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Vangelis - Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka CD (album) cover




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3.60 | 10 ratings

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3 stars I had mixed feelings for this documentary film about the Greek maestro whose music I've enjoyed since my teens. 119 minutes is a very long and tiresome time when the majority of the contents is various persons speaking to the camera. They include e.g. musicians from the classical scene such as Julian Rachlin, Jessye Norman, Mariss Jansons, Martha Argerich and Montserrat Caballé; movie people (directors Oliver Stone, Roman Polanski and Ridley Scott, actors Gerard Depardieu and Sean Connery together with his wife, producer David Puttnam); the director of Institute of Modern Art in Valencia; a lead scientist of NASA; a Russian mime artist who acts to the music of Vangelis; and of course also Jon Anderson is seen briefly. Vangelis himself is interviewed the most, plus seen receiving various awards and sitting on the backseat of a car (yawn).

The film avoids chronological approach and there's no voice-over to tell facts about Vangelis' life and career. Nor are there scenes (except the rather moving mime performance) that use Vangelis' album music as the artistic starting point. In my mind that would have been a very fruitful approach! The interview clips are all without music and get quite boring during two hours. Therefore the music that is heard is mostly from movie clips ("Alexander", "1492 - Conquest of Paradise", "Bitter Moon", "Blade Runner", "Chariots of Fire" and the NASA-themed "Mythodea"). To my surprise there's also a film "El Greco" from 2007 - the album of the same name is a decade older though. But I must not forget the superb scene of Vangelis playing in his studio. That man is really an orchestra! More of that kind of contents would have been great.

To me the most interesting new thing was about his painting hobby. He's a gifted painter but he refuses to sell his works that are like children to him. In Spain's Valencia - and in some other places, I suppose - there was a retrospective exhibition of his paintings. The character of Vangelis is also quite interesting, and naturally the film manages to show a lot of light into it. But in general the character of this film is a bit too dry and serious. Can't rate it higher than three stars.

Matti | 3/5 |


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