Friday, January 27, 2006

music and him

its gives you this warm feeling writing about the things & people that gets the attention of yong joon. from this perspective, you will have a deeper appreciation of his personality & character. it makes you understand somehow what makes him click, what makes him so appealing to lots of people. he has this depth that the more you dig, the more you discover nice little things about him.....

take the case of his interest in music. it was mentioned before that yong joon loves listening to music & has no particular genre that he favors but named a few titles and names as his favorites. he may have his current favorites to date but those reported before are worth looking at coz those are also reflections of yong joon's taste. but before i proceed, i noticed that yong joon seem to have this inclination towards european artists ^^ he likes a french director and a french photographer and in this occasion, we'll be reading about his favorite italians...approvazione!!

for instance, it was reported that yong joon enjoys listening to the film scores made by the famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone (1928 ~) this prolific maestro composed the scores of more than 500 films and TV series. morricone is most known for his sparse and haunting music and he got oscar & bafta nominations for his scores in the films "bugsy", "malena" , "the mission", "the untouchables" & "once upon a time in america" to name a few. morricone also have this famous collaboration with great italian directors like sergio leone, bernardo bertolucci, giuliano montaldo that resulted in unforgettable film scores. morricone's film music were even recorded by other famous musicians like hugo montenegro, john zorn and my favorite cellist, yo-yo ma ^^.

in particular, yong joon likes the music of morricone in these 2 films, the 1988 italian film "cinema paradiso" by giuseppe tornatore and "once upon a time in america" starring de niro & made by italian director sergio leone in 1984.
wow, knowing that yong joon have seen & i'm sure enjoyed these 2 films just made me realize ( over and over again !!) he's really one serious dedicated actor. these films are considered 2 of the best, particularly "cinema paradiso" w/c is ranked as one of the all time top 100 films. noted american film critic james berardinelli wrote, " Cinema Paradiso is widely regarded as one of the best foreign language films ever to grace american screens. light and romantic, this fantasy is tinged with just enough realism to make us believe in its magic, even as we are enraptured by its spell. This film is sometimes funny, sometimes joyful, and sometimes poignant, but it's always warm, wonderful, and satisfying. Cinema Paradiso affects us on many levels, but its strongest connection is with our memories. ."...i love how berardinelli described it, btw, i adore this film critic & of course i loved him even more when he praised the performance of yong joon in april snow and the film as a whole during the 2005 toronto filmfest :)

yong joon also liked "once upon a time in america"starring his favorite actor, robert de niro. i'm sure yong joon loved not only the music but the entire film as well. actually, this film was a huge hit in cannes and very successful in europe but got poor reception in the US coz of its alleged "butchering" or drastic editing but its uncut version, according to reports, was by far considered leone's most critically acclaimed film, and today it has a large cult following. though it is not leone's most well-known or liked film, "once upon a time in america" is now considered a classic film.. btw, sergio leone was first offered to direct the film "the godfather"...hmm, wonder how it would have turned out ?? cant imagine francis ford coppola out of the picture !!

know what, reading the stories behind these great films just makes me appreciate even more yong joon's outlook in his craft. & his taste is so varied. and oh, i would love to see his film collection !! i can just imagine all these classic films lined up in the cabinet walls in his viewing room. wow, the man is not only a serious book lover but a film aficionado as well.

now on the lighter side of films, yong joon also likes the music of morricone behind this feel good film "love affair" starring husband & wife, warren beatty/annete bening (remake of the classic "an affair to remember") btw, i have a cd of the love affair OST...beautiful music indeed, i love the piano score, but the film.....well, lets just say i still very much prefer the original w/ the great cary grant :).
it was also reported before that he likes the music of the japanese new age pianist, yuhki kuramoto, particularly his piece, "second romance" from his most famous new age album, "romance". "second romance" was included in the OST of his 1994 drama "salut d' amour" and was also chosen by yong joon as the background music of his old official site.

not contended with just listening to great music, yong joon probably thought that its another challenge to learn some musical instruments. knowing this guy, once he sets his heart in one thing, he will go the distance and really do his best to get the most from it. ok then, it was said that yong joon's only sister has a degree in music, major in piano, so, our man probably thought that he just have to give it a try !! i'm not sure though if he got piano lessons or it was self taught but people are saying that yong joon is a very good piano player, but if asked, he always says that he still needs a lot of practice.....humble as usual.

it was also reported that yong joon plays the guitar & if i remember it right...i think he said in an interview that he taught himself how to play the guitar. he even made this impromptu performance in the "bicycle thief cafe" in samcheok during the filming of april snow. many witnessed his performance and they are unanimous in saying that he played it well !! and what piece did he play ? none other than the classic "moon river" from the 1961 film "breakfast at tiffany's", a sentimental favorite song of mine coz this was one of my dad's all time fave. anyways....i was just totally floored when i learned that he played this song. i love this song and obviously, he loves it too !!!

moon river was composed by two of the best in making film scores, henry mancini (1924-1994) for the music and johnny mercer (1909-1976) did the lyrics. this dynamic duo also did the beautiful music of "days of wine and roses" (hats off to jack lemmon) & "charade"...i love these films !!!! also, the great johnny mercer did the lyrics of these all time classics, "fools rush in" & "that old black magic"...these songs just remind me of my getting to be hopelessly helpless craziness over yong joon ;)

just want to share this....the timeless audrey hepburn, star of "breakfast at tiffany's" wrote a letter to henry mancini after his "moon river" music score was added to the film...it reads ....

Dear Henry,

I have just seen our picture - BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - this time with your score. A movie without music is a little bit like an aeroplane without fuel. However beautifully the job is done, we are still on the ground and in a world of reality. Your music has lifted us all up and sent us soaring. Everything we cannot say with words or show with action you have expressed for us. You have done this with so much imagination, fun and beauty.

You are the hippest of cats - and the most sensitive of composers!

Thank you, dear Hank.

Lots of love, Audrey

so nice huh ? what she wrote is very true. music can sometime make us feel like flying, even soar to wonderful heights!! sometimes it just makes me speechless and in awe on the genius of these artists who can make such beautiful music.actually, mancini and mercer composed "moon river" to complement that reflective scene in the film where audrey was playing the guitar by the window. mancini said, " and audrey’s big eyes gave me the push to get a little more sentimental than I usually do. those eyes of hers could carry it I knew that. "moon river" was written for her. no one else has ever understood it so completely. there have been more than a thousand versions of "moon river", but hers is unquestionably the greatest"....

*blush* i think this has gone too long....got carried away again with all these super talented people & discovering this side of yong joon ^^

and so.... yong joon....how can you not love this guy? what i wrote is probably just a very small fraction of yong joon's interests and favorites. isnt it exciting to know what are the other things or who are the people that stirs his interest & thus, can give us a better insight on the real yong joon ? but even from the limited info we know so far, it gives us a glimpse of yong joon being a reflective person, a sensitive man who appreciates the mystique of arts.....a book lover, a film lover, a music lover.......a perfect lover ? almost.



sources of info ~
byj's quilt,bbc,
busan.go.kr,imdb,umich.edu,wikipedia,official sites of the artists

7 Comments:

Blogger bb said...

gal you can write... i enjoyed this piece thoroughly, and thanks! you've saved me loads of time with your great summary of the research you've done.

keep bloggin'

7:32 AM  
Blogger joycebay said...

Clap, clap, clap, well said and well written I didn't even feel it was a long article until you mentioned. So engrossed! You really know Arts, literary, Music and Movies history mi gal. Gee Whiz... Throughly enjoyed it and appreciated YJ better through your eyes.

7:58 AM  
Blogger liezle said...

frances, you really amazed me! we've been chatting almost every night and i didn't know that you can write this well. yong joon really inspires you a lot and he brings out the best in your writing ability.

keep it up, girl!

9:03 AM  
Blogger frances said...

hello bb, joycebay & liezle !!

thank you onnis...byj is truly inspiring :)

will do my best to blog more often ^^

9:49 PM  
Blogger marissa said...

Hats off to you sis. Please keep it up and share it with us.

7:09 AM  
Blogger mishio said...

What can I say?
Such an exquisite piece you've got here! Thanks, thoroughly enjoyed every word of this entry, which by the way, also gave me a "warm feeling" ^^

7:51 PM  
Blogger frances said...

hi marissa & mishio !!
thanks so much ^^
blogging him is such a high but it also makes me miss him more :(

2:19 AM  

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