Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One to See

Although a rush of business has diverted time from this blog—and it looks as if it will continue to do so for some time to come—I wished to take time to note here a quite wonderful film Brigitte’s keen eye detected half-hidden in the vast sludge of current offerings. It is a French film, The Well Digger’s Daughter, directed by Daniel Auteuil, who also acts in it. The film is a 2011 rendition of a 1940 film written and produced by Marcel Pagnol. That date in a way tells why this film is so pleasing for us; it holds the ethos of a bygone era—bygone already, indeed, even when that film was first written and made.

The original musical score of the current version was written by Alexandre Desplat, but it contains within it a song one immediately associates with some Italian opera. It serves as the musical theme of the film. We were both enchanted by it. By some heroic efforts of digging, Brigitte finally identified it as Core ‘ngrato, one of Caruso’s famous offerings, originally written in 1911—thus a century before its use in this film—by an American composer, Salvatore Cardillo. No. Not from an opera at all. A digitally remastered version of Caruso singing the song is here.

Added: I noted, a few moments after posting this, that Michael Gilleland, of Laudator,  just happened to post a quote from Marcel Pagnol this morning: “A Word Collector” (link).


  1. One of our favorite bloggers often titles his posts "Music on my Mind". That perfectly describes my state of mind last night having watched "The Well Digger's Daughter". I am still humming that seductively romantic "core 'ngrato" sung by Caruso, oh my!
    As for word collecting, it's a well-honed hobby in our family as well.

  2. That's a good one; it definitely has a melody that sticks in the head.


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