Monday, November 9, 2009

Berlin Wall, Appassionata & The Lives Of Others

It looked as though many have stopped listening to Beethoven’s  Appassionata.

Maxim Gorky wrote about Lenin listening to Beethoven's Appassionata:
“I know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps naively so, to think that people can work such miracles!
“Wrinkling up his eyes, Lenin smiled rather sadly, adding: ‘But I can't listen to music very often. It affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things and pat the heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. One can't pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. They ought to be beaten on the head, beaten mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. Hm—– what a hellishly difficult job!”
It was said that Lenin was indeed afraid he would otherwise never ‘finish’ the revolution!!!
Henckel von Donnersmarck said he based his film The Lives Of Others on the Appassionata anecdote.

The Lives Of Others/Sony
The Times:
The Lives of Others has caused the most delicious trouble since winning Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars. Few critics expected this modest thriller about the East German Stasi to lift such a glamorous award.
“The plot is as simple as an opera charge sheet. A plump and seedy minister for the arts falls for a famous actress with a drug habit. He orders his lieutenant to bug the flat she shares with her fashionable playwright boyfriend. Wiesler is duly charged to drag up the necessary dirt. Under “Operation Lazlo”, he litters their apartment with secret microphones and moves into the attic to spy on their every twitch.
“Against every trained fibre of his highly tuned mind he starts falling in love with Martina Gedeck’s voluptuous actress, and sympathising with Sebastian Koch’s idealistic writer. The mission to nail this pair of errant artists turns into a desperate soap to save them.”
With the celebration underway for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Times reported::
“In an extraordinary frank meeting with Mr Gorbachev in Moscow in 1989 — never before fully reported — Mrs Thatcher said the destabilisation of Eastern Europe and the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact were also not in the West’s interests.
“We do not want a united Germany,” she said. “This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.”
Perhaps she stopped listening to The Appassionata!
Anyway, The Berlin Film Festival refused to accept it as an official entry.
They stopped listening too!
In 2007, it was awarded an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

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