The two or three that annoyed me most were in the deathbed scene, where we are informed that B refused the last sacraments, which was completely untrue. And then they showed B writing the phrase "Muss es sein?" (Must it be?) for Joanna, which is again incorrect. The director might have redeemed himself by using the last movement of the last quartet (over which the inscription is written) but, no - for some obscure reason, he used the "Cavatina" from Opus 130.<BR>But, having said all that, the film seems to have got a fair number of people interested in Beethoven and that can't be too bad.<P>Michael<BR>
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Re: Immortal Beloved?

Postby Scotty » Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:03 am

I will now throw in my 2 cents on this issue.<BR> It seems that some of us might have too much time on our hands.....I myself am not always exempt either.....I will have to disagree with the summary of some that this is not a very good movie.<BR> I will tip my hat to serge and jason....for it seems that they have come to understand and get what the movie origanally intended.<BR> I will agree with micheal on the point that it has gotten more people interested in LVB.....but so did the Clockwork Orange!<BR> If we are going to nit pic on the complete biographical clarity on this movie, well you can forget it, unless you wish to fork out the money that such an undertaking would warrant. If so then sign me up I would love to help in making an even better movie.....although I would use Oldman again because he played the part in my mind to perfection.<BR> We might as well discuss the imperfections of the movie Die Hard during the portion where they open the vault while The Ode to Joy is playing.<BR> I heard no one comlain about the score and arraingements of the soundtrack......hmmm guess they got those right! Thanks and Take Care
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Postby Catmando » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:18 am

I had a great relaxing evening after a hard day of up and down the stairs moving stuff from my 1 Bdr to 2 Bdr apartment.

I treated myself by renting both "Immortal Beloved" and "Amadeus".

It was my 1st time watching "Immortal Beloved", while it was my 2nd time in a month watching "Amadeus" (what a wonderful movie). I enjoyed both very much, if for the only reason the music in both was fantastic!! Entertaining film. Yes, historically they both had many inaccuracies, but that's Hollywood for ya.

I had shivers go up when various pieces of music came up.

For "Immortal Beloved", my favorite moment of the film was when LVB was playing a recital of the electric 1st movement of the "Pathetique" Sonata.

As for Amadeus, my favorite moment was the scene of the "Don Giovanni" opera, musically powerful and dark. Fantastic!!!

Yes, it took me years and years before I watched these films, but they were both great, and I recommend watching! :)
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Postby navneeth » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:29 am

Thanks for the recommedations, Cat. I'll have to rent both one of these days. One of the reviewers at IMDb titled his review of Copying Beethoven as 'Copying Amadeus'. :)
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