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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
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The Sistine: Charlton Heston tells of his role as Michelangelo

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Home > Culture & Society > 2012-10-31 14:26:5

(Vatican Radio) As we celebrate five centuries since the unveiling of Michelangelo's central ceiling vault frescoes in the Sistine Chapel back in 1512, we bring you an archive interview with the late Charlton Heston.
An interview in which former colleague Lana Hale speaks to this Hollywood actor about his role as Michelangelo in the Agony and the Ecstasy
....
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http://en.radiovaticana.va/Articolo.asp?c=634534

:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Prince Judah
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That's a gem of an interview, it shows Chuck's appreciation, passion and study of the work of the great artist whose role he played so remarkably.

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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:00 am 
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Call Me Harry
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Watching this again for the first time in months; you have to love the way Heston and Harrison play off each other. Some claim they didn't get along off camera, you have to wonder if some of that alleged disunity poured onto the screen in their more heated scenes.


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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:14 am 
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Call Me Harry
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Hmm, this thread's been a little inactive lately.

Watched A&E (no, not THAT A&E) and seeing the scenes between Chuck and Diane Cilento I seemed to recall Chuck didn't talk much about her in his autobiography - though I think he did mention her then husband Sean Connery (AKA: James Bond) stopping by during filming (she later said some very nasty things about old Sean but that's another story). Does anyone know if Ms. Cilento ever talked about her experiences working with Chuck and/or Rex Harrison on this film?


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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:52 am 
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Astronaut

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That would be interesting... we need to google around for her interviews on this movie.

To overcome the inactivity, here is an article from http://www.oilpaintingexpress.com/conte ... nd-ecstasy:

Through the lens of modern art history, watching The Agony and the Ecstasy is a strange experience. Centered on Michelangelo's relationship with Pope Julius II, for whom he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the film purports to present historical accuracy, but just as often as it pleases, it disappoints. Ordinarily, I wouldn't get too offended by a filmmaker's historical revisionism, but when a film sets itself up as a historical record, it opens itself up to those criticisms. The Agony and the Ecstasy tries to blend its fictional representation into fact – so much so that the film opens with a twelve minutes documentary about Michelangelo's birth and early tutelage under Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence, showing chronological facts of his life alongside interpretations of his sculpted works. From this sort of prologue, the film transitions to footage of the marble quarries in Carrara, not as they existed in 1965 but as they existed in Michelangelo's day, and then to the plot of the film. It establishes the film as a continuation of the established facts.

Some of the representations are refreshing in their accuracy. Charlton Heston's Michelangelo and Rex Harrison's Julius exhibit a compelling simultaneous disdain and admiration for one another, a complexity that is clear in the historical documents of the time and in the brilliant work that the pope inspired in -- and forced out of -- the artist. It was for the pope that Michelangelo created not only the ceiling but also the brilliantly sculpted Moses of the pope's tomb. The tomb is the subject of much discussion in the film and, for those who know art history, is an almost tragic side note, as Michelangelo and the pope discuss the tomb's grandeur, the planned eventual forty sculptures, and a possible position beneath the dome of St. Peter's. In reality, the tomb contains very few sculpted pieces and was relegated to a church that is now primarily visited because of the Moses figure.

But impressive aspects set aside, the film repeatedly disappoints anyone who is watching it from an art history perspective. The representation of the architect Bramante's attempts to sabotage Michelangelo is compelling, but Raphael is definitely let off the hook in the situation. The film presents Raphael as quiet and hesitant, an unwitting beneficiary of Bramante's influence with Julius, when in reality, the two painters' rivalry and begrudging respect for one another are well known. The simultaneous painting of the Sistine Chapel and The School of Athens and the close proximity seems to have impacted both artists' work, but the film only shows that Michelangelo's genius affected Raphael – an omission that feels unfair to both artists.

The most disappointing element of the movie, however, is one that it probably isn't really fair of me to criticize; it's absolutely no fault of the filmmaker's. At the film's close, when the ceiling is finally revealed to the public (and the viewers) for the first time, Michelangelo's contemporaries are in awe, an experience that the swelling music and sweeping camera movements tell us we should share. But for modern film viewers, the scene will likely fall flat, and for one reason: when the ceiling was cleaned and restored between 1980 and 1994, the art history world was rocked by what they found. Everyone knew that centuries of candle smoke and soot had accumulated on the work, but no one realized just how vibrant the color of the paint was beneath. Regardless of whether you agree that the restoration should have occurred (indeed, there are many art historians who were outraged by it), everyone agrees that the appearance of the frescoes had changed dramatically since they were painted, and the ceiling we see now is much closer to what Michelangelo's contemporaries saw. So it feels strange when the film shows those very contemporaries in awe of the grimier version. It is, of course, logical, that the film can only show the ceiling as it existed in 1965, but for today's viewers it means that the entire film builds to a moment of disappointment – but in that disappointment exists a fascinating exercise in art history scholarship: a demonstration of the effects of the restoration that even photographs don't quite capture.

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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:49 pm 
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This has been announced as a forthcoming Blu-ray from Fox in March 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:45 am 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Ed Bannon wrote:
This has been announced as a forthcoming Blu-ray from Fox in March 2014.

Thanks for telling us, I had no idea.

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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:56 am 
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This title received a lot of votes earlier this year when Fox had a 'vote your choice' contest for every decade from the 30s thru the 60s.. It didn't win (I voted for it repeatedly. A bunch of John Wayne fans swamped the contest, however). Fortunately, Fox decided to release most of the ones that received high vote counts even if they didn't win.


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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Ed Bannon wrote:
This title received a lot of votes earlier this year when Fox had a 'vote your choice' contest for every decade from the 30s thru the 60s.. It didn't win (I voted for it repeatedly. A bunch of John Wayne fans swamped the contest, however). Fortunately, Fox decided to release most of the ones that received high vote counts even if they didn't win.

I can see that happening :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Agony and the Ecstasy
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:49 pm 
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A good sneak peak at the new Blu-ray can be found at DVD BEAVER.

Look at the beads of sweat on Rex Harrison's forehead in the shot where he is lying in the straw while none is visible on the DVD version. Look at the detail on Harrison's armor in the shot where the officer is kneeling and kissing his hand.

I've always felt this is an over-long overwrought movie, but it features two great actors; and on Blu-ray should be a feast for the eyes and ears.


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