@Sean A. Carter: everyone is entitled to their opinion. But for you to claim "the audience never embraced the one-note" is utter bullshit. She received a standing ovation, leading to an encore. Perhaps you were expecting another jazz ensemble. Personally, I enjoyed the fact that there was nothing to distract from the incredible range of her voice. There's beauty in restraint for those of us who can appreciate talent without needing to be knocked upside the head with it.
Don't lend your opinion to the entire audience.
A fan of Virginia Rodrigues I looked forward to enjoying her performance at Spoleto 2012. As an attendee to her debut performance during 2001 at the Cistern, her energy was magnetic, range commanding, voice crisp and Jazz ensemble filled that evening with electricity under the grand oaks. Though the Charleston setting was muggy, with the occasional sand gnat - who cared - the music was grand, the lights were bright, and all really had a blast and wanted the evening to last forever. My guests from Chicago were equally pleased with my selection of entertainment for the evening.
Last evening's concert at the Gaillard, however, was quite disappointing. Her somber voice, selection of song and veiled cold approach have certainly matured over the last decade, the audience never embraced the one-note. Mesquita's strings never seemed to climax, and musical endings faded into oblivion under the back-drop of static blues on graphite curtains. Early reviews in other cities proclaimed spell-bounding and spiritual, I must say that the Gaillard performance simply was not. One must wonder if the stage was just too difficult for these two artists to master. The magic simply was not present, and both seemed more often lost than at home. Or, alas, our local history wrought in the beauty and spirit of Gullah conditioned a Sandlapper to expect so much more in choir to lift-up the voice or in ensemble to showcase the guitar.
Sadly, the singular-offering concert rests mindfully more Refundable, than rewarding or repeating.
To clarify the use of the royal we: this is a stylistic choice, as you'll notice when reading other reviews in this paper. It is not intended to refer to the public at large, as that is hardly the role of any writer.
Also - I too thought the score for this film was outstanding, and played to perfection by the very talented musicians there.
i think there is a broken link to face book
I absolutely loved this film experience. First of all, I feel lucky to have such technically adept, and creatively gifted artists in my new community in Charleston. Having recently relocated to Charleston from San Francisco, I was worried that I would be missing out on the art and culture scene that I had grown used to. These artists, both film maker and musicians, have me excited to discover what else Charleston has to offer. What I loved most about the film was that it did feel intimate. Nathanson was able to take us with him on a journey of those special moments around Charleston. I understood and appreciated his perspective. He gave life to the things I admire, and go out of my way to experience as well. Enjoying beautiful images of the natural world on a big screen, with hundreds of people, and outstanding live music compositions... doesn't get much better than that. How anyone could not have been moved by that experience is beyond me, and a perspective I am glad I don't share.
Congratulations to all the artists for a tremendously moving piece of ART!
This film was a wonderful idea and wonderfully executed. I found it poignant, beautiful, witty (which is a feat for a silent film, no?) and moving. This film was a risk for the filmmaker, and one well taken, as the end result made me appreciate this town anew. Your review does not do justice to the film or to the many Charlestonians who will see their home with fresh eyes after viewing it. As others have stated here, please do not presume to speak for the collective "we."
The project was intended to be, as stated, A love letter to Charleston. I thought the highlights of the film were the intimate moments between the filmmaker and his city. Instead of feeling like a third wheel, I felt like I was stealing a glimpse of a city I know through another's eyes. The filmmaker didn't focus on everything that makes up "my" Charleston, and that's what I loved most about the film.
With regard to the "long and slow" scenes, I felt like they appropriately conveyed Charleston's rhythm. For all it's creativity, it's a city in the south and things move slow. Felt right to me.
I'm not sure that I saw anything overly intimate in this "love letter", rather an unabashed affection for our time in this place. While there may be room to quibble with a sequence or two needing to be pared down, that misreads the intention of the piece which falls into the tradition of early silent films and epic films with live orchestration, ie Abel Gance's "Napoleon." It was conceived in such way that would work only with the live score. Without that element it may well have needed to be tightened up, but the live music and huge screen were part of the whole experience helped immeasurably by Nathanson's great eye and kinetic editing, to carry this viewer along, very amiably.
I love how people in this town cannot, and I mean absolutely cannot, handle an actual critical review.
If you were going into this thinking its supposed to be a documentary, then I agree it would be pretty disappointing. However, the concept for this project was very different than a traditional documentary, so I'm not sure why you're calling it such. It was a silent film made with the intention of being scored live-- it was never intended to tell a story like a documentary does. I thought of it as more of a piece of visual poetry. The musicians did an amazing job, and the film looked great. You could argue there was maybe too much of this, or not enough of that, but you have to admit that it was pretty cool over all, and if nothing else the music was badass. Altogether it was a very unique type of project, and one which was executed well.
I find your review to be quite presumptuous in thinking you share the same opinion as anyone else who was in the audience last night. I am willing to bet no one shares your opinion. From what it sounds like, you must not be a local or share the same appreciation for Charleston, and all it has to offer. I also don't think you understood the whole concept of having the live music there to be a part of the film. It was there to complete the experience. Did you miss that whole part? It sounds like your understanding is that it was provided to add to the film and that the film would have suffered without it since it was silent. If you were paying any attention to it you'd realize the score was written perfectly for the film. I found the timing of the sounds, the mimicry of the boats by the cello, and many other planned intros and exits in the songs to be impressive as far as timing in scenes go. I assume by your contradictory review that you don't have a clue as to what was going on. I found every bit of footage to be intriguing and made me feel proud to be a Charlestonian. Most of these shots were taken in familiar and recognizable places that I have encountered many times and have my own fond memories or experiences with. I found his personal love letter to be something that most people can strongly relate to. I would like to hear from you what exactly it was that you were not connecting with. My only guess is you don't have an attachment to these events, places, or people. You probably don't get out that much, unless its to review a film that you obviously have personal problems with. The film was comprised of many local places and people that are important to our community, who are movers and shakers. Justin's film is one anyone can relate to, even if they are not from this city. It was poetic and spoke of the beauty we find in our everyday lives. The one thing that you did get right is that YOU are the third wheel. If you were not impressed with this film and it's musical arrangements, then you don't belong in this love affair Charlestonians have with their city.
Clearly we saw a different movie, I saw a very loving non-self-indulgent tribute to this great city of ours. I actually found your review to be all over the place with a very mixed message, did you actually see the same film I saw. This movie made me fall back in love with this city of ours. Also when reviewing please refrain from using "we" as you in no way speak for me or the other people I know who went to see this and found it to be a very moving tribute to this great city of ours. You refer to Justin's film as an exclusive, wordless exchange between Nathanson and his beloved city...well it is his "love letter" and I am so glad he allowed me the chance to journey with him as he wrote his tribute with this very remarkable film.
More palatable? Very strange that in your closing statement you praise
this artist for taking a leap and sharing his passion with an audience
then you want him to "tone it down" so that we, the general public can
stand it........very strange and disheartening that you would want a
creative person to change their piece to suit the public......it is a
personal love letter by the filmmaker. Also, there was narrative and
pattern and the film VERY obviously went from early morning to night.
Were you there for the whole film? Maybe you weren't one of the three
hundred people that came for the first show that I was in...because at
the end everyone gave a standing ovation and I left feeling honored to
be a part of Charleston.
By "projected video," do you mean this will be available to the general public on DVD? I hope so, as I can't make it to the theater, but would love to see it.
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