In history class today, we began the study of Don Giovanni/Don Juan. Needless to say, it’s a piece of work.
Since it’s an opera, there are certain conventions that are expected in it: serious (seria) characters are often noble, and have music that rarely jumps around. Comedic characters (Buffa) tend to be lower class, and have music that jumps up and down like a jack russel terrier on a caffeine high. Music reflects what’s going on in the story. Lilty-tilty rhythms belong only to nobles or people talking about them. The list goes on.
The big one for me, however, is what the play is categorized under. Don Giovanni is supposed to be an Opera Buffa, a comedic Opera. You know, a funny opera. Not depressing. You want to know what movie I’ve seen recently reminds me of Don Giovanni?
Why? Because they both start off really damn depressed (Although admittedly for different reasons). It’s like what would happen if I took a panda, and castrated it. He wouldn’t be angry, just really, really depressed. Not that pandas use those anyways, but still.
So we listen to the original translation, and analyze the music, so on and so forth. Good stuff all around, it’s depressing because there’s rape and death within the first 5 minutes of the damn thing, but whatever. It’s after this that the Prof decides it’s time to see the “modernized” version. Okay, why not? How bad could it be.
Why on earth do I even bother to ask?!
It starts with the overture to the whole Opera, but of course they cannot show nothing on screen. Instead, the cinematography unit decides it’d be swell to take some prolonged takes of traffic, dilapidated buildings, stray dogs, dead mice, stray dogs eating dead mice, and a corner store.
We see… nothing. The guy who’s singing is so far in the shadows that if you wanted to see him, you’d have to be Sam Fisher. And so on he goes, singing about how he is sick of being a servant and how his “boss is a smooth operator.” Really modern there folks. Smooth operator. I use that all the time.
But all at once, OH NO! Don Giovanni… I think… and Donna Anna are having a scuffle. I think. I mean, I can’t really tell the difference between the servant and this guy. They look exactly the same. Not to mention they sing the same too, what with the Sharks leather jacket and the tight jeans. Real Don-like. Way to be, Don G.
And Donna Anna? Looks like she walked off the set of the good version just next door to be caught in the nightmare that is the “modern” version. So instead of looking like she’s resisting, she is pushing herself against him. The man who is trying to rape her.
Yeah, make sense of that one Wisconsin.
That and she has 3 massive slashes across her collar bone. I mean, what happened to her? Is Don G secretly Wolverine? What the heck people, he’s have to be a ^$%@ing tiger to make gashes that big. His claws would have to be as long as most newly minted HB2 pencils.
Oh and the translation? “Shut up bitch. You don’t know my name.”
And you will know my name is the lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee…
So Don G and Donna Anna’s father finally meet, and are about to fight. This should be awesome, right? Right?!
Oh come on! Really?! They walk around for about 10 seconds, with Don G walking lazily to get past Senor Pops, while Senor Pops pushes Don G’s shoulder occasionally to push him around. And then Don G gets annoyed and busts a cap in the father’s ass.
He busts. A cap. In his ass. I don’t how much more racist you’re trying to be, movie, but you just made the Black guy shoot a rich white guy and then run. Really original.
So when Donna Anna sees her dead dad, she begins wailing how life isn’t worth living anymore. It’s at this point that Ottavio, her fiance, comes around to console her and to forget all about it. Yeah, just forget your dad died, it’s no biggie.
But it doesn’t work, and she instead forces him to shove his hand in a pool of her dads blood, and then grasp hands with her. A lot. While saying he’ll avenge the death of her father.
They stuck their hands in a pool of her dads blood and swore a blood oath. That’s not witchcraft, no sir.
And just when you thought dinner was too good for you, she slaps her hand on his uniform. He repays her with dragging her away with his bloodied hand on her face. Can you imagine?
“Huney, you have blood on your hands!”
“NOW IT’S ON YOUR FACE!”
And then he’d lick it off, because apparently blood on your fiance’s face is as romantically funny in this play as ice cream is in any normal movie.
And just when you thought this couldn’t be any more strange, it cuts to Don G and his Homey L chillin’ around when some crazy prostitute (Who’s supposed to be a Donna herself, actually) comes around lamenting her past lover, cursing his name and swearing she’ll kill him.
Okay, to be expected, she just had her heart broken, I feel kinda sorry. I mean, you have to wonder why she’s pulling a 10 inch combat knife out of her bag and making stabbity motions but… wait, what?!
She pulled out a 10 inch combat knife and stabbed her purse for practice.
What was Don G have to say to about this?
Poor thing?! Really?! The first thing that came into my mind was “What the ^%$# is THAT?!,” followed closely by, “She’s a ^%$#ing homicidal bitch!”
And yet the first thing that comes to his mind is “poor thing.” I think we lost something in translation Huston.
Thank GOD it stopped there. Cause if they started romantically shoving blood in each others faces too, I would have lost my Nesquick.