Performance

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 »

Frederick Wiseman – La dernière lettre AKA The Last Letter (2002)

Synopsis:
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman makes his second fictional feature with La Dernière Lettre (The Last Letter). Anna Semyonova (Catherine Samie) is locked up in an occupied Ukrainian ghetto in 1941. Adapted from Vasily Grossman’s novel Life and Fate, the film consists of the woman reciting a monologue of the final letter she wrote to her son before the Nazis came for her. Shot in black-and-white, the only other characters in this film are the shadows on the wall. Read More »

Chris Marker – La solitude du chanteur de fond AKA The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Singer (1974)

In 1974, Marker made La solitude du chanteur de fond, which follows Yves Montand as he
prepares a benefit concert for Chilean refugees. That Montand had not performed live in many
years made his participation in this concert all the more significant. The portrait of Montand
is intercut with footage from films in which he starred, including Costa Gavras’s Z (1969) and
L’Aveu (1970), both filmed in Chile with the support of Allende. Montand reflects on the role
of politics in culture and on the nature of political films, themes of considerable interest
to Marker. In addition, the film includes footage smuggled out of Chile that tracks the final
days of the democratically elected government of Allende before the coup of September 11, 1973.
Chris Marker, Nora M. Alter, 2006 Read More »

Edwin Sherin – King Lear (1974)

Quote:
This historic 1974 recording of King Lear brings to audiences today both a great production of Shakespeare’s classic, but also a performance of towering brilliance from the formidable James Earl Jones. This recording, made at Joseph Papp’s legendary open air New York Shakespeare Festival, also captures the brilliant performances from the late Raul Julia, alongside a great cast that includes Paul Sovrino, Ellen Holly, Rosalind Cash, and Lee Chamberlain. Read More »

Pipilotti Rist – Pepperminta (2009)

Pepperminta is an anarchist of the imagination. She lives in a futuristic rainbow villa and according to her own rules. Colors are the young woman’s best friends and strawberries are her pets. She knows the most amazing remedies to free people of their fears. Pepperminta’s wish is for everyone to see the world in her favorite colors. Werwen , a young plump and shy man yet whose sex appeal Pepperminta finds highly attractive, and the beautiful Edna, who talks to tulips, join her on her passionate mission. These three musketeers of a different kind set out to fight for a more humane world. Wherever the gang appears, everything is turned upside down and people’s lives are transformed in the most miraculous and wondrous of ways. Read More »

Julian Schnabel – Lou Reed’s Berlin (2007)

Excerpt from the NFO:
Lou Reed co-founder of The Velvet Underground and the man behind such iconic rock songs as Sweet Jane and Walk on the Wild Side stars in one of the most satisfying concert films (Lee Marshall, Screen International) in decades. Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) captures this historic moment in time, as Reed performed his legendary 1973 album, Berlin, live for the first time. Rocking horns, soulful guitar and the angelic voices of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus bring Reed s devastatingly honest lyrics to full life in this exceptionally strong performance. Read More »

Teat(r)o Oficina – Ensaio de Macumba Antropófaga AKA Antropofaga Makumba (2018)

One of Brazil’s most internationally famous and most important performance companies, Teatro Oficina began its life in 1958 as an amateur company of students from the law school at Largo de São Francisco in São Paulo, adopting the name Associação Teat(r)0 Uzyna Uzona in 1971. Led by Zé Celso, the company set out to create a theatrical form radically different from the elitist and nationalist theatre companies of the day.

Housed in an extraordinary theatre space in central São Paulo designed by visionary architect Lina Bo Bardi, the company continues to produce some of Brazil’s most exciting and radical theatre work. Read More »