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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Amadeus (1984)

The Director's Cut. Obviously.

I love this movie. I love it. I can just about recite it by heart, which, for a three hour movie, is for real for real. And you know I love a 90 minute movie. This one could be even longer.

I love the stage play, too, and I love how different they are. Schaeffer is a brilliant adapter of his own work. Not easy business. If time travel is ever invented (and widely available) I will blow waaaaaay too much money seeing various casts for plays and musicals and FIRST STOP would be seeing Ian McKellen as Salieri and TIM MOTHEREFFING CURRY as Mozart on Broadway. I'd stop by again to see Mark Hamill as Wolfie too.

I find I turn to Amadeus when I'm feeling lost, artistically. In my darker moments, I relate to Salieri, patron saint of mediocrity. In my really dark moments, I relate to Mozart. Manic and mercurial, certain of my own greatness, bewildered at my own inability to get the thing done.

We know that the story of Amadeus is BS. An urban legend writ large by Pushkin, turned into fascinating writing exercise by Peter Schaeffer. But there's something comforting about how universally relatable this story is and must be to be explored over and over again. There's something there and I'm not the only one who is drawn to it.

The older I get, the more my heart breaks for Constanze. What a bum deal she got. The director's cut is even worse for her, including her humiliation in no uncertain terms at the hands of Salieri.

The sound design really impressed me on this viewing. The varying levels of the music, particularly as it overwhelms Mozart in moments of genius/despair.

Simon Callow is such a cutie. I wish he had a bigger role in this.

"Too many sweets."


-This was so many nuts. So. Many. Nuts. Hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans (that were supposed to be chestnuts but did you know that it is really difficult to find chestnuts??).

-As heartbreaking as the scene is to me now, I've always wanted to try the confection Salieri offers Constanze: Capezzoli de Venere, or Nipples of Venus. "Roman chestnuts in brandied sugar!" Well, thanks greater Madison area, it's pecans. But it's still really tasty.

-If you want my lifelong friendship, get me Mozartkugeln ("Mozart Balls!") when you visit Germany. Layers of marzipan (plain and pistachio) and nougat surrounded by chocolate. I love them and the thought of being able to make them myself? Very exciting! I love how they turned out. I didn't think I'd get the clean layers like I did but they're beautiful.

-Very exciting, but very tiring. I don't know why I thought I'd breeze through these, my first real attempt at candy making. I just spent seven hours on my feet in front of the stove, actively working the whole time. (There was a brief pause to run back to the store for chocolate because the last batch I tempered seized horribly.) And worst of all, I sampled so much as I went that by the time I finished it was hard to eat a half of each kind. Ah well. There are now pounds of confections in the fridge and I'll be a popular girl at work on Monday.

I wrote about this more in the Prisoner of Azkaban blog but since I'm working out of order now (for better or worse), you're seeing this one first! I'm coming back to the blog. After taking a break, I read a bunch of old posts a few weeks ago and realized I missed it. I'm still horribly out of the swing of things but it feels good to finish one and I'm really proud of it.

No point in saying which movie is next because who knows which one I'll finish next, but if you're dying to know the order I'm watching movies in, you can always check it on the spreadsheet linked at the top of the website.

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