One of the most celebrated French films ‘Tous les Matins du Monde’ (All the Mornings of the World) directed by Alain Corneau will be screened at 3 pm on Tuesday, July 20 and Wednesday July 21 at 6.30 pm at Alliance Francaise, Barnes Place, Colombo 7.
With splendid narration, gorgeous costumes, great interiors, and the not surprising impeccable acting from its leads, the ‘perfect French film’ tells the relationship between music, love, and love for music.
The film narrates the story of Monsieur De Sainte-Colombe, and adds a few touches to make it a better film. The story begins with his pupil Marin Marais, now old and with a sad look in his eyes, playing in front of his students and, with tears in his eyes, proclaiming that he’s a failure in comparison to his old teacher. Thus, the flashback begins.
Sainte-Colombe was indeed a musical genius. He helped improve the art of playing the “viola da gamba” (what would become the instrument known as “cello”) by adding a seventh string, which increased depth and gave a new dimension to the experience of playing the instrument.
He also improved the way the instrument was handled, the positions and the fingering. While his musical artwork was acknowledged, little was know about his personal life: when and where he was born, his first name, when he died. The biggest gift he gave to the world was his pupil Marais, who, thanks to his teaching, became better than he was in a few months. Here, his progression is slower, to help develop better the relationship between him and his teacher.
The reason people didn’t know enough about Sainte-Colombe was his style of life. After the death of his wife, he chose a life of reclusion, Puritanism, and grief against the ostentation of life in the court where he used to play before his wife died. Here he teaches his daughters and endlessly plays beautiful music that goes unheard, if not by his daughters. Then Marais enters the picture.
Marais, played by Gerard Depardieu’s son Guillame, demands Sainte-Colombe’s wisdom and asks him to teach him to play the viola like he does (after being thrown out of a choice because his voice became too low and deep, he promised himself he’d become a famous viola player). At first, the teacher is reluctant, so reluctant he says Marais will never be a real musician because he lacks heart and soul. He tells him he’d become a famous viola player, play in Court, and make a lot of money, but he’d never be a musician, never experience what music is all about.