The Pharos Arts Foundation opens its 2016 season with enLIVE, a new exciting concept, which focuses on the marrying of film and live music, as of Wednesday.
During the three-day event, the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy, in the intimate surroundings of The Shoe Factory, a number of cinematic masterpieces of the Silent era set to original music by contemporary composers, as well as short films by contemporary filmmakers set to the music of classical composers.
Each of the three days is based on a different thematic idea (For Love, To Dream, On Earth), and each day will feature three different films (a feature film, a 20-30 minute film, and a short contemporary film).
enLIVE is set to be a unique and stimulating visual and aural experience. The live performance of music by a number of talented musicians will marvelously enhance the mood and atmosphere of each silent film, revealing its veiled imagery and deciphering its connotations.
Wednesday, which is For Love, will begin with a screening of the 1925 film The Gold Rush, with Andreas Zafeiropoulos providing music on the piano. The next film to be screened will be Romance Sentimentale (1930), to the sound of soprano Mariza Anastasiades and Maria Avraam on the flute. The final film to be shown will be the contemporary film For Love, while Loukas Philippou will perform music by Francisco Tarrega on the piano.
The Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin, is considered to be his masterpiece, from both the artistic and commercial standpoints. The film is considered to be the one film in which Chaplin’s desire to make the audience laugh and the desire to make the audience love him are held in perfect balance.
Chaplin was revolutionary in his use of film comedy to depict a dramatic historic event and he had no reservations about the finished product. Indeed, in the contemporary publicity for the film, he is quoted as saying, “This is the picture that I want to be remembered by.”
Chaplin’s theme for the film is the quest for basic human needs – food, money, shelter, acceptance, and love – set in the harsh environment of the Gold Rush.
Romance Sentimentale is essentially a short, experimental, poetic and symbolic montage of abstract scenes: turbulent vs calm nature, an art-nouveau interior vs a melancholic woman pouring her heart and soul out at the piano, delusionary ideas of love and passion vs self-realisation, extreme sadness vs hope.
Thursday, which is under the general title To Dream, will bring the 1928 film The Little Match Girl directed by Jean Renoir, as Andreas Zafeiropoulos plays the piano. Next, the 1919 film Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari directed by Robert Wiene will be screened while Eleni Mitsiaki will perform a DJ set. The new short film to be shown will be To Dream directed by Demetra Egglezou with music performed by Zefeiropoulos.
The Little Match Girl is based on the short story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. Without shying away from any of the bleakness of the story, Renoir’s film is a stylised re-envisioning of Andersen’s fairy tale, spinning a tale of an impoverished young girl on a snowy New Year’s Eve who, struggling to sell her matches, lights a flame to keep warm and begins to experience strange visions.
Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari blends fantasy, romanticism, medieval stories and philosophical fables into a story of mind-control, murder, and insanity. The film is an atmospheric, spooky thriller with dramatic use of light, strange angles, distorted and surrealistic scenes, stylised interpretations and dreamy atmosphere, which highlights the key themes of paranoia, chaos and psychosis.
On Friday (On Earth), the 1902 short film A Trip to The Moon, directed by Georges Melies, will be presented. During the screening Avraam will play the flute while Annini Tsiouti will play the piano. Next will be a screening of the 1922 film Nanook of the North, directed by Robert Flaherty. Music will be performed by Georgia Kalodiki and Dimitra Triantafyllou. The contemporary film will be On Earth, directed by Emy Tzavra-Bulloch and musically accompanied by Avraam.
A Trip to the Moon is a French science fiction short about six Frenchmen going to the moon. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells. The film is notable for being one of the first examples of science fiction film and associated tropes, and for its innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the moon’s eye.
Flaherty’s pioneering documentary Nanook of the North tells the story of indigenous Inuit hunter Nanook and his family as they struggle to survive in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Arctic Circle. It is the very first feature-length documentary, containing nevertheless a number of fictional elements. It vividly shows how its resourceful subjects survive in such a harsh climate, revealing how they construct their igloo homes and find food by hunting and fishing. The film also captures the beautiful, if unforgiving, frozen landscape of the Great White North, far removed from conventional civilisation.
The Pharos Arts Foundation presents live music while screening silent films. January 27-29. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10 for each day and €25 for all three days. Tel: 96-669003