Saturday, November 8, 2008

Random Non Sequitur

An unusual and random tidbit about me: I have "The Internationale" on my ipod. I'm not a Communist by any stretch of the term, but I have to say that it's one of the most stirring anthems I've ever heard. Especially when heard in Reds where it seems that Warren Beatty's John Reed single-handedly brought about the Russian revolution. I kid, I kid. (Even though the crowd starts singing it as he makes an impassioned speech, then segues into a brilliant montage of uprising...) It's a unique and politically complex epic about the unabashedly leftist Reed, who famously documented the Bolshevik Revolution in Ten Days That Shook the World and his frustratingly passionate romance and marriage to Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton). Aside from its stellar Oscar-winning direction (by Beatty), the film boasts one of Keaton's greatest performances, Maureen Stapleton in an Oscar-winning turn as anarchist Emma Goldman and the beautiful, if sparse original score by Stephen Sondheim (who is also interviewed in the DVD extras). Anyway, now I want to watch Reds again in all its 194 minutes of glory. (It's also heard in David Lean's beautiful adaptation of Doctor Zhivago, that other glorious epic about romance set against the Russian Revolution, but it's impact is not as important as it is in Beatty's film. Maybe if I find seven hours, I can make it a double feature...)

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