Performance

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 »

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 »