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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 12, 1997
The movie "Shine" has created a phenomenon that suggests a new low in standards for classical music -- something to which I am no doubt contributing by writing about the film for the second time in two weeks.Lest anyone has forgotten, "Shine" is an art-cinema-house release that tells the real-life story of pianist David Helfgott, the severe mental breakdown he suffered as a consequence of his struggles to free himself of his domineering father and to learn the monumentally difficult Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 (the "Rach 3" in the parlance of the movie and of pianists)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 9, 1999
Movies about classical music make me doubt film as a serious art form.Don't get me wrong. I love movies -- I'd rather see a so-so movie than hear a so-so concert any day of the week. Some great movies are etched in my memories the way certain great performances by favorite musicians are. I'll no sooner forget Tarkovsky's "Solaris" or Scorsese's "Raging Bull" than Richter's "Appassionata" or Kissin's "Funeral March" Sonata.But while classical musicians can be a great subject for a documentary filmmaker -- one need look no further than Bruno Monsaingeon's recent "Richter: The Enigma" -- they are bad news for feature film directors.
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NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 23, 1997
I stopped paying attention to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual awards presentation on TV years ago. But I might watch tomorrow night -- if only because I'm curious to find out if the movie "Shine" wins an Oscar.The Australian-made "Shine," which was filmed on a shoestring budget, became a surprise hit when it was released late last year and has been nominated in seven categories, including best picture. The film tells the "real-life" story of the pianistDavid Helfgott (portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, who has been nominated for a best actor award)
FEATURES
By Judith Schlesinger and Judith Schlesinger,Special to the sun | May 24, 1998
"Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine," by Margaret Helfgott with Tom Gross. Warner Books. 294 pages. $24.All that shines is not gold, and the movie "Shine" is composed of far baser elements: lies and greed. This is Margaret Helfgott's claim in "Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine" (Warner Books, 1998, with Tom Gross), and she makes a good case for it."Shine" is the 1996 blockbuster film about Margaret's younger brother David, a young pianist headed for greatness but derailed by the mental illness "caused" by his tyrannical father, himself scarred by the Holocaust.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 5, 1997
The ailing classical music industry may be getting a shot in the arm from an unlikely source named David Helfgott: a hyper-manic, middle-aged pianist who spent 15 years in mental institutions and whose rapid-fire speech is about as easy to understand as James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake."Helfgott's life is the subject of director Scott Hick's remarkable film, "Shine," an Australian-made sleeper that became the critical sensation of the Christmas-release season.Geoffrey Rush, who plays the mature Helfgott, was named best actor by the New York and Los Angeles film critics' associations.
FEATURES
By Judith Schlesinger and Judith Schlesinger,Special to the sun | May 24, 1998
"Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine," by Margaret Helfgott with Tom Gross. Warner Books. 294 pages. $24.All that shines is not gold, and the movie "Shine" is composed of far baser elements: lies and greed. This is Margaret Helfgott's claim in "Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine" (Warner Books, 1998, with Tom Gross), and she makes a good case for it."Shine" is the 1996 blockbuster film about Margaret's younger brother David, a young pianist headed for greatness but derailed by the mental illness "caused" by his tyrannical father, himself scarred by the Holocaust.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 9, 1999
Movies about classical music make me doubt film as a serious art form.Don't get me wrong. I love movies -- I'd rather see a so-so movie than hear a so-so concert any day of the week. Some great movies are etched in my memories the way certain great performances by favorite musicians are. I'll no sooner forget Tarkovsky's "Solaris" or Scorsese's "Raging Bull" than Richter's "Appassionata" or Kissin's "Funeral March" Sonata.But while classical musicians can be a great subject for a documentary filmmaker -- one need look no further than Bruno Monsaingeon's recent "Richter: The Enigma" -- they are bad news for feature film directors.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter | November 28, 1996
"Shine," the deliriously well-reviewed movie about the brilliant but dysfunctional Australian pianist David Helfgott, will be introduced and discussed by world-renowned pianist Leon Fleisher at Cinema Sundays at the Charles on Sunday."Shine" was directed by Scott Hicks and stars Armin Mueller-Stahl, Lynn Redgrave, Geoffrey Rush and Sir John Gielgud; it won the audience's most popular award at the Toronto Film Festival.The doors open at 10 a.m., and the screening begins at 10: 30 a.m. Coffee and pastry will be served.
NEWS
By Ellen Goodman | March 9, 1997
BOSTON -- So David Helfgott has finally come to America, arriving like an epilogue to his own cinematic story.Here at last is the child prodigy whose wrecked and resurrected life is depicted in ''Shine.'' He is doing a star turn.Mr. Helfgott flew from Australia on a plane that showed, of course, ''Shine.'' He landed in Boston to begin a 10-city concert tour known, of course, as ''The 'Shine' Tour.''He came in advance of the Academy Awards in which a seven-time contender is ''Shine. '' He came in tandem with the sales success of the CD called ''Shine.
FEATURES
By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 9, 1997
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra audiences are in for "a good dose of Russian melancholia," says pianist Andre Watts, featured artist with the BSO this weekend.Watts will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and the orchestra, under guest conductor Jerzy Semkow, will perform Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony No. 6 in B minor.Though their composers belonged to different centuries, the pieces were written less than a decade apart. The "Pathetique" (given its title by Tchaikovsky's brother and manager, Modest)
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 23, 1997
I stopped paying attention to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual awards presentation on TV years ago. But I might watch tomorrow night -- if only because I'm curious to find out if the movie "Shine" wins an Oscar.The Australian-made "Shine," which was filmed on a shoestring budget, became a surprise hit when it was released late last year and has been nominated in seven categories, including best picture. The film tells the "real-life" story of the pianistDavid Helfgott (portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, who has been nominated for a best actor award)
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 12, 1997
The movie "Shine" has created a phenomenon that suggests a new low in standards for classical music -- something to which I am no doubt contributing by writing about the film for the second time in two weeks.Lest anyone has forgotten, "Shine" is an art-cinema-house release that tells the real-life story of pianist David Helfgott, the severe mental breakdown he suffered as a consequence of his struggles to free himself of his domineering father and to learn the monumentally difficult Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 (the "Rach 3" in the parlance of the movie and of pianists)
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 5, 1997
The ailing classical music industry may be getting a shot in the arm from an unlikely source named David Helfgott: a hyper-manic, middle-aged pianist who spent 15 years in mental institutions and whose rapid-fire speech is about as easy to understand as James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake."Helfgott's life is the subject of director Scott Hick's remarkable film, "Shine," an Australian-made sleeper that became the critical sensation of the Christmas-release season.Geoffrey Rush, who plays the mature Helfgott, was named best actor by the New York and Los Angeles film critics' associations.
NEWS
March 26, 1997
THEY DON'T give an Oscar for historical accuracy, or it would have been one that "The English Patient" didn't win. The internationally made movie ran away with nine, including best picture, in the 69th annual Academy Awards ritual of self-congratulation before a world-wide audience."
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 14, 2003
Big-screen cautionary tales can be too simple, like a red light flashing for two hours. But Max combines a warning about intellectual hubris and the rise of Nazism with a kicky Rod Serling-like rewrite of history. It asks: What if Adolf Hitler had found himself torn between leading the nascent National Socialist Party or becoming a star recruit in modernism's conquest of the art world? The result is suitably upsetting and intriguing, despite a simultaneously tacky and too-neat climax. Taking off from the facts that Hitler was an aspiring artist and that several Jewish art dealers helped him sell his work, writer-director Menno Meyjes creates an inventive impresario named Max Rothman (John Cusack)
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