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adaptation cold mountain
Leaving Black Cove, the unit then moved to another important location in the area of Poiana Brasov, in a mountain valley not far from the town of Zarnesti , where Ferretti built the entire community of Cold Mountain Town . Several of the film's opening scenes were shot here, including Inman's first encounter with Ada . Here, Ferretti constructed more than 32 buildings along a stretch of dirt road in order to create the town: not only the church and a graveyard but a general store, a rooming house, stables, a laundry, a bank--even a dentist's office. Cold Mountain Town teems with life in these scenes. "Everything we built is based on research we did on towns in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains ," Ferretti says. "And we constructed the buildings as they would have done in the 19th century--everything is made entirely of logs."
Ferretti continues: "The beauty of shooting on these locations is that we were truly in the wilderness. Black Cove Farm and Cold Mountain town are completely isolated from noise and modern life, and I was able to construct them so that the camera could film from a 360-degree perspective without coming across anything that would violate the period."
He continues: "The extraordinary thing is that driving to work every morning through the countryside, we would pass Romanian scratch farmers cutting down grass not with tractors but by hand with scythes, and we would also pass on the road farmers transporting their harvest not by pickup trucks but by horse and wooden cart. The marvelous thing is that it felt as if we are actually in the 19th century. There was no dislocation between the world we were trying to create and the world we inhabited. The actors felt it as well, and it added a great deal to what we were creating."
At times, the visible poverty of Romania became a stark reminder to cast and crew of life in more difficult times, and roused their compassion. Nicole Kidman, in particular, became deeply involved in charities that help Romania 's abandoned children.
There was another element of Romania 's landscape that added compelling realism to the production of COLD MOUNTAIN : severe weather. Unfortunately, it rained on the location for 21 days straight during the month of August, part of a wet spell that was drenching all of Europe . Minghella and the cast and crew coped as best they could-- moving indoors or out depending on sudden changes in rainfall, and standing around patiently waiting for the clouds to break. In the end, in spite of the weather, Minghella managed to stay on schedule and complete the summer sequences before filming was temporarily suspended in Romania so that the unit could travel to the United States to shoot for several weeks in South Carolina and Virginia .
In the US , the production shot on the grounds of Botany Bay Plantation, a swampy expanse of wetland an hour outside of Charleston . Here Minghella filmed the start of Inman's journey home with shots of him trudging through a dead corn field, begging runaway slaves for food and avoiding the Militia who come charging by on horseback looking for deserters. The location was also used for the scenes of Inman's travels with the Reverend Veasey (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the disgraced cleric, and their encounter with the Ferry Girl who carries them across the Cape Fear River with disastrous results. Scenes of the wounded Inman getting his hair cut were filmed in Charleston itself on the grounds of the College of Charleston , where the architecture dates from before the Civil War. The scenes in which Inman, Veasey and the chain gang prisoners are paraded through town, were also filmed in the center of Charleston 's historic residential district. Ferretti and his crew redressed a four block square area of town, constructed wooden sidewalks and installed a layer of dirt over the cobblestones to take it back in time. "We felt we couldn't have filmed this any other place but Charleston ," Ferretti says. "The architecture here even as it exists today is true to the period. Hardly any changes have occurred in the buildings and they've been perfectly maintained. It was mainly a matter of covering evidence of the modern day appurtenances."
From here the unit moved to Richmond, shooting by the James River on a piece of wooded land called Belle Isle, to complete the sequence of Inman and Reverend Veasey traveling along the Cape Fear River on their way to the fateful encounter with the backwoodsman Junior.
After three and a half weeks of filming in the US , the unit returned to Romania and began shooting again on Black Cove Farm, capturing the key sequences in which Ruby Thewes first appears on Ada 's porch. The filming then moved to the town of Sinaia , an hour south of Brasov , where Minghella shot the conclusion to the Veasey episode against the rolling hills of the countryside there. Inman and Veasey, shackled to the chain gang, are led by Confederate guards in a kind of death march through the muddy, rugged countryside, before Inman is rescued by Maddy (Eileen Atkins), the witch-like herbalist who lives in a covered wagon in the deepest reaches of the forest.
Next, the unit returned to the Swanger Farm to film the difficult scene in which Teague and his boys slaughter the men in the Swanger family. And finally, after 22 weeks of shooting, Minghella brought the shoot to a close with the climactic sequences in which Inman arrives back at Cold Mountain , just as Teague is intensifying his pursuit of Ada , at last fulfilling his epic quest to reach his home and the love he left behind.
Before filming completed, Charles Frazier had a chance to visit the set, both in Charleston and in Romania . He says: "It was so interesting to see things that have been in your mind for so many years become real and concrete. To see the characters embodied by these extraordinary actors, to see the intricate constructions that Dane Ferretti created and to watch Anthony bring the world to life was beyond anything I hoped for."
scoring cold mountain - the music
Another essential element in Cold Mountain is something that was as essential to life in 19th century America as it is now: music. For Minghella, music is key to the overall vision of any film, playing an indispensable role in establishing time and place. Indeed music permeates the very structure of Cold Mountain , which features not only the orchestral score written by composer Gabriel Yared but also many examples of the stirring traditional folk music from the period.
Gabriel Yared, who also composed the scores for "The English Patient" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," began some of his most essential work even before the film started shooting. Explains Minghella: "Gabriel and I have come up with this process where he starts writing the music during pre-production and continues to write while I'm filming. For this movie, he had already composed several pieces even while I was writing the screenplay, so the music truly had a chance to grow and evolve with the film. We both really love this way of working, because it's very organic and you get a greater sense of story, design and music, all intertwining creatively at the same time."
Summarizes Minghella: "We were able to find a sound for the film that is lyrical, intense and romantic without being saccharine. Gabriel has a passionate and knowledgeable musical heart that becomes very significant in the film because the story so often collides with the music to create a deeper sense of Inman and Ada 's worlds."
cold mountain and the civil war
Inman, Ada and Ruby's journeys in COLD MOUNTAIN take place at the end of the Civil War when many Americans on both sides were disillusioned with the brutal fighting that had severed the country, and yearned for a return to a better life. Though fictional, Charles Frazier based the characters of COLD MOUNTAIN on his real-life ancestors, as well as the historical realities of everyday men and women who struggled to survive during the War. Inman is based on Frazier's great-great-uncle, W.P Inman, a Confederate soldier who did in fact walk 300 miles from a hospital in Virginia , after being wounded at Petersburg , returning to his home in Cold Mountain , North Carolina , where he was hounded by Teague's Home Guard - all events drawn from historical reality.
civil war overview
More than 3 million Americans fought in the Civil War, which remains the bloodiest and costliest conflict the United States has ever seen. The war irrevocably changed every single life that it touched - whether those of soldiers or wives, farmers or slaves. Incredibly, over 620,000 men, some 2 percent of the U.S. population, died in the fighting, the savagery of which introduced Americans for the first time to the horrors of modern warfare. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine Americans fighting and killing one another on such a vast scale, but it took the events of the Civil War to bring the country to that hard-won unity.
The American Civil War began in 1861, just after Abraham Lincoln, an opponent of slavery, was elected the nation's President. It was a time when the North and South of the country were divided across economic, political and social lines, with the South predominantly agricultural and the North increasingly industrial. There were vast divisions in the country over many issues but especially over slavery, which the North had outlawed in the early 19th century, while it remained a central element of the South's socio-economic structure. Lincoln hoped to keep the rapidly dissolving Union together without warfare.
In December 1860, perceiving a threat from Lincoln 's election against their very way of life, the South Carolina legislature voted for a drastic action: to remove their state entirely from the Union . Six more states soon followed suit with their own secession - Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas - and later, they were joined by four additional states, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and the very last state to leave the Union, North Carolina. Together, they would form the Confederate States of America and elect Jefferson Davis to serve as their President for a six-year term.
Lincoln took office still hoping to resolve the conflict peacefully (in his inaugural address he said, "We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained us it must not break our bonds of affection") but he refused to concede on the issue of slavery, which he did not want to spread to the new U.S. territories. In April of 1861, when a Federal ship was dispatched to re-supply Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor , Confederate forces opened fire, and hostilities officially began. Lincoln called upon the states to send up 75,000 troops to serve for an initial period of 90 days, but that quickly snowballed. With both sides asserting they were fighting to protect the Constitution, the fiercest battles ever to take place on American soil began to wage. The conflict was soon known to the people as "The War Between the States" or, in the South, "The War of Rebellion" and it would end up being fought in tens of thousands of American towns, from the Florida coast all the way to the Northern reaches of Vermont and to the Western frontier of New Mexico . Millions served bravely, and thousands died miserably, as often of starvation and disease as of the traumatic war-wounds that medicine did not yet understand how to treat.
In 1862, Union forces gained some hope when General Robert E. Lee's forces were turned back in the Battle of Antietam. The deadliest day in American history (26,000 men were killed, maimed or listed as missing on that single day), the battle led to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all persons held as slaves in the Southern states "henceforward shall be free." Even so, two more years of war lay ahead. Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863 further turned the tide and in 1864, the Union began a massive, coordinated campaign to engage the Confederacy. The ensuing battles became a war of attrition, with each side continuing to suffer unthinkably enormous casualties.
Finally, on April 9, 1865 , General Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomatox Court House . Celebrations broke out in Washington and the Stars and Stripes was ceremoniously raised at Fort Sumter . Only days later, on April 14, President Lincoln was shot while attending the theater, and died shortly afterward, ending the most tragic period in American history on a tragic note. However, Congress soon passed two new amendments: the Fourteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, and the Fifteenth Amendment, guaranteeing black men the right to vote. The war was over, and now it would take a concerted national effort to start healing the terrible wounds to the nation's infrastructure, environment and very soul -- and begin to bring the country's people back together. Federal troops continued to occupy the physically devastated South until 1877, a period known as Reconstruction. The Union had been saved, but at an unfathomable cost.
anthony minghella - writer/director
Anthony Minghella's film The English Patient, which he wrote and directed, won nine 1996 Academy Awards including those for Best Picture and Best Director. Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, the film starred Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas and Willem Dafoe and was honored with 30 film awards overall, including two Golden Globes, six BAFTA Awards, the Writer's Guild Award for Best Screenplay and the The Scripters Award for Best Director.
Minghella went on to win the 1999 Best Director Award from the National Board of Review for his film The Talented Mr. Ripley, based on the classic crime novel by Patricia Highsmith and starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. In 2000, Minghella was named by American Theater owners as ShoWest's Director of the Year. His first film as a writer/director, Truly, Madly, Deeply, starred Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman and won over audiences in Britain and America , garnering several prizes including a BAFTA and a Writer's Guild Award. Minghella has also directed Mr. Wonderful with Matt Dillon, Mary Louise Parker and William Hurt.
Anthony Minghella was born in 1954 on the Isle of Wight of Italian parents. Until 1981, he lectured on drama at the University of Hull . His stage plays are Child's Play, Whale Music, A Little Like Drowning, Two Planks and A Passion, Made in Bangkok and Love Bites. Minghella's television trilogy What If It's Raining? was acclaimed throughout Europe . He created and regularly contributed to the television series Inspector Morse, and wrote all nine of the short television films in The Storyteller series for Jim Henson and NBC, which won an Emmy and BAFTA Award as well as the Gold Medal at the New York International Film and Television Festival. Minghella's radio plays include Hang Up and Cigarettes and Chocolate.
Minghella was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Hull and the University of Southampton . Since 2000, he has been with Sydney Pollack joint-owner of Mirage Enterprises serving as executive producer on the company's films Heaven, Iris and The Quiet American. Anthony Minghella was recently named the head of the British Film Institute.