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Ralph Fiennes to make a Nureyev Film


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It has been announced to day that Ralph Fiennes will direct a new movie about a part of Nureyev's life. No star is announced yet, but I wonder...if it is a ballet movie, I wonder if an existing ballet star would make a great move into acting.

 

I would personally love to see Sergei Polunin in the younger years (brash and arrogant) or Roberto Bolle (charming and reflective) in his prime.

 

Any thoughts, ideas or wishes?

 

source: http://www.screendaily.com/news/ralph-fiennes-to-direct-rudolf-nureyev-drama/5089637.article?blocktitle=LATEST-FILM-NEWS&contentID=40562

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I was having a good day until I read that.  Screen writers of biography care little for either accuracy or respect for the subject.

 

Hopefully it will avoid any dancing, but if it should then certainly not spoilt brat Polunin or Bolle the poseur neither resembles him physically nor have any elements of their dancing that recalls Nureyev. 

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I was having a good day until I read that.  Screen writers of biography care little for either accuracy or respect for the subject.

 

Hopefully it will avoid any dancing, but if it should then certainly not spoilt brat Polunin or Bolle the poseur neither resembles him physically nor have any elements of their dancing that recalls Nureyev. 

 

Apologies, I didn't want to ruin your day. Which I guess was a sunny one where you could summarise everyone you meet with  a single word put-down without response, and feel 'on top of the world'.

 

However, sorry again to be facetious, but... my love of discussion, ballet, and life itself comes mainly from respecting that there are so many people who can accomplish incredible things, that I could never even dream of, and they let me watch it happen.

 

Regarding Ralph Fiennes, I think apart from the Harry Potter series, he has been very 'English' in his sensitive way of representing characters. Nureyev, I understand is not the most easy person to encapsulate, but it would be great for the modern world and those outside of ballet to (hopefully) gain a better understanding of how ballet, and the story of one of its amazing stars.

 

In terms of your witty one word summaries of the two ballet dancers I mentioned; Sergei Polunin regardless of his faults was given the honour of being the youngest principal dancer at ROH; I would not dare to believe I know better than those reigning the ROH at the time in judging the inhuman amour of drive and hard work that he put in to reach his goal. As a human, I can easily understand that at such a young age, the nirvana of achieving so much at a young age can be a major disappointment, so he went of the rails a little, I think we have all acted inappropriately while young, and have matured to regret our early 'spoiled brattishness' http://www.gramilano.com/2015/06/sergei-polunin-im-tired-of-being-a-rebel-i-want-to-be-a-role-model/

 

Then we come to 'the poseur' Roberto Bolle... fair if you maybe judge him by the pride of his fantastic physique at the age of 40 which is of course also part of his attraction as a ballet dancer in terms of form, and for those that are 'into that kind of thing'.

 

As an admirer of ballet and in depth analysis, I think no person on a forum or otherwise can summarily put down an artist that is so accomplished, and more importantly been described as the best partner and the totally opposite of a poseur when it comes to making his partners shine.

 

But, I wouldn't like to darken your day any further with a glimpse to the sunny wonderful world the rest of us live in ;)

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The sarcasm is very much appreciated, nice to know where I stand with people, especially those with ultra thin skins.

 

I suppose it never occurred to you that it was the message that upset me rather than the messenger?  No, clearly not.

 

In general I try not comment on dancers that I don't much care for, but the idea of certain dancers attempting to impersonate Rudolf Nureyev tends to bring the red mist down.

 

Anyway must get back to torturing a few furry animals and after that I've a couple of babies to eat.

Edited by MAB
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It does not seem to be a biopic as such but according to the Guardian is about a major incident in Nureyev's life.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/23/ralph-fiennes-to-direct-but-not-star-in-rudolf-nureyev-drama

 

I expect the choice of dancer/actor to play him will depend on what his age was at the time of the incident.  It will be interesting to see who is cast.

 

Thanks for starting the thread SBF.

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I expect the choice of dancer/actor to play him will depend on what his age was at the time of the incident.  It will be interesting to see who is cast.

 

 

Thank you Janet /Ms McNulty, I guess as well as informing the forum of the project, I was looking maybe also to learn more about how the ROH fans see who could represent Nuyreyev in the modern times. Outside of the film project, it was my thought that although few dancers do not look very much like him, his dancing style could still be seen in parts of Bolle's repertoire. I am limited to Switzerland and Italy, so though it might provoke a nice discussion :)

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The sarcasm is very much appreciated, nice to know where I stand with people, especially those with ultra thin skins.

 

I suppose it never occurred to you that it was the message that upset me rather than the messenger?  No, clearly not.

 

In general I try not comment on dancers that I don't much care for, but the idea of certain dancers attempting to impersonate Rudolf Nureyev tends to bring the red mist down.

 

Anyway must get back to torturing a few furry animals and after that I've a couple of babies to eat.

 

Dearest MAB, I agree, I probably have 'thin skin', but I understand that you could have been upset by the project of the movie, and maybe have suggested other dancers, or put forward that you feel Nureyev was unique and could not be represented by any of the current dancers, therefore developing the discussion in the forum. Though I agree this isn't something you have to do, and you have every right to your opinion.

 

Now i hear your last line, you made me laugh, and I feel bad that I my think skin may have made me 'snap' at comments about dancers, all of which I admire for making their decision to pursue art...whether i personally like it or not.

 

If you are EVil and I guess a genius...Can I apply to be one of your minions please? ;)

Edited by SwissBalletFan
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Evil genius?  Hmmm... I think that could be an interesting career move, I'd better start collecting minions right away.

 

Sadly I can think of no present dancer who could play the role of Nureyev.  In his prime Vladimir Malakhov probably could and there was both a facial and stylistic similarity.  Perhaps also Charles Jude, he had a sort of facial resemblance too, maybe that's why Nureyev liked him so much. 

 

After reading the Guardian article I was surprised that Fiennes had purchased the rights to the Julie Kavanagh biography as she wasn't the only one to write a biography about Nureyev (the Diane Solway one is the best by the way) surely the major incidents in his life were written  about by the other biographers too.  I find that very strange and as Kavanagh was the last to write about him, I wonder if the earlier biographers might raise a legal objection.

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Just popping above the parapet for a moment - but wasn't there that Fonteyn/Nureyev BBC documentary 3/4 years ago, with a Dutch actor playing Rudi, as I recall?  (The one with Derek Jacobi as Fred Ashton?)  And whilst it seemed more concerned with the romantic interaction of the two leads, wasn't there a bit of 'him' in a studio?  Danced by a young Russian, conveniently in London at the time?  I'm probably remembering it all wrong.

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No mean to put down Bolle, he is a fabulous dancer of splendid physique and a great partner, he is a superstar and a really great dancer, I admire him but the only thing common between Nureyev and him is that they are great dancers and that is it.

 

Nureyev was a bad boy and a rebellion. And he had possessed Eastern exoticism too. Bolle is too grandeur and I can never imagine him acting like a bad boy. I thought that idea was a big joke, the last one I could imagine in this role.

 

Of course I know the episode that Nureyev spotted Bolle in his youth and asked him to play the role of Tadgio in Death in Venice, which didn't happen.

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Just popping above the parapet for a moment - but wasn't there that Fonteyn/Nureyev BBC documentary 3/4 years ago, with a Dutch actor playing Rudi, as I recall?  (The one with Derek Jacobi as Fred Ashton?)  And whilst it seemed more concerned with the romantic interaction of the two leads, wasn't there a bit of 'him' in a studio?  Danced by a young Russian, conveniently in London at the time?  I'm probably remembering it all wrong.

 Dear Mr Macmillan, the film is I believe, Margot (2009) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1473799/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_23I have not seen this, but will add it to my watch list.

 

The actor is Michiel Huismann who is now famous for his role in Game of Thrones as Daario Naharis who is not really looking like Nureyev now :)

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Bolle wouldn't be my first choice either - his serene onstage temperament seems quite different from Nureyev's more fiery one (I've only seen the latter on video). Polunin seems like a good choice to me, but I hope that Fiennes casts an unknown - I feel biopics work better if the actor doesn't carry any other baggage, (there are many good exceptions of course). But I suppose outside the ballet-world, most well-known dancers will be relatively unknown anyway. Anyway I am hopeful as I quite enjoy David Hare's writing.

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It does not seem to be a biopic as such but according to the Guardian is about a major incident in Nureyev's life.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/23/ralph-fiennes-to-direct-but-not-star-in-rudolf-nureyev-drama

 

I expect the choice of dancer/actor to play him will depend on what his age was at the time of the incident.  It will be interesting to see who is cast.

 

Thanks for starting the thread SBF.

 

 

Evil genius?  Hmmm... I think that could be an interesting career move, I'd better start collecting minions right away.

 

Sadly I can think of no present dancer who could play the role of Nureyev.  In his prime Vladimir Malakhov probably could and there was both a facial and stylistic similarity.  Perhaps also Charles Jude, he had a sort of facial resemblance too, maybe that's why Nureyev liked him so much. 

 

After reading the Guardian article I was surprised that Fiennes had purchased the rights to the Julie Kavanagh biography as she wasn't the only one to write a biography about Nureyev (the Diane Solway one is the best by the way) surely the major incidents in his life were written  about by the other biographers too.  I find that very strange and as Kavanagh was the last to write about him, I wonder if the earlier biographers might raise a legal objection.

 

In reply to Ms McNulty and MAB, I agree that which area of Nureyevs life has been chosen will very much impact on the actor chosen. I imagine too that with both the Kavanagh and Solway biographies being thoroughly researched, the event/time chosen will very much focus on Ms Kavanagh's sources and research. With the detail of footnotes and research shown in Ms Solway's biography, it would be easy to determine sources for any court case.

 

No mean to put down Bolle, he is a fabulous dancer of splendid physique and a great partner, he is a superstar and a really great dancer, I admire him but the only thing common between Nureyev and him is that they are great dancers and that is it.

 

Nureyev was a bad boy and a rebellion. And he had possessed Eastern exoticism too. Bolle is too grandeur and I can never imagine him acting like a bad boy. I thought that idea was a big joke, the last one I could imagine in this role.

 

Of course I know the episode that Nureyev spotted Bolle in his youth and asked him to play the role of Tadgio in Death in Venice, which didn't happen.

 

 Thank you Naomi, and I also understand MAB's choice of Malakhov, who could maybe still on camera be a very good choice for the role for the resin's of looks and style. It would be a fascinating challenge for Bolle to act like a bad boy, but I can totally understand how you mean, and could agree with you.

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Given that David Hare is doing the screenplay I would imagine that it might well be an actor (as opposed to a dancer) in the leading role for Fiennes' picture with, possibly, a dancing double if appropriate to the time/needs of the text.  I would imagine Ben Wishaw would be an apt choice.  He is approximately the same size as the Russian icon, has a similar facial attribute and is a fine actor.  Somehow I think Nureyev might well have approved of that.  As to who would do the dancing - that is a VERY tall order - given that so, so much brilliant documentation of the original exists.  I, myself, think it would be grand if they could orchestrate it in such a way that Nureyev himself - assuming that his character is to be seen to dance at all in the film - were to do it - as he ever did - for himself.  With the extraordinary advances in technology today I think that could well be most telling - if not to say - fitting.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Also, I was maybe expecting some ROH fans to maybe put forward Ed Watson? He doesn't look so different, though I am not aware of his dancing style.

His dancing style is very, very different from Nureyev's!!  I think Bruce Wall's idea is a good one;  if they could somehow integrate original footage of Rudi's dancing into the film that would also be my preference.  It is hard to suggest an actor and a dancer to fill his ballet shoes until we know upon which incident the film will be based, and therefore what stage of his career, his age, his technical abilities, etc. 

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I'm not sure about the idea of splicing new footage into footage that already exists of Nureyev - some of it's is so well known I feel it would look a bit jarring (well to me anyway). I think it would be interesting as a project on it's own, but in the context of a film it would look out of place.

 

I would like it if an actor/dancer with some resemblance to his look and dancing provided just a flavour of how he was and what he danced like (with more emphasis on how he was than his dancing). I suppose if separate dancers and actors were needed there would be some cgi involved, "Black Swan" style.

 

The other possibility (and I think we're just about there now) is to make the film entirely a motion capture, so that for the acting bits, an actor would be performing with the "skin" of Nureyev on top. Then you could slot in whatever dance footage there is of Nureyev as you'd like. Or you could use more than one dancer to motion capture to cover different stages of Nureyev's life. Ok, it's not very tasteful, and I doubt that this is Fiennes' directing style, but if James Cameron, Robert Zemekis or Steven Spielberg were to do it... ;-) :-D

Edited by Sunrise
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Sunrise, it might be well known to regular ballet fans, but I assume the film is aimed at a wider audience, and therefore giving them the chance to see Rudi himself dance would perhaps make a new generation familiar with his talents and how he changed male classical dancing forever.  No other dancer could emulate him, IMHO.  A friend of mine, an ex-RB dancer, played Fonteyn in a documentary about her a few years ago.  They only filmed her legs and feet because it was felt that no-one should try to portray Margot as a dancer, so it was just to portray a ballerina at the barre and doing exercises, not trying to be Margot being Aurora or some such thing.  I think the same would go for trying to portray Nureyev as a dancer;  he had his unique style which is why I think integrating film of him would work;  however, I guess if a dancer were used in the film just to give an idea of what he was like, and he could dance in a similar fashion, then at least people would get an idea.  Again, it is just we regulars who would know the difference.

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Sim, you're probably right that most of the footage is probably not that well known, though I think something like his Corsaire solo has been shown on tv enough  I guess I just think audiences are more savvy nowadays, with special effects and stunt doubles cut into action films all of the time. I was reading about Chris Nolan filming Interstellar, and how insistent he was on filming everything on sets that were rigged to rotate, all to make it as realistic as possible. He argued that audiences had become so conditioned to cgi, they would know or figure out during the course of the film how certain tricks were being done, and at that moment, it would remove the audience from the immersive experience he was trying to give them.

 

Nowadays, whenever I see a big action shot, and I can't see the actor's face, I think what a great job the stunt double is doing. During that Black Swan film, I'm sure I was not the only thinking every time there was dancing without the head shot that it was not Natalie Portman. So no matter how clever the cutting, I think some portion of the audience would notice.

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There is a Russian dancer who I think resembles the young Rudolf Nureyev, Artem Ovcharenko, since Ralph Fiennes is my favourite actor this is all very exciting, impossible to remotely capture the genius of Rudolf Nureyev, but something to dream about!

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There is a Russian dancer who I think resembles the young Rudolf Nureyev, Artem Ovcharenko, since Ralph Fiennes is my favourite actor this is all very exciting, impossible to remotely capture the genius of Rudolf Nureyev, but something to dream about!

Yes, I like Ralph Fiennes, particularly his Onegin and English Patient period. His scenes with Kristin Scott Thomas in E.P. were riveting. I would imagine whatever he does will be thoughtful and sympathetic towards the subject.

As Beryl says, impossible to capture the genius of Nureyev and nobody could replicate that fabulous smile. I was lucky enough to meet him once at the stage door of the Coliseum, after one of his Nureyev and Friends shows. When he appeared, he was wearing an unusual ensemble of a massive furry coat and if I remember correctly, a very large flat cap, of the Goodies Ecky Thump style. He signed some programmes and kept his head down. Nobody was speaking to him, it was all very reverent. Frankly, it could have been anyone under that hat. 

When it was our turn, my mother told him how much we had enjoyed the performance and how wonderfully exciting it was to meet him - or summat along those lines. Up came his head and he gave us a flash of that gorgeous smile. I have never forgotten it. 

Edited by Jacqueline
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Yes, I like Ralph Fiennes, particularly his Onegin and English Patient period. His scenes with Kristin Scott Thomas in E.P. were riveting. I would imagine whatever he does will be thoughtful and sympathetic towards the subject.

As Beryl says, impossible to capture the genius of Nureyev and nobody could replicate that fabulous smile. 

When it was our turn, my mother told him how much we had enjoyed the performance and how wonderfully exciting it was to meet him - or summat along those lines. Up came his head and he gave us a flash of that gorgeous smile. I have never forgotten it. 

 

I would love that the film would also raise the profile of Ballet in the 'outside' world in general and to bring the audience into the world of ballet in general, therefore it would be great to have a ballet star to gain new fans for today in Ballet. However, I totally understand the importance and challenge to try as beyt to replicate Nureyev the man, his charisma, and talent. I can't even imagine an actor that could pull of 'that smile' or his larger than life personality. 

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I think Daniel Craig would be perfect.  :D   Right size, right physique and could do arrogance well.

Why not? Or how about Tom Cruise? If he could play Jack Reacher who in the books, was a rufty tufty 6'8'' bruiser, Nureyev would be a doddle. Plus I understand Mr Cruise does all his own stunts and dancing when necessary, so they could save money on casting two people. :)

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Why not? Or how about Tom Cruise? If he could play Jack Reacher who in the books, was a rufty tufty 6'8'' bruiser, Nureyev would be a doddle. Plus I understand Mr Cruise does all his own stunts and dancing when necessary, so they could save money on casting two people. :)

 

I admire Cate Blanchett for her ability to disappear into a role. She did a wonderful Katherine Hepburn, already has Bob Dylan on her CV, and did some ballerina-type stuff in that Benjamin Button film - could she do Nureyev too? ;-)

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Why not? Or how about Tom Cruise? If he could play Jack Reacher who in the books, was a rufty tufty 6'8'' bruiser, Nureyev would be a doddle. Plus I understand Mr Cruise does all his own stunts and dancing when necessary, so they could save money on casting two people. :)

 

I do hope this is a joke (I am not sure ;) )

I admire Cate Blanchett for her ability to disappear into a role. She did a wonderful Katherine Hepburn, already has Bob Dylan on her CV, and did some ballerina-type stuff in that Benjamin Button film - could she do Nureyev too? ;-)

 Now this I know is a funny one :)

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