April 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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DVD Review: DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR:
A musical celebration (a benefit for HIV and AIDS)  
26th May 2000
  TDK DVD Video DV-ELTAY   [90 mins] Surroundsound

Dame Elizabeth Taylor

This celebration, in a packed Royal Albert Hall (London) of the life and work of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, shortly after her investiture at Buckingham Palace, was a very mixed event in terms of quality.

On the positive side there was Lesley Garrett lustily rejoicing Carly Simon's (what a talent that woman is!) 'Let the River Run' (that won a best song Academy Award song for Working Girl), and the debonair Tony Bennett crooning Irving Berlin's 'Stepping Out', and 'You're All the World to Me'. It was nice to see the gorgeous, beautifully-gowned Susan George, now concentrating more on production than acting, relieving the sycophantic David Frost and the smarmy Stephen Fry of some of their presentation responsibilities. ' Utte Lemper was suitably decadent in her sultry interpretation of Kurt Weill's 'Mack the Knife'. The lovely Reba McEntire's 'Secret Love' was a long way from Doris Day's idea of the song but effective in its droll country-style.

Andrea Bocelli, a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor, added class with his rendition of 'Canto del a terra'. In contrast came the narcissistic cavortings of Marti Pellow singing 'Love is all around us' from Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Jay Kay's ruinous way with Cole Porter's 'From this moment on.' John Barry conducted a lacklustre James Bond film music suite and Martin McCutcheon added her own unique style to 'Don't rain on my parade'

Elizabeth Taylor herself added a poignant and heartfelt plea on behalf of the AIDS and HIV charities what a Dame! But what a shame the producers displayed such insensitivity in showing such an unrepresentational selection of her films (in the form of trailers - what a lazy cop out!) We saw trailers for Giant, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf , Butterfield 8 and The Last Time I Saw Paris but not - Cleopatra, National Velvet (or Lassie Come Home) or The Taming of the Shrew (cited quite rightly by Susan George as probably Dame Elizabeth's best screen role).

A mixed bag in terms of quality.

Ian Lace

***

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