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Callas Forever, Wed February 23
2005, 7:00 & 9:15

Generous, grand, flamboyant story of a true diva

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Callas Forever shows at IFS on Wed February 23, 2005, 7:00 & 9:15

Callas Forever
Generous, grand, flamboyant story of a true diva
Wed February 23
2005, 7:00 & 9:15

Though Franco Zeffirelli's "Callas Forever" is a work of fiction -- with Callas surrounded by made-up characters, working on a movie version of "Carmen" that never happened -- it's a fiction informed by an intimate knowledge of Callas' personality and character.

For Callas lovers, it doesn't get much better than this. The movie is rich with music and more than a few moments of painful exaltation, where the breath catches, the eyes fill and the skin tingles. You know, Callas moments. The story also gives Zeffirelli, one of the great opera directors, a chance to stage scenes from "Carmen," with Callas -- or rather Fanny Ardant as Callas -- at its center.

Yet a familiarity with Callas or opera in general is hardly required for appreciating this film. Though campy at times, "Callas Forever" is a generous offering, full of flamboyant characters and grand performances. The musical selections are deliberately chosen from the more accessible end of the Callas discography: Bizet, lots of Puccini, "Casta Diva." For many, this will be the beginning of a beautiful acquaintance with one of the supreme interpretive artists of the 20th century.

The movie takes place in 1977, several months before Callas unexpectedly died of a heart attack at 53. As in real life, Callas is living as a virtual recluse in her Paris apartment, her career over, her voice a shadow of its former glory. And then -- here's where the fiction begins -- a rescue, of sorts, arrives in the form of her old manager, Larry Kelly (Jeremy Irons).

He has a brilliant idea: Yes, Maria's voice is shot, but she's still a great actress. So why not make a film using, as the soundtrack, an opera that she recorded in her heyday? After all, singers are never recorded live on a movie soundstage anyway. What difference does it make if the playback recording is from last month or 15 years ago? It's still her.

To Zeffirelli, a Catholic, Callas was an instrument through which God poured out divine beauty. He believes this literally, and so this is the Callas he gives us: a woman blessed and cursed by a terrible gift that makes normal life meaningless, while giving her a glimpse into a transcendence that eludes her. (M. LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

To see a trailer and read a review, visit InternationalFilmSeries.com.

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

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