21 May 2011


Locus Focus: Take Fifty-Three

There are a myriad of minor themes within the greater "maternal" theme that graces Shredded Cheddar all the month of May: alma mater (Did that!), Mother Nature (Did that without knowing!), Motherland (Doing it now!), and so on . . .

(I know what I want to do for next week, but so far, finding the right movie for it has been tough. We'll see what happens, aye?)

"Salzburg, Austria, in the last Golden Days of the Thirties"
The Sound of Music

My fellow Austrians, I shall not be seeing you again--perhaps for a very long time. I would like to sing for you now . . . a love song. I know you share this love. I pray that you will never let it die.

There are two movies I love more than any others in the world. One of them is The Sound of Music; the other is The Terminator. They might seem like an odd couple, but they do have a major theme in common: the idea of a lost past--a time when nobody knew how good life actually was--and the desire to restore it. Today's setting is a true intersection of space-time: a place which still exists today, but presented as it was in a time that we will never recover. It becomes even more poignant when you recall that The Sound of Music is based on a true story.

When war has broken out and your country has been invaded, it's easy to believe that you were born in the wrong place and at the wrong time. It is to the von Trapp family's credit that they don't think that for one second. If you really love your country, then you're happy just to have known her. And if the following clip, taped all over Salzburg, captures even half the beauty and charm of its late 1930s, then I can't imagine the von Trapps feeling otherwise . . . even if they must mix that joy with some sorrow.

The Do-Re-Mi sequence alone meant that Doctor Zhivago never had a chance at the 1963 Best Picture Oscar. Just think of all the technical and artistic skill that went into this: cinematography, choreography, costume design, sound mixing, screenwriting, editing, music, acting and singing, and of course, directing. For five glorious minutes (longer, if you count the film's entire running time), the golden Salzburg came back to the world again.

But it is another song which has become a "love song" for a whole country, complete with a prayer that this love would never die . . .

After The Sound of Music came out, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein III were often complimented on what they had done for the "Austrian folksong" Eidelweiss. What a beautiful misconception about the two men who wrote it! And now you see clearly the bar The Sound of Music has set not just for all movie musicals or for all period films, but for all cinema in general. Bringing something to life on screen is only the beginning; the rest of it is bringing something to life in real life itself.

Now it's your turn!
Leave the link to your Locus Focus post in the linky
and take some time to check out and comment on those of others.
I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D

This Week's Other Locus:

"The largest and most sophisticated private clock in the world" in The Big Clock @ Birdie's Nest

Image Source: The Sound of Music poster


Birdie said...

I often wonder if I'm odd for associating my past so strongly to place, but the more people I meet, the more I find that there are others for whom the genius loci is a real entity.

I feel about the little cottage in which I grew up is my version of pre-War Salzburg

Enbrethiliel said...


I love your setting for this week, Birdie! Thanks for linking up! =D

And you're not odd at all--though that's hardly reassuring coming from someone like me! (LOL!)

As far as I'm concerned, the von Trapps family's beautiful mansion is the emotional twin of my own childhood home. My home wasn't half as beautiful as the house used as a set, but my heart wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The reason this post focusses more on pre-war Salzburg in particular and Austria in general is that I knew that if I chose the house, this post would be a nostalgic and emo hot mess!

Birdie said...

hehehehe well, I'm glad to be not odd in such great company.

I know what you mean about your heart not being able to tell the difference, and I for one, wouldn't mind the occasional hot mess :D