Monday, December 7, 2009

In the Making of NINE [2/10]

01. UNUSUAL WAY: How NINE went from the Movies to Broadway to the Movies

Few Broadway sensations have cinematic roots as deep or as sexy as NINE—a story about art, dreams, love and the emotional exhilaration and inspiration that can only be found at the movies—which now comes full circle back to the big screen in a completely re-imagined adaptation by director Rob Marshall of CHICAGO fame. Marshall unfolds the drama of an artist’s mid-life crisis in his own original cinematic language, forged of emotion, music, imagination and kinetic cinematography, that turns the inner lives of director Guido Contini and the women who inspire him into stirring visual fantasias.

It all began with Federico Fellini. His 1963, Oscar®-winningmasterpiece film, , a daringly surreal and magical tale about a director’s creative crisis, became one of the most talked-about, analyzed and influential movies of all time. Overflowing with a carnival of imagery fused from one man’s tantalizing memories, dreams, flights of fancy, nostalgia, humor and demons, it became to many one of the first films that fully exposed what it really feels like to live inside the madness and wonder of the modern human condition. On top of that, along with Fellini’s other movies, it inspired people around the world to aspire to the dream of living inside the sensual world of an Italian movie.

Since then, many leading contemporary filmmakers have paid homage to in their own distinctly individual ways. Bob Fosse spun his own life into the surreal fabric of ALL THAT JAZZ, the dance-driven story of a brilliant, self-destructive choreographer trying to come to grips with his past, his women and his mortality. Woody Allen took a completely opposite approach with the comic STARDUST MEMORIES, in which he starred as a disillusioned filmmaker plagued by hallucinations and alien visitations as he confronts the meaning of his work and the memories of his greatest loves.

Now Rob Marshall brings his own creative milieu—his savvy for integrating drama, cinema and music into one seamless fabric—to via NINE.

The Broadway version of NINE, with book by Arthur L. Kopit and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, began with another young artist’s Fellini obsession.Yeston had fallen madly in love with when he first saw it as a teenager. Years later, while teaching music at Yale University in the 1970s, he turned the movie’s image-driven story into a genre-expanding stage musical, ultimately heading to Rome to meet with Fellini and receive his creative blessings.

Yeston decided that if he added the extra element of music-and-dance to the director’s unforgettable vision of a man’s mid-life battles with women, lust, spiritual yearning and creative fulfillment . . . it would it add up to NINE.

When the production premiered on May 2, 1982 at the 46thStreet Theatre, what it also added up to was a massive hit. Directed by Tommy Tune, NINEfeatured the unusual combination of a singular male lead surrounded by 24 female actresses representing every facet of feminine power, strength and beauty. The show ran for 729 performances and became the must-see of the season, dazzling audiences with its inventive, visually striking, high-style design and arresting musical numbers—and sweeping five Tony Awards® that year. The allure of the show continued with a Broadway revival garnering another Tony Awards® and countless touring and regional productions.

But NINE was destined to undergoanother artistic transformation—back to its original inspirational medium: the movies. The idea emerged as Rob Marshall and Harvey Weinstein began searching for a follow up project to CHICAGO, the spectacular story of Prohibition-Era crime that revolutionized the whole concept of merging drama with music and dance, and went on to win six Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. In the meantime, Marshall made his award-winning adaptation of MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (winner of three Academy Awards), but in late 2006, he andWeinstein announced that their next project would be NINE.

Just as Fellini had personally given to Maury Yeston full creative liberty to use the elements of like sculptor’s clay to create his theatrical work, Yeston now granted to Rob Marshall the same freedom to give the play a new life on the screen.

“I was absolutely delighted to hear that Harvey Weinstein wanted to make a film of NINE and even more excited that Rob Marshall was going to direct it,” says Yeston. “I feel very strongly that cinema is a director’s art and I wanted Rob to fell completely free to adapt and transform my stage piece to take full advantage of the very different medium and possibilities of film. I literally told Rob: ‘make believe I am dead, because you must approach this with radical freedom and bring yourself fully to it.’ Everyone knows that you can’t just point a camera at a stage and make a movie. It was obligatory for the director to redefine NINE in all of its elements, and that is precisely what Rob did.”


0 commentaires:

Post a Comment