Heat and Dust

Loved playing before ‘Heat and Dust’ at Totnes Cinema, Sunday afternoon classics slot. Such an amazing venue, where we attempted to set an appropriate atmosphere with improvisations on piano and harmonium (the latter played by wonderful willing volunteers from the audience…) Very happy to discover, when the film starts,  that music is a strong feature (Zakir Hussain plays one of the leading roles, in fact!) The piano becomes a bit of a thread, from the drawing rooms of the British Raj to when Olivia leaves at the end for a new, solitary life in Dharamsala and she takes her piano with her – it has to be hauled up through the snow… Also a wonderful scene of a classical Indian band playing for the assembled big-wigs, featuring indeed a harmonium! I really enjoyed the Merchant-Ivory-ness of it all; and the skill with which the two stories are woven together. Stunning moment near the end where the two stories meet: the couple from the earlier age look out through the window of the cottage, while Julie Christie, from the modern world, looks in, her face reflected in the window, and everybody smiles.

 

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