Mozart in the Jungle

I’ve had so many people nag me to watch this Amazon series, I finally gave in this weekend. It’s quirky and delightful — it reminded me so much of “I Heart Huckabees,” a film I really like:

Thanks to quirky scripts and a smart ensemble cast – which includes Gael García Bernal as the Symphony’s young-buck new conductor Rodrigo, Malcolm McDowell as its outgoing maestro Thomas Pembridge and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters as the Symphony’s manager, Gloria Windsor – it comes off whimsical without ringing off-pitch. “I liked that we were going to do the inside world of classical music and the fun aspect of it,” García Bernal says when asked why he took his role. “[Classical musicians] all breathe and eat and fart like normal people, but onstage they are quite serious.”

Part of the reason for the fun can be traced to the executive-producer pedigree behind the scenes. Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) got the idea for the series after reading a review for Tindall’s book and brought in his cousin, filmmaker and frequent Wes Anderson collaborator Roman Coppola, and director Paul Weitz (About a Boy, American Pie) to develop it with him; Tony-nominated Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Pee-Wee Herman Show) also came aboard as Mozart’s co-executive producer.

For Schwartzman – who, despite having drummed for indie rockers Phantom Planet, never sat in an orchestra pit before – Tindall’s book just seemed like an obvious television series right from the start. But by his estimation, it took years of lobbying his friends to get it made. “It’s about a subculture that’s huge and right in front of our eyes,” he explains. “It’s not like a secret subculture of mermaid goths that get together. I would talk to Roman about it forever and then only recently Roman was like, ‘We should try to do this.'”

2 thoughts on “Mozart in the Jungle

  1. I watched two flicks this weekend for the third or fourth time.
    Across the Universe with Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess just because Beatlemania is such fun and the Fifth Estate about Julian Assange because I’m a slow learner.

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