Where were you ?

When you first heard Nessun Dorma ? Nope, not the world cup / championships / olympics / whatever, watching The Killing Fields, that’s where. Nice touch where Sydney just turns up the volume to bring it from incidental background to explicit foreground.

Rewatched on DVD over the weekend. Don’t know whether it was a director’s extended cut, but the balance was quite different to my earlier recollection. The killing-fields sequences are actually quite brief – enough to shock – but most of the film is the interpersonal responsibility and cameraderie of the groups of multi-national  journalists helping each other out, and later Pran taking care of the young son of one of the Khmer’s factional leaders as he escapes.

In fact the words trust and (nothing to) forgive stuck in the later episodes, even the US engagement in Cambodia is treated as a pragmatic tactic of war. The naive doctrine of the Khmer – anyone old enough to remember pre-revolutionary life is part of the problem – is clear and briefly dealt with. The cheesiest moment has to be the irony of being helped by the young guy who remembers being given the iconic Mercedes star. John Malkovic (great character BTW) returns to voice Sydney’s responsibilty.

And, I didn’t even recall the somewhat cheesey use of Lennon’s Imagine in the closing scenes. Maturing with age, the viewer that is.

4 thoughts on “Where were you ?”

  1. Nice one Mard / Seev. Thanks for the link.
    Is there anything you can’t find on YouTube these days ?

    I didn’t know I’d seen this sequence before – until I watched the DVD – and yet it is such a striking sequence. The theme itself is something of a meme, a bit like Carmina Burana, everyone recognizes it and has associations, even if they are unfamiliar or know nothing about the whole work

  2. Yes, it’s amazing how quickly that link turned up when I asked for both Nessun Dorma and Killing Fields. That Google database!

    I’ve always been profoundly moved by the Nessen Dorma, especially that climatic ending, and I once put a rendition of it done by Pavarotti on my website, but I had never associated it with The Killing Fields until now. Yes, a meme, a bit like Carmina Burana as you say.

    On another note, I believe you wrote here somewhere, you had put Rebecca Goldstein’s “36 Arguments for the Existence of God” on your reading list. But just now when I searched for Goldstein nothing turned up. I did read the book and commented briefly on it on my website here:
    I’d be very interested in what you think, when you have a free moment.
    Thanks, Marden.

  3. Thanks Marden, I’ll take a look at your review ….
    This is where I mentioned it previously … still not read it myself.
    (The text itself doesn’t include her name … hence the search problem … I can fix that.)

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