Was flipping this evening and came across something called 'BloodMonkey' on one of the movie channels - kind of an Anaconda meets Blood Diamond but with killer apes instead of snakes - and was about to keep flipping when I recognized the crazed leader of the rain forest expedition...it was F. Murray friggin' Abraham!!
Great 'so bad its good' trailer HERE.
You know, F. Murray Abraham. Best Actor Oscar winner for his portrayal of Salieri in Peter Shaffer and Milos Foreman's Amadeus. Amadeus! Oh sweet Jesus, Amadeus...how you rocked my world way back when...
Perfect storytelling. Perfect casting. Perfect direction. Perfect performances. Pitch perfect score. In relating the tale of a lessor artists agonizing and ultimately futile quest for notoriety and creative excellence while the 'genius' of another eats away at his very soul (we've all been there), the film works on so many levels.
I needed more...
But YouTube clips couldn't quench the thirst, I had to have it all on the big (TV) screen.
"On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God."
Sort of like how the words on a page of a screenplay, in the right directors hands and right performers mouths, can result in an amazing film...but it still all begins with the words.
And after I watched Amadeus through and been moved to tears yet again by this wonderful film and F. Murray's brilliant performance, I didn't begrudge Abraham and his 'BloodMonkey' money. He's a great actor, but there's just not that many Amadeus's floating around...and a man's gotta eat.
Still, it seems a little sad that compositions by performing monkeys, like the script for BloodMonkey, are more the norm and not the exception. Or perhaps it's that our business is primarily made up of "Salieri's", while the "Mozart's" are few and far between.
And as a bonus, go HERE to find all six parts of a marvelous behind the scenes making of Amadeus...sweet filmmaking goodness.