Stefano Flavoni: Film Resources

April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

While I missed the class film resources due to illness, I was still able to find an interesting DVD at the Media Resource Center.  Unbeknownst to me, Dmitri Shostakovich apparently wrote a lot of film scoring for Russian movies.  This one was an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, one of my favorite plays.  While it is interesting to see the role portrayed by a giant Russian man (as opposed to my all-time favorite, James Earl Jones), the music is definitely the highlight of this DVD.  Shostakovich’s scoring incorporated motivic influence from several well-known Russian folksongs.  While this isn’t very useful in a research sense, it was still very interesting to witness.  Shostakovich, not even the director, was able to turn what can be considered the quintessential English play and somehow give it a newfound Russian identity.  The included booklet’s english translation shows there was historical influence by Ivan IV, which would explain Shostakovich’s reliance on older Russian tunes to give his score momentum.  This is very similar to the work of Prokofiev, and while they often had differing views on how to approach a Soviet Russia, it shows that for both men, their cultural roots are more important than anything.


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