Leonard Bernstein: Larger than Life manages to pack a lot of information into its 52-minute length. The maestro managed to accomplish much in his 72 years: conducting, composing, and educating. He was truly larger than life.
Two years ago I watched the equally fine 1978 documentary Leonard Bernstein Reflections.
From July 9, 2017:
Bernstein, Wagner, and Me
This past weekend I watched a fine documentary on the late, great American conductor Leonard Bernstein; this flick, Leonard Bernstein Reflections, reminded me of an experience of mine from years ago:
Years ago I worked at an "optical house" where I was the afternoon shift camera guy. This entailed frequently working into the wee hours of the morning; using the technical side of your brain when it would rather be in sleep mode.
My coworker -- the day cameraman -- would leave the radio on for me after we discussed what it was I had to shoot and how I could shoot it. Unfortunately the radio station was one of the moronic pop stations, which only served to annoy me as I tried to shoot opticals. After a few days of annoyance I decided it would be best for my sanity if I were to change the station to a classical one. Great: I could shoot film while dancing to Schumann's Symphony No 3. (Known to fantasy movie fans as the theme to the 1988 crappic, Willow.)
One night the classical station's host played a little Richard Wagner but before he started rolling the music track he talked a bit about conductor Leonard Bernstein. The maestro was quoted giving his feelings on Wagner. Bernstein despised the Uber composer on solid grounds: Wagner was a racist, an anti-Semite, and so on: "I hate Wagner, but I hate him on my knees!"
After I heard that, I was on my knees!....