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The Daily Telegraph from London, Greater London, England • Page 157
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The Daily Telegraph from London, Greater London, England • Page 157

London, Greater London, England
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arts 13 Saturday April 22 2006 artstelegraphcouk us can ignore Outside the rooms where his characters transact their quiet often heartwTenchingly involving dramas of decency in small looks and silences his characteristic lyrical inter-scene montages of office blocks empty streets corridors show a sunny implacable world that CONTINUED OVERLEAF Ozu Volume Three: Tokyo Twilight Eguinox Flower Good Morning PG Tartan 3 discs £37-50 The music in Yasujiro post-war films half-jaunty half-melancholy is the music of life going on of the inexorable cruel beautiful world that none of TIE CLASSIC COUJECTI Beethoven: An die ferae Geliebte (1816) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Jorg Demus (piano) DG 463 507-2 £14-99 Fischer-Dieskau still has a reputation in some quarters as an overly singer preoccupied with minutiae at the expense of spontaneous feeling I can think of few recordings that refute this more eloquently than his 1966 An die feme Geliebte made when his voice was at its glorious peak The poems of An die feme Geliebte the distant are the stuff of romantic cliche But they evidently struck a chord with Beethoven for whom the dream of love was always more alluring than its reality The upshot was the first great Lieder cycle an unbroken sequence of six songs linked by piano interludes and rounded off by a final reminiscence of the opening song Among the finest recordings are those by Peter Schreier (Decca) Wolfgang Holzmair (Philips) and Stephan Genz (Hyperion) but best of all is version with Jorg Demus No other singer catches so vividly the ever-shifting perspectives And no pianist has a more luminous touch than Demus or surpasses him in the timing and shaping of the all-important transitions As ever with Fischer-Dieskau subtleties of colouring and inflection abound Yet here they invariably arise spontaneously from text and music: the sudden weariness at the end of the blithe dancing No 5 for instance or the melancholy that seeps into the smiling tone in the minor-keyed verses of No 3 Most moving of all is the final song from the tender longing of the opening through the mystery of the twilit landscape to the impatient exultant close Some performers suggest that the love remains hopeless Fischer-Dieskau leaves you in little doubt that his feelings are reciprocated Klimov himself was 10 in 1943 and saw his home city of Stalingrad and its wide river go up in flames: was an excursion to he says here He understood the Belarus atrocities and is said to have insisted on using live ammunition The film has a searing authenticity of detail and if it descends into extremes of darkness and misery it does so in a spirit of tragic reverence for past suffering lightened only by surreal touches of grotesquerie The agonised Klimov confesses that film I work any more I went through such an This Lear-like journey through a devastated landscape bringing us to see (and hear) warping experience with poetic directness imprints on our perceptions a series of astonishing images The initially cheerful partisans pose en masse for a photo with a graffiti-ed cow that reads rather eat you than let the Germans get When confined to camp by his charismatic commander Florya weeps so bitterly that his face in unnerving close-up twists into a hideous half-comic mask of grief A peaceful forest is shockingly destroyed in a brown ear-splitting earthstorm by a succession of German bombs As the deafened Florya and a beautiful unbalanced teenage girl Glasha (Olga Mironova) cower in a makeshift woodland shelter a minatory stork supposedly a symbol of hope and good luck steps out of the trees and eyes them disapprovingly Florya runs blindly out of his village towards the bog-island where he hopes his mother and sisters are hiding after a German raid but Glasha on his heels happens to look back -and sees the heap of white massacred bodies behind a fence Partisans mould a macabre clay Hitler out of a German skull and erect a swastika-ed scarecrow against their oppressors The maddened traumatised Florya is posed for another photo pistol to his head by grinning drunken blood-crazed Nazis at the climax of the almost unbearably extended final sequence apocalypse caught in the act a spellbinding dangerous to The apocalyptic dominates the Russian imagination still at least in Timur delirious overstuffed highly watchable Night Watch (2004) on release highest-grossing movie ever and a disturbing sign of on post-Soviet minds This moody energetic rock-driven gore-packed Russified fantasia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer packed with what has been called prophecies and superstitions seems more symptom than diagnosis of wrong with the world Philip Horne Come and See 15 Nouveaux Pictures 2 discs £18-99 Night Watch 15 20th Century Fox £19-99 The beckoning title Come and See might seem like Meet Me in St Louis or Bring It On a promise of fun or at least a showbiz come-on But precious little entertainment as such in the late Elem harrowing unique highly influential 1985 war film about the sufferings of the people of Belarus under the genocidal Nazi occupation in 1943 That title no marquee slogan summons us frighteningly towards the Book of Revelation (67-8) and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: when he had opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth beast say Come and see And I looked and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death and Hell followed with Hell on earth is indeed not much of an exaggeration for the story of Florya (Alexei Kravchenko) a young peasant boy who enthusiastically joins up with the partisan resistance in his Sunday-best suit He ends up having come to see more than any human being can bear his ravaged young eyes staring around in disbelieving witness out of a grey old face Artificial Eye A Masterpiece' Empire Buy the DVD from The hugely acclaimed classic from the director of the Three trilogy finally released on special edition 2 disc DVD with exclusive extra features Monday at Richard Wigmore 5.

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