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Michael Blackwood

Colin McPhee: The Lure of Asian Music

Director Michael Blackwood Composer Colin McPhee Cast John Cage, Imade Bandem, Aaron Copland
Edition 1988
58' - 1985 - Historical, Biography, Documentary - Dialogue: English

Colin McPhee, who died in relative obscurity in 1964 , did his seminal work decades ago. His influence is seldom feit beyond music-world insiders. His dogged evotion to the Balinese sounds that captivated him as a young man - and the professional and financial price he paid for his single-handedness - make the well-made film very affecting.
Blackwood reconstructs McPhee 's life, from his comfortable boyhood in Toronto to his student days in Paris and his early success in New York as a neoclassical composer. Increasingly enchanted by snatches of Balinese music he heard in Paris, McPhee journeyed to Bali, settling on the Indonesian island from 1931 to 1939. Once there, McPhee virtually abandoned composing and playing the piano. In passages quoted on-screen from his books, the autobiographical A House in Bali, and his influential Music in Bali, McPhee paid tribute to the island 's misty mountains and streams and to Bali's 'crisp, bright, metallic' music. (David Armstrong, San Francisco Examiner, 11 .8 .1986)

Image gallery

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Michael Blackwood


Colin McPhee


John Cage, Imade Bandem, Aaron Copland


Michael Blackwood

Director of Photography

Mead Hunt, Bodo Kessler


Kendrick Simmons, D. Nigel Walters, Amanda Zinoman


Michael Blackwood

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Countries of production

United States of America