Wednesday, October 31, 2007

August Rush

Another actor has learned the cello for a movie. In August Rush, a guitarist and cellist enjoy a night of passion, but the cellist is forced by her father to give up her baby. He grows up in an orphanage (what year is this?), but is eventually cared for by Robin Williams, who names him August Rush (why, I don't know). The boy is musically gifted, hears music everywhere, favors the guitar (August Rush is probably a good name for a rock guitarist), and wants to find his birth parents. Keri Russell plays Lyla, the cellist, and Jonathan Rhys Myers plays the guitarist.

Here's a quote from the article linked to above:
For some background, note that Lyla's instrument in the script was a violin, but they decided cello was more cinematic. Russell learned to play in 12 weeks.
Interesting about the instrument change, especially because, in the movie The Soloist, a solo cello does not seem to be sufficient, and the cellist in the book becomes a violinist/cellist in the movie. In the photo above, you can see she is much sexier than the violinist. I don't know what Russell learned about the cello in 12 weeks.

Here's an excerpt from an interview with Keri Russell (who in real life had a baby this year, named River):
Did you have to learn to play the cello for the role?
Yes, I did. I had a wonderful cello teacher and they're very difficult pieces I had to play in the movie: Bach and Elgar. I took maybe, like, a year of piano when I was 9 and faked my way through folk songs. I've never played anything this hard.

Couldn't they have just used special effects?
Thank you! That's what I said! The cello is not a simple instrument, but I do think that having a respect and appreciation for it aided my cause with the character. I do find it to be a very beautiful instrument. The sound the cello makes, the reason it's such an emotional instrument, is that it's tone is the closest sound to the human voice.
The first article seems to indicate that Jen Kuhn does the actual cello playing in the movie (she is credited as playing the soloist with the NY Philharmonic and she bears a ressemblance to Russell). According to Jen Kuhn's MySpace page, she recently also "guest starred on the TV show Boston Legal, playing a mute woman who gives her testimony by "speaking" through her cello." Wow, I can barely indicate the basic emotions with my cello, let alone legal testimony. I missed that show of course. What I need is a special TV Guide for Cellists, listing those shows in which a cellist appears.

In any case, the movie opens on November 21. I will have to take a little time off from novel writing and blogging to see it.


cellodonna said...

12 weeks! HA. Just another example of an actor being full of themselves (and other stuff). Took me almost that long to learn how to hold a cello. Not to mention the bow.

A TV Guide for Cellists. OK. I'll buy it!

cellodonna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cellodonna said...

Sorry, I deleted because I somehow "double posted" the same comment.

Nich said...

Had you seen the film you should know that the name August Rush came from a lorry driving by..

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