labingi: (Default)
It is June 6th when--to steal from one reviewer--everyone you love dies.
labingi: (Default)
The verdict: fantastic! This is the Les Mis recording I waited twenty years to hear, and it did not disappoint. There is some urban legend that this version is no longer (legally) available, but that’s bull: it’s available at a very reasonable price on iTunes. In a nutshell, the cast is superb and the songs mostly excellent; I only wish the recording were more comprehensive. (Spoilers follow.)


The Editing:

The selection of songs is similar to the London recording’s. The focus is on set numbers with relatively few connecting parts. As in the London recording, this serves 1815 and 1823 better than 1832. Since most of the barricade drama does not break down into individual songs, much of the barricade story is missing. The exceptions are the set songs: (“Un peu de sang qui pleure”/“A Little Fall of Rain,” “Souviens-toi des jours passés,”/“Drink with Me,” and “Comme un homme,”/“Bring Him Home”), which all take place in between moments of military action and, thus, bypass the fall of the barricade arc. If you’re listening to the recording to get the full arc of the story, this is the biggest impediment. Another shame is the omission of much of Gavroche’s part. Lesser gaps, but still unfortunate are Valjean’s difficulties as a paroled convict, Fantine’s arrest, and the Valjean-Javert interchanges surrounding “Comment faire?”/“Who Am I?” (Not missed–by me–is some of the Thénardiers scheming at the wedding.)

The good news is that many of these omissions are parts the original French cast recording of 1980 included: Fantine’s arrest, more of the barricade, much more Gavroche. So with the two together, there’s comparatively good French coverage of the full play in a recorded format (though ironically not as good as we have in English).


Read the rest at The Geek Girl Project
labingi: (Default)
Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] astrogirl2 for a very thoughtful review of The Hour before Morning.

In HBM movie news, we finished our Kickstarter interview video, which I hope to have posted soon (a bit before the Kickstarter itself). The movie is in picture lock and off to the audio guy (for another round).

In other writing news, I seem to have moved toward posting my fic directly to AO3 and bypassing DW and LJ. For anyone who's interested, my first fic to get this treatment is "On Liberty and Love", a slashy Les Mis gen fic of about 3500 words.

In reading news, I got a Kindle and am loving it so far!

In life news, I'll be moving in a few weeks (just across the river) to the house where I intend to settle in and nest for some years with the kids once they arrive from Haiti (another several months hence). I also got a local class to teach this spring, which makes me happy. :-)
labingi: (Default)
On Slashing Enjolras

I keep updating this on AO3, so let me just direct you there.
labingi: (ivan)
"He is a man who does kindness by musket shots" (943). Who knew that Jean Valjean had this in common with Vash the Stampede?
labingi: (ivan)
Fandom: Les Misérables
Title: "Bricklaying"
Characters: Enjolras, Grantaire
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Awkwardness and alcoholism.
Summary: An embarrassing situation leads to a serious conversation--with a side of Lamarck (not Lamarque).
A/N: Inspired by Ao3, I set myself the challenge of slashing Enjolras and Grantaire. But Enjolras resisted, and I failed. Ce n'est pas possible. So this started out as a sex fic and ended up being about alcoholism instead--sorry. Honestly, I feel a bit guilty about ficcing Les Mis. It's not something I ever imagined doing in the first 25 years of my acquaintance with the story, and I confess it feels both trivializing to the original and like an excellent way of showcasing one's own literary inadequacies. But darn if it's not kind of fun. For [personal profile] sixish.

Bricklaying )
labingi: (Default)
When I first went to see Les Mis in what must have been 1991, my program confidently assured me that “in 1992, she will going to the cinema” (image of little Cosette holding theater tickets). I was very excited, and I waited eagerly throughout 1992 and 1993 and 1994.... They are twenty years late, but they got there, and it was worth the wait.

[personal profile] louderandlouder has already evaluated the Les Misérables movie very comprehensively in terms I would mostly agree with here and here.

I will try not to retread too much, but here are some overall thoughts:

* I was surprised by how much I liked it. My reaction in scene 1 was to stare quizzically at fake-looking galley stuff set to what seemed a rather quiet musical track (vs. seeing the play live). But early on, it carried me away, and I cried a lot. In fact, I had an odd dual sensation of being emotionally engulfed while simultaneously running precise technical criticisms in my head. Portrait of a true Les Mis fan maybe.

* It’s a great story. Victor Hugo was an exceptional writer, and Schönberg and Boublil did a very solid adaptation--as one friend said, better than most of the movie adaptations in terms of capturing the novel.

* It’s a very 19th-century story, not just set in the 19th-century but very 19th-century novelesque: the unironic praise for noble, good people and religious faith; the obligatory boring romance; the “lets lie to the womens for their own good” thing; the coincidental meetings with long-lost acquaintances; the almost complete absence of women as power players--all very 19th century. And oddly, I found this refreshing. I would certainly not want to live in that world, not in 19th-century France and not in a 19th-century novel, but after a long, long stretch of wading through indifferently written contemporary novels, just the taste of a real, consummately written classic was like a glass of water in the desert. Indeed, the unironic 19th-century moralizing seems to fit very well with the over-the-top Broadway musical-style narrating. This might be a large part of why the whole thing works.

Read more... )

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