Performance

Robert Dornhelm & Earle Mack – The Children of Theatre Street (1977)

This documentary provides a fascinating look at one of the world’s greatest schools of dance, the Kirov School in Leningrad, where renowned dancers such as Nijinsky, Karsavina, Anna Pavlova, Nureyev, Baryshnikov and Makarova have studied. This documentary provides a close-up look at the regimen these dedicated young dancers must follow in order to fulfill their dream of entering the company. Princess Grace of Monaco, a long-time dance enthusiast who supported ballet in her own principality, narrate the film. Read More »

Thomas Ostermeier – Hamlet (2008)

Hamlet is going crazy. His father has died suddenly of a strange disease, and his mother has married her deceased husband’s brother, of all people, after just one month. Hamlet has nighttime visions of his father, who claims his brother poisoned him, and exhorts Hamlet to take revenge and kill his new stepfather. Hamlet acts the part of the crazy man in order to hide his plans, and loses his grip on reality in the process. The whole world becomes a stagnant swamp to him. Desire and sexuality become a threatening abyss. The friends surrounding him turn out to be spies deployed by his stepfather to keep an eye on him. Read More »

Herbert Curiel – Cha-Cha (1979)

Classic movie with Herman Brood, who plays a bankrobber trying to go straight by becoming a rock’n’roll star. Takes place in and around Amsterdam’s punk/new wave scene, with appearances by Nina Hagen, Les Chappell, and Lene Lovich. Includes the marriage between Herman Brood and Nina Hagen, in the church at Ruigoord. Read More »

Richard Marquand – Edward II (1970)

Words from Ian McKellen
When Toby Robertson, artistic director of Prospect Theatre, decided to revive our Richard II, he thought to accompany it with his own production of Edward II, a play he had previously directed with Derek Jacobi and other Cambridge undergraduates in 1957. I recall he asked Alan Bates, who was busy elsewhere. I may even have suggested myself to play both kings. In 1969 it was still considered an outrageous play, after all, perhaps, the first drama ever written with a homosexual hero. Edward’s death with a red-hot poker thrust into his bowels had been discretely mimed behind a curtain when Harley Granville Barker played the eponymous role. We showed all, as it were, with the aid of a glowing torchlight and dim lighting. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Backanterna aka Bacchae (1993)

Bergman’s staging of an opera based on the last great play of the Greek dramatist, Euripides.

Quote:
This was a TV version of the staged opera from 1991, a transposition of Euripides’s classical drama written for an amphitheatre into a performance designed for the most intimate of stages, the TV screen. ‘The whole production was suffused with the total professional knowledge of a master from the first image to the last. A Greek TV drama of world class’ [Hela uppsättningen genomströmmades från första bilden till den sista av den totala yrkeskunskapen hos en mästare. Read More »

Peter Sempel – Kazuo Ohno: Ich tanze ins Licht aka Kazuo Ohno: I Dance Into the Light (2004)

This is a wonderful documentary movie about Butoh-dancer-legend Kazuo Ohno.
It’s a German movie, so there will be some introductory talk and some voiceovers in German, but the other parts of the movies mostly consist of talks in English or in Japanese with an English interpreter sitting next to the people talking in Japanese – so you will be able to understand pretty much without knowing any German. And even if you dont understand anything, the film is just worth it for the wonderful material showing Kazuo Ohno. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – La présence réelle AKA The Real Presence (1984)

From Jordi Torrent’s program notes for “Raúl Ruiz: works for and about French TV,” at Exit Art (Nov 1987):

LA PRESENCE REELLE works through four axes of plot which are intercut throughout the film:
1. Adam Shaft, an out-of-work actor who recently worked on an interactive video disk documentary about the Avignon Theatre Festival, and who is now in a studio watching the program with the help of a computer specialist. Through conversations between Shaft and the computer specialist we find out that only 10% of time-space images in the video disk have been recorded from actual footage and the rest of the disk has been created by the computer using the ‘real presence’ of living beings. At one point Shaft complains because in the video disk his images are saying things that he never said. The computer specialist explains to him that his words have been used to create an entity that thinks and talks by itself, but that will not necessarily say things that Shaft would have thought or said. Read More »