Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy
  • Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy
  • Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy

Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy

5.0 1
Director: Olivier Mille

Cast: Olivier Messiaen

     
 

As directed by documentarist Olivier Mille, this film provides an intimate biographical portrait of still-influential music theorist and composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-92). Throughout his life, Messaien developed groundbreaking spiritual and aural ideas and philosophies, and constantly reveled in the many wonders of nature and intellectual exploration. In etching out…  See more details below

Overview

As directed by documentarist Olivier Mille, this film provides an intimate biographical portrait of still-influential music theorist and composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-92). Throughout his life, Messaien developed groundbreaking spiritual and aural ideas and philosophies, and constantly reveled in the many wonders of nature and intellectual exploration. In etching out a compelling image of Messiaen, Mille brings together the most compelling archival footage of the composer and overlays extracts from his musical compositions atop images that evoke its ideas, thematic tropes and emotional landscapes

Product Details

Release Date:
11/20/2007
UPC:
0899132000442
Rating:
NR
Source:
Juxtapositions
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Musicians and composers talk about Olivier Messiaen's work; Excerpts from the film series: Des canyons aux étoiles, le Monde d'Olivier Messiaen directed by Olivier Mille:; Birds, nature/Colours, rythms, teaching/ Faith, religion

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy
1. Chapter 1 [7:47]
2. Chapter 2 [5:32]
3. Chapter 3 [5:55]
4. Chapter 4 [6:02]
5. Chapter 5 [4:21]
6. Chapter 6 [4:13]
7. Chapter 7 [5:46]
8. Chapter 8 [9:03]
9. Chapter 9 [8:38]

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Olivier Messiaen: The Crystal Liturgy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There have been plenty of books devoted to the legendary French composer Olivier Messiaen, but not much in the way of films, outside of a 1985 episode of The South Bank Show and the 1988 film “Messiaen at 80,” both of which are virtually impossible to see. Happily, a new documentary by Olivier Mille, titled “The Crystal Liturgy: A Portrait of Olivier Messian,” is now available on DVD. Mille has organized a wealth of archival footage of the composer, plus filmed interviews with Messiaen’s colleagues and former students, into a fascinating and inspiring narrative mosaic. While the film doesn’t dig too deeply into personal details of Messiaen’s life—presenting only those aspects that are relevant to his music—it does explore in considerable depth all of his musical influences: his profound religious faith, his ability to “see” music in terms of colors, his unique approach to rhythm, and above all, his interest in and use of birdsong in his compositions. The film also offers many insights into Messiaen’s working methods and relationships with key colleagues. But the real strength of this documentary is the wealth of filmed footage Mille has assembled. Messiaen is shown giving interviews, teaching students, attending rehearsals, even fulfilling his role as organist at Paris’ Trinity Church, a post he held for decades. Most fascinating of all is footage of him wandering through sylvan landscapes (often accompanied by his second wife, the virtuoso pianist Yvonne Loriod) recording birdsongs, which he transcribed and incorporated into many of his compositions. Messiaen’s unique charisma registers strongly in these filmed excerpts, which reveal his warm and open personality, his impish humor, and his fervent belief in the transformative power of music. Watching him hold forth about the influences that shaped his music is revelatory and inspiring. The DVD extras comprise supplemental interviews with composers and musicians who offer personal perspectives on this iconoclastic figure. Most notable are the somewhat imperious Boulez, who once challenged Messiaen’s notion of “seeing” colors and the engaging Loriod, who shares some funny and tender anecdotes about her famous late husband. Even those who are familiar with Messiaen’s music will come away with a better understanding of the man many consider the greatest classical composer of the 20th Century. Bravo.