Friday, August 29, 2008

Eh-hum # 249

Updates and stories before August 2008 ends:

1. “And there it is”.

I just finished watching (in YouTube, ehem) the Academy Award-winning 1984 film (including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film/Picture) Amadeus, directed by Milos Forman and based on Peter Shaffer’s stage play of the same name. The movie (and the play) was bases very loosely on the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, two composers in Vienna during the reign of Austrian Emperor Joseph II. Mozart was portrayed as a coarse, spoiled, childish yet immensely brilliant composer and Salieri as a God-fearing, naïve man whose musical talent pales in comparison to Mozart. Mozart’s genius and his unconscious tendency to repeatedly belittle Salieri’s work caused the latter to question his faith, since he came to believe that God, through Mozart, is cruelly laughing at his mediocrity.

While Salieri plots to get rid of his enemy and rival, Mozart’s owns tribulations affects his life as a supposed celebrated composer in Vienna (his animosity with the Italians in the Emperor’s court, the initial reception to his original music, the constant partying, the death of his father Leopold, etc). He only finds solace in the arms of his wife Constanze and his son, Wolfgang. Salieri uses Mozart’s financial problems to his advantage and found the means to pressure a sickly and stressed-out Mozart to write the Requiem Mass in D Minor. Once the requiem is completed, he plans to kill Mozart and take credit for the requiem mass. In the end, Mozart died and never got to finish probably his greatest work. Salieri never got his hands on the requiem, because Constanze was able to lock the manuscript away. Salieri through his old age was haunted by Mozart’s brilliance that survived the test of time. His guilt caused him to spend his last days in a lunatic asylum.

Again, the film was loosely based on the lives of Mozart and Salieri. Though the fictional liberties were annoying at times, I liked how they depicted Mozart as a rock star and Salieri’s transition from a pious to a vengeful man. The actors were inspiring as well: Tom Hulce (Mozart) and F. Murray Abraham (Salieri) were both nominated for an Academy Award for the same category, but Abraham won in the end. A must see for movie buffs indeed. Oh yeah, you have to watch the movie to know which character said the line above.

NOTE: Dear Lord, hopefully my friends will read this post and consider giving me a DVD of Amadeus (Director's Cut). Thank you. Amen.

2. Went to Cebu and Bohol. 70% work, 30% vacation. It was good, save for a storm that followed me back to Manila. And I am not talking about the kind that begins as a low pressure area off shore. But who cares?

3. Aaarrggghhh. I did not catch ONE SINGLE GAME of the Redeem Team in the recently concluded Beijing Olympics. Sayang! I was hoping to catch the guys in action. And am sure that game with Spain was exciting as hell!

4. I am on my second Umberto Eco novel, entitled Baudolino. The first one I read was the critically acclaimed The Name of the Rose (which has a movie version starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater), an intellectual mystery that combines biblical fiction, medieval studies, literary theory and semiotics in fiction. Lately I found myself interested in the middle-ages, particularly the fall of the Roman Empire. Though this is fiction, it has basis in historical events, and I don’t mind learning this way. I plan to buy Eco’s works; I think it’s worth it.

5. Had a serious Jolibee craving the other day and had breakfast and dinner at two separate restaurants. Happy 15th (?) Birthday to Jolibee Katipunan. Also, quite glad that the Amazing Aloha is back.

6. And a picture of the beautiful Gael Garcia Bernal.

Wala lang.