Pierre Coulibeuf – Les guerriers de la beauté (2003)

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This film sprang from an encounter between French film-maker Pierre Coulibeuf and Flemish choreographer Jan Fabre. The choreographer re-created his own world and offered Coulibeuf a phantasmagoria based on his theatrical and choreographic inventions. The resulting film is a labyrinth with multiple entrances, where an unlikely Ariane in wedding gown guides and misleads the viewer in a strange world marked by metamorphosis, multiple personalities, conflicting drives, parody, ritual, surreality… Continue reading

Richard Pinhas & Oren Ambarchi – Tikkun (Rune 389, Cuneiform Records 2014) (2014)

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Richard Pinhas, the founder of 70s progressive legends Heldon, is one of the most uncompromising artists on the international rock scene, having remained constantly innovative and true to his personal artistic vision for 40 years and some 35 full length releases.

Oren Ambarchi is a guitarist, drummer and sound-artist who has performed and/or recorded with a huge array of artists, including Fennesz, John Zorn, Jim O’Rourke, Otomo Yoshihide, Evan Parker, Merzbow and others. Since 2004, he has worked with the avant-metal band Sunn O))), contributing to many of their releases and side- projects. Continue reading

Robert Wilson – Arvo Part: Adam’s Passion (2015)

Adam’s Passion is the moving first collaboration between two “masters of slow motion who harmonize perfectly with each other” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). In the spectacular setting of a former submarine factory, American director and universal artist Robert Wilson creates a poetic visual world in which the mystical musical language of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt can cast its meditative spell. Three of Pärt’s major works – Adam’s Lament, Tabula rasa, and Miserere, as well as Sequentia, a new work composed especially for this production – are brought together here using light, space, and movement to create a tightly-woven Gesamtkunstwerk in which the artistic visions of these two great artists mirror each other. Continue reading

Ivo van Hove & La Comédie-Française – Les Damnés AKA The Damned (2016)

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Ivo van Hove’s first staging with the Troupe marks the entry into the repertoire of the scenario of The Damned. In two decades, the artistic director of the Toneelgroep in Amsterdam, whose field of exploration encompasses the world of theatre, film and opera, has explored a vast repertoire of works, from Sophocles and Shakespeare to Molière, Koltès, Cassavetes or Arthur Miller. The intention in this production is not to adapt the cult film, directed byVisconti, but “to return to the screenplay in order to stage it for theatre”. What Ivo van Hove retains from this sharply drawn chronicle of a family of industrialists during the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 in Germany is the ideological depravity of a company willing to makes the most poisonous alliances to benefit its own economic interests. “In my view, it is the celebration of evil”, says the director, whose work “always combines strong theatricality with the exploration of complex psychological zones and refined emotions”. Continue reading

Claire Denis – Vers Mathilde (2005)

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Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde)
France | 2005 | 84mins | col | dir. Claire Denis, with Mathilde Monnier

Mathilde Monnier is more than France’s foremost contemporary choregrapher. An explorer of the thorny fields of post-modern theory she has acquired a reputation as a kinetic investigator par excellence. More than just a documentary, this parallel triggered between Claire Denis’s work explores the birth, formulation and performance of a radical new dance piece. Continue reading

Dean DeBlois – Heima AKA At Home [+Commentary] (2007)

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‘heima’ is sigur rós’s first ever film, filmed over two weeks last summer when the band undertook a series of free, unannounced concerts in iceland. they hauled 40-plus people round 15 locations to the furthest flung corners of their homeland for their debut venture into live film, to create something, well, inspirational.

on their way they went to ghost towns, outsider art shrines, national parks, small community halls and the absolute middle-of-nowhere-ness of the highland wilderness, as well as playing the largest gig of their career (and in icelandic history) at their homecoming reykjavik show.

‘heima’ (icelandic for “at home” or “homeland”), truly, shows sigur rós as never before. whereas seeing the group live is normally a large-scale and sometimes overwhelming experience, making full use of lights and mesmeric visuals, ‘heima’ was always intended to reveal more of what was actually going on on stage. it does this via long-held close-ups and a rare intimate proximity, without ever once breaking the spell. Continue reading

Rimas Tuminas – Uncle Vanya (2010)

Winner of 2010 Golden Mask for Best Russian Theatre Performance.

Anton Chekhov
UNCLE VANYA
Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow

Director: Rimas Tuminas
Composer: Faustas Latenas
Set designer: Adomas Yacovskis

Rimas Tuminas’s production was enthusiastically greeted by Moscow critics – not only for its undoubted merits but also because Uncle Vanya gave a positive response to the ‘accursed question’: is it possible at all to breathe life into a half-dead academic theatre today? Yes, it’s possible, answers the Vakhtangov Theatre but only in case there is a powerful director that is able to sweep his actors along with him. In Uncle Vanya there are a lot of witty solutions and paradoxical psychological moves. Rimas Tuminas seems to reflect Chekhov’s ‘scenes of rural life’ in secret false mirrors of otherness, and for this reason his performance turned out to be darkly eccentric. And you ask yourself: is it really that those on the stage are not ghosts of the country seat? Continue reading