Vaudeville was the nest that birthed cinema, as Edison and the Lumiere brothers moved from kinetoscopes to audience projections in vaudeville houses. In return, film and television would dethrone staged variety entertainment, turning Orpheum theatres into RKO cinemas, and push it from the dominant form of mass entertainment in the early 20th century into kitsch eccentricity. In this context, The Show of Shows acts as cinema’s mea culpa. The film is a discreetly structured montage of late 19th- to mid-20th century archived footage of vaudeville, fairground and circus performances, scored with original music from Sigur Ros and composer Hilmar Orn Hilmarrson. Introduced first to performers backstage during construction, preparation and rehearsal, we then join the audiences funnelling into the tents to watch an assembled variety show medley, arranged into innominate thematic sections. Tumbling, lion-taming, blind-boxing, burlesque striptease and other antiquated arts are brought back from the dead via the mass medium that helped kill them.
Read the whole review here at The Flaneur
David Graham Scott's documentary Iboga Nights, which I was thrilled to be a part of as the animator of a drug trip sequence, is screening at the 2014 Open City Docs Fest, London's global documentary film festival. It's also up for the Best UK Film Award. The film will be screening on Thursday the 19th of June at 6pm in the Cinema Tent. See more about the film here.
Iboga is a rainforest shrub and psychedelic that has been used for generations in West African possession rituals. Today in Europe, a burgeoning movement promotes iboga as a quick fix route to painless withdrawal from heroin addiction. In a Dutch suburb several addicts embark on the long night of psychedelic detox under the watchful eye of an experienced iboga practitioner. One client collapses and ends up on life- support. The provider is jailed. David Graham Scott (Detox or Die) investigates how truly effective, or dangerous, iboga is. Explicitly filmed from the drug- user’s point of view, this is fascinating and challenging viewing.
Art & Design
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