Sunday, October 4, 2009

Speaking of Jacqueline Du Pré

I came across this excerpt on YouTube from the film "Hilary and Jackie" that I thought was cute.

There are the usual nasty comments about the movie in the link below. (Why is it that so many trolls troll YouTube?)

People seemed personally offended that Du Pré was portrayed in any remotely negative way. The filmmakers probably erred in not presenting this more firmly as a tale altered in some of its details (although I must say, it's very true to the book by Hilary and Piers Du Pré -- which clearly was presented as fact, and which garnered even more hate than the movie). I loved the movie. Aside from the great acting and production values, I thought it got at some deeper truths, beyond the stories of the real individuals.

What deeper truths? Well, if it took a 90-minute movie to convey them, I probably can't do so in a few sentences, but one thread was that genius, though rewarding in itself, can also twist the person's life because it doesn't make room for the things people need to be healthy. There are reams of books and dozens of movies about how in many artists this manifests itself in behavior (drugs, alcohol, criminality, sexual escapades), so then one can say it's the behavior that is the real problem. But here, it is purely that Jackie's genius and early obsession with the cello distort her development so that as an adult, she cannot lead a normal life. The implication is that this is her inexorable fate.

That's what I see as the message of the movie. Now, a real person's life cannot be that easily interpreted, but that's the difference between art and life, parable and reality.

No comments: