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Ravel's Brain

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $250


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Rhombus
Closed Captioned:
Running Time: 52 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2001
Available in French: No

RAVEL'S BRAIN is a musical/visual tone poem at once tragic and celebratory in its mood. The film portrays the inner being of a great artist who was rendered incapable of communicating with the outside world. For the last five years of his life, Maurice Ravel was the victim of his own lamentable circumstances. Afflicted by aphasia and apraxia, his brain produced music, but he was unable to write it down. RAVEL'S BRAIN features interviews with a handful of Ravel's intimates. The film takes us to Marrakesh where Ravel, deep in the throes of his illness, was so inspired by the swirling Arabic street music that he was graced with a few moments of lucid music-making. The resulting musical phrases and Ravel's final musical utterances are heard in RAVEL'S BRAIN for the very first time. Finally, Ravel's brain operation that ultimately proved to be fatal, is recreated and set to song. "Exquisite...it's a strange, gorgeous blend of film, music and visual opulence." The (Toronto) Globe and Mail

Awards: Best Direction, Hot Docs, Toronto; Nominated for an International EMMY; The Chris Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival; Nominated, Golden Rose, Montreux; Silver Rembrandt, Nombre d'Or, Amsterdam; Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

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Ravel Rhombus