One of the most honored films of its kind, The Bolero captures the essence of an orchestra, as Zubin Mehta conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a stellar performance of Ravel's classic. Viewers are given insights into the music, the workings of a great orchestra, and leadership style and teamwork, all by observing a world renowned conductor in rehearsal and performance with a world class orchestra.
The Bolero, made in 1973, explores new ways to keep music in the foreground of film. Allan Miller puts the camera on stage with musicians, providing close-ups that give new contact with each performer and their music. The Bolero introduces each musician and each instrument as a distinct personality rather than an anonymous member of an anonymous group. The fact that in The Bolero the same tune is handed from instrument to instrument - to groups of instruments - to the whole orchestra - helps the viewer pay uninterrupted attention to the progress of the music. And by saving shots of the conductor Zubin Mehta for the end, the film creates a climax that matches Ravel's.
In Search of Cézanne is an exploration of the life and legacy of 19th century French painter Paul Cézanne, as seen through the eyes of a young female documentary filmmaker who is just discovering his work. Traveling from New York to Paris and to Cézanne's hometown in the south of France, meeting scholars and family of Cézanne at each stop, her journey is a satisfying inquiry into artistic expression and its appreciation. In the progress of this search, the film interweaves over 45 of Cézanne's paintings, photographed with careful attention to color and detail.
Allan Miller is America's foremost filmmaker of documentaries on classical music. --The New York Times