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The Colors of Music

More than a decade after British painter David Hockney designed his last opera, U.S. documakers Maryte Kavaliauskas and Seth Schneidman secured French funds to complete their insightful portrait of an artist who, in terms of inspiration, is always "at work." Film's a natural for cultural fests and tube slots.

More than a decade after California-based British painter David Hockney designed his last opera (Richard Strauss’ “Die Frau ohne Schatten,” in 1992), U.S. documakers Maryte Kavaliauskas and Seth Schneidman secured French funds to complete their insightful portrait of an artist who, in terms of inspiration, is always “at work.” Hockney designed 11 operas, so buffs will be in seventh heaven here; but docu’s potential audience extends to anyone interested in the creative process and life’s ironies — music lover Hockney has gone deaf from a genetic condition that surfaces in middle age. Film’s a natural for cultural fests and tube slots.

Co-helmers had outstanding access to their subject as Hockney worked out the sets and tested lighting ideas using large-scale models of the top international venues in question. His humor, inventiveness and dedication to how the smallest detail informs the eventual spectacle are touching and entertaining. Interviews with (mostly witty) colleagues add insight. Pic luxuriates in the layers of hard work and experimentation behind every finished project, however ephemeral its glory. Tech package on the Super-16 production (shown in a Beta SP copy) is tops.

The Colors of Music

France

  • Production: An Arte/AVRO presentation of a Dune production. Produced by Chantal Bernheim. Directed by Maryte Kavaliauskas, Seth Schneidman.
  • Crew: Camera (color, Super 16-to-Beta SP), Schneidman; editors, Janice Jones, Variety Moszinsky; music, extracts from works by Ravel, Satie, Poulenc, Wagner, Stravinsky, Mozart, Puccini, Richard Strauss. Reviewed at Avignon Film Festival, France, June 8, 2003. Running time: 85 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> David Hockney, Max Charruyer, John Cox, Ken Silvers, Gwyneth Jones, Ronald Freeman, Franz Grundheber.
  • Music By: