BEIRUT: With Lebanon’s summer festivals reaching their end as they usher in the Fall season and the lull at the box office, cinema lovers across Lebanon had only one place to go this past weekend: Ehdeniyat’s closing night.
For the second year in a row, Ehdeniyat – in collaboration with acclaimed Lebanese director George Khabbaz, his brother Nicolas Khabbaz, and Lubnan Baalbaki, conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic – gifted the attendees with the goosebumps-inducing, inspiring, and magical music of the most memorable films across time and space.
The brilliant element of this concert was the visuals.
While the Romanian National Radio Orchestra took us on an audible journey, a giant screen took us on a visual one as scenes from the films accompanied the music.
The pieces were taken from sixteen films, both Middle Eastern and Western, and some even included vocal performances.
The night opened with Richard Strauss’s iconic track for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, which lead to the heart of the ocean with TITANIC, to MOULIN ROUGE, the chimneys of London with MARY POPPINS, the fight arena to witness a fight with ROCKY, high flying adventures with the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, JAMES BOND and INDIANA JONES, and told the tragic yet inspiring tales of THE MISSION, EVITA, THE GODFATHER, and THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
Around halfway through the concert, however, the orchestra delivered an eight-minute STAR WARS suite of galactic proportions.
The music originally composed by John Williams, and probably his most iconic, had the audience cheering with thunderous applause upon its finale.
As perfect as the evening was, it does not escape some minor criticisms.
The live performance elements of the show, whether it be the dancing or the singing, in some cases fell flat and felt more like unnecessary on-stage noise, proving once more that in some cases simplicity is the better option.
Between the music’s on point performance by the orchestra, and the beautifully edited visuals on the screens, the live performances distracted more than anything else.
This issue falls under the unfortunate case of lack of trust or belief that an audience needs to be distracted or entertained more than one thinks.
All who attend a concert entitled CINE-ORCHESTRE, will no doubt be attending for their love of cinema music and nothing more.
The live performances became much like an annoying mosquito that won’t leave you alone.
And yet, this minor flaw didn’t hinder the overall experience of the evening.
An event like this is rare in Lebanon, and is a must-see for all cinema lovers, and it’s all due to the great efforts of all parties involved.
Listening to those iconic pieces was reminiscent of the days where cinema had its glory, took the audience on an emotional journey much like the films they belonged to, and most importantly united a diverse audience through the magic of film.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.