Orchestra Rehearsal was originally released in 1978 and is written and directed by legendary Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita, The Nights of Cabiria). It is presented here on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK courtesy of Arrow Academy and is in Italian with English subtitles.
“Why do you need to rehearse? I can tell straight away that you’re a twerp.”
Here, a group of mismatched individuals are gathered together by a conductor (Balduin Baas – Our Charly, Candy), who is universally hated by his musicians because of his tyrannical attitude towards them. A TV crew are also present, filming everything for a documentary about the behind the scenes aspects of a performance.
Some of the musicians are very happy about this and speak lovingly about their instruments when interviewed. Others hate what they do and their job with the orchestra. What is even more obvious however, is the rivalry between the different sections.
The percussion section dislike the violins, the violins can’t stand the brass and even members of the same section can’t resist playing pranks on each other. With all this simmering animosity, it is no real surprise when the whole thing descends into violence and anarchy.
Orchestra Rehearsal is a very amusing film, which is surprisingly accurate about many of the relationships and attitudes found within an orchestra. It also carries quite heavy political messages, but these do not detract from the humour.
It is absolutely hilarious, I laughed out loud in several places, especially when the clarinet players are trying to listen to the football in between notes and everyone stripping off when the music gets too fast and they start to get hot. The music is also great especially the stunning finale by Oscar winning composer Nino Rota. It is a shame that the actors were no good at miming their instruments, but most people wouldn’t notice that little detail anyway.
Glorious for people who have been part of an orchestra, but I’m sure it will be just as funny for those who haven’t experienced it. Well worth adding to your collection.
“You like the brass way too much. You’re a band master, that’s what you are.”
Orchestra is available to buy now on special edition Blu-ray.