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IN SEARCH OF THE MUSE
2000

poster

T.V. Documentary

Director:
Kathy Hill

Language:
English

Running Time: 45'

With the participation of:
Rutger Hauer
Ben Hopkins
Mark Shaw
Linda Seger

Plot:
This documentary - “A fascinating exploration of divine inspiration” - consists of a series of interviews with “ordinary” people and artists - musicians, actors, directors, screenwriters, scholars (Rutger, Ben Hopkins, Mark Shaw, Linda Seger), who answer some interesting questions: “where do you believe that your inspiration comes from?”, “what are your creative forces?”, “who or what inspires you?”, “do you know what a Muse is?”, “why do you do what you do?”, “what do you give up in order to accomplish your creativity?”. Kathy Hill explores deeply the driving forces behind creativity.

Some of Rutger's comments to the above questions are:
“It's a hard one. I have a feeling..a lot of it is given to me by my parents. There's a major sort of unfinished business talent that I've inherited. The War in Holland stopped them in their prime from working and in a way it sort of feels that I'm extending their career, but most of it comes from a big flame inside of me. What can I say? I don't understand it, it's an enormous energy that I've always had and I've been lucky enough to find a job where I can focus the energy and condense it - in a way. So it comes through really strongly. I'm not sure, but that's sort of how I feel, what makes me stand out from - let's say - different colleagues is that there's an intensity of energy that I bring to my work that I don't really know where it comes from, but it comes from a nice place.
Basically I'm on the road for ten months out of the year - hotel rooms like this one, and your family is basically on the phone, or people you care for. So you give up a lot of private life and I'm a very private person and I'm not afraid to be alone, it doesn't really bother me, I don't suffer from it, but it does make you poorer, in a way. You know, you make a lot of money but you're not 'rich', your soul suffers from genuine 'growing with people' - wifes, kids, friends - they know you're never there, they don't call that much because they think 'he's not there anyway' and it's true - you're never there, you know? There's an occupational hazard which comes with this - my career, and I haven't quite figured it out. The other thing basically is that there's things you give up, but there's things that you give up when you bake bread every day.
What would I say to people who want to take up the kind of career I have? I would say 'Don't do it', 'cause they'd do it anyway - you know - people have to be crazy and motivated by this 'whatever it is' inside of them that says 'I have to, I have to' and you know it's great if you can work but as everybody knows the waiting for work is torching and if you are willing to accept that idea - and I don't think anybody is - then it can really lame you, you know, you become desperate and really I would just say ' just be sure, be sure that you're looking at the real thing - the reality is like this. Look at it and then go for it'. My sort of take on it always was that if nothing happens within a short limited amount of time when you're trying to do something, there's no response whatsoever, you're leading to the wrong place or you're trying to do the wrong thing, so you have to move, you have to change your agent if you can. Something needs to be done in order to..there's an energy almost that needs to keep moving.
You get fed by a lot of the work and I don't know why that is, but I find the work so - cleansing is not the word because I don't know what cleansing means, but I get such a joy out of it. I know, I know where joy lives and she inspires me. If you dance, you will find the joy”.

Notes:
Rutger's total on-screen time is more or less 5 minutes, fragmented into different moments all through the documentary. Rutger's participation in this documentary took place in August 1999 in Edinburgh, U.K.

In Greek mythology, the Muses were the nine patron goddesses of the arts and science, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, a Titan who personified memory. They were: Calliope (epic poetry and eloquence), Euterpe (music and lyric poetry), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (oratory or sacred poetry), Clio (history), Melpomene (tragedy), Thalia (comedy), Terpsichore (choral song and dance), and Urania (astronomy). They inspire those who excel at the above mentioned pursuits. They were born at Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus.

Their nurse, Eupheme, raised them along with her son, Crotus the hunter, who was transported into the sky as Sagittarius upon his death. Their name (akin to the Latin 'mens' and English 'mind') denotes 'memory' or 'a reminder', since in the earlier times poets, having no books to read from, relied on their memories. The Romans identified the Muses with certain obscure Italian water-goddesses, the Camenae.

The original number of muses and their names varies in earlier times as their evolution blossomed in Greek mythology. At first, three muses were worshipped on Mount Helicon in Boeotia: Melete (“meditation”), Mneme (“memory”), and Aoede (“song”). Another three were worshipped at Delphi and their names represented the names of the strings of a lyre: Nete, Mese, and Hypate. Several other versions were worshipped until the Greeks finally established the nine muses in mythology as mentioned above. The Muses had several ephitets which usually referred to places where they had settled.

In Plato's Phaedrus 259c, Socrates says the locusts used to be men before the birth of the Muses. When song appeared when the Muses were born, some men were so overcome with delight that they sang constantly, forgetting to eat and drink until they eventually died. These dead men became locusts with a gift from the Muses allowing them to sing continuously from their birth until death without the need of sustenance. When they die, the locust go to the Muses and report which men on earth honors each, endearing a worshipper to the Muse he follows.

Many places were dedicated to the Muses such as the famous “Valley of the Muses”. Thespies on the eastern slopes of Mt. Helikon began it's “Mouseai” festivals in the 6th c. b.C. It was organized every 5 years by the Thespians. Poets and musicians from all over Greece also participated in various games (epic, poetry, rapsodia, kithara, aulos, satyric poetry, tragedy and comedy). It was common for ancient schools to have a shrine to the Muses called mouseion, the source of the modern word 'museum.' The famous Museum of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I, was a temple dedicated to the Muses. Before poets or storytellers recited their work, it was customary for them to invoke the inspiration and protection of the Muses.

Below you can see the painting “Athena visits Apollo and the Muses” (Bartholomeus Spranger, XVI cent.) and “Apollo and the Muses” (Thasos, Processional Relief, c. 480 b.C.). The picture near the title shows Apollo and 8 Muses.



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