Rent Maria by Callas (2017)

3.8 of 5 from 64 ratings
1h 53min
Rent Maria by Callas (aka Maria by Callas: In Her Own Words) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Tom Volf's 'Maria by Callas' is the first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer completely in her own words. Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs - nearly all of which have never been shown to the public - the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. Assembling the material for the film took director Volf four years of painstaking research.
Actors:
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Directors:
Tom Volf
Producers:
Thierry Bizot, Emmanuel Chain, Gaël Leiblang, Emmanuelle Lepers, Tom Volf
Voiced By:
Joyce DiDonato
Narrated By:
Joyce DiDonato
Aka:
Maria by Callas: In Her Own Words
Studio:
Altitude
Genres:
Documentary, Music & Musicals, Performing Arts, Special Interest
Countries:
France, Documentary, Music & Musicals, Performing Arts, Special Interest
BBFC:
Release Date:
17/06/2019
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
English, French
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour

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Reviews (2) of Maria by Callas

A Treat! - Maria by Callas review by EJ

Spoiler Alert
16/08/2019

Watching this was such an amazing experience; so personal!

It felt as if you’d spent time in Maria Callas’s life and feeling the pain and anguish that she, at times, suffered, along with the monumental highs of her performances: It was so revealing.

It did leave me quite sad though, to learn how lonely a life can be, when you have the world expect so much from you, but to adore you at the same time and oh my, did they adore her!  An absolute SUPERSTAR was Maria Callas. 

For all the talk over the years of her being a diva, who was difficult to work with, I had the feeling that she was misunderstood. She worked tirelessly at something all her life in a role she didn’t even want, to please her audience.  It was sad to hear her longing for her lost childhood and wishing she could have had a simple life with a loving family. 

I hope I haven’t painted too sad a picture of this revealing documentary, as it was full of wonder too: Life changing to watch, in a way.  I certainly won’t listen to her voice in the same way: Enjoy!

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Maria in her own words - Maria by Callas review by ML

Spoiler Alert
11/12/2020

This touching and affectionate documentary is not an analysis of Callas's oeuvre or character but an attempt by director Tom Volf to allow her to tell her own story. He achieves this through plenty of archive footage, interviews, and private letters, carefully juxtaposed with aria. As she says near the end (1'47'00"): "I have written my memoirs: they are in the music I interpret, the only language I really know."

Three arias are key to the narrative: 'Vissi d'arte' ("I lived for art, I lived for love, I never did any harm to a living soul... Why, why, Lord, why do you repay me so?), 'Mi bambino caro' (My dear child), her acknowledgement of the affection of her public, who inspired her to always give her very best; and finally 'Addio del Passato' - 'Farewell, happy dreams of the past', the last cry of a woman doubly heart-broken by Aristotle Onasis: first when he throws her over for Jacqueline Onassis, and then again, once they had re-established a friendship, by his death. Six months later she died alone in her Paris apartment from a heart attack. She was 53.

If you love Callas, you'll love this: I watched it through twice.

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