The Tempo of my Concerto
Only a poet could have written these lines:
I don't know the tempo
Of my heart's concerto
And a musically talented poet at that. [Lady Gaga, A Star is Born]
Look no further than cinema to grasp just how much humans want to express creativity.
Modern film productions are astoundingly large, complex, organized, and deliver the economic impact of a small country. They form and disband with the singular mission of producing a movie or a show. Cinema is an underappreciated art form in my opinion, given its ubiquity.
The 2018 film A Star Is Born is perhaps the antidote to the $$$ hungry franchises and seductive action 'flix' that crowd the box office in these modern times.
You really have to search hard to find the good films - whether striking out on Netflix a handful of times to find an something that moves you - or seeing an indie at your small, local theater on a Wednesday evening with two other people in the theater.
A Star Is Born is the rare 'blockbuster' that earns its stripes in almost every measurable way.
The acting is phenomenal. Lady Gaga [real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta] debuts on a large scale film. Bradley Cooper debuts as director. Cinematography is masterfully executed by Matthew Libatique (Matty).
It's a blockbuster for those who only give a few licks to the lollypop and feel satisfied.
But it's a masterpiece for the cinephiles.
And yet, despite the accolades, it feels like a well worn pair of shoes. It's authentic to itself, despite operating under the label of 'remake.' It's entirely original.
Even the soundtrack won awards. The fact that Bradley Cooper learned to play by touring with Willie Nelson's son adds to the lore. Cooper made this film his by adding his own heart and soul through his lyrics:
Tell me somethin', girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin' else you're searchin' for?
They illustrate how serendipitous this film is. The acting. The casting. The directing, The score. The cinematography. The effort - Bradley Cooper toured with Lukas Nelson [Willie Nelson's son] in order to sell his leading roles (as both director, [writer], and lead actor).
In my estimation, this type of film only comes around once in a blue moon. We now know how celestially pivotal the LOTR franchise was (with the benefit of hindsight - as franchises weren't a thing back then)
I love that this movie was shot in anamorphic. That's just my personal style and preference. The structure is simple but so effective that you don't see it as it unfolds. The acting is so compelling that you forget who these famous people are. The original soundtrack is a masterpiece in and of itself. The cinematography is meticulous but easy on the eyes, technically flawless but relatable and enticing.
It will break your heart.