OFFSTRINGS:

Struny Podzimu & Czech Television present:

STRUNY ON FILM

in partnership with Edison Filmhub

 

Edison Filmhub, 20.—22. 10. 2019

A mini-festival celebrating the relationship between music, film, and television: examining the film work of composers and musicians associated with the Strings of Autumn international music festival, and looking at film through the lens of music. Struny on Film presents major film collaborations between auteur directors and composers, as well a special selection of the latest award-winning music documentaries, and unearths some musical jewels from the archives of Czech Television.

 

Featured artists Miles Davis, Philip Glass, Zdeněk Liška, Jiří Suchý, Jiří Šlitr, Bobby McFerrin, David Lang, Jiří Bárta and more

Documentaries

A special selection of the some of the most acclaimed new music documentaries, and a gem from the archives of Czech Television.

Films

American composer David Lang’s collaboration with Paolo Sorrentino, Zdeňek Liška’s masterpiece score for František Vláčil’s iconic ‘Marketa Lazarova,’ and Philip Glass’s work with Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev

Archives

Strings of Autumn was given unprecendented access to the archives of Czech Television, and presents a selection of the musical pearls to be found therein – featuring legendary artists in jazz, classical music, and film score composition.

Program

Sun 20th October 2.30 pm
Jazz Legends in Prague

Louis Armstrong, Charles Lloyd, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie
(1965-74, 109 min)

Remarkable footage found in the archives of Czech Television that documents the performances in Prague of some of the greatest names in the history of jazz. As well as being a musical treasure-trove, these films also beautifully evoke the Prague of the 1960s and early 1970s.

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Some of jazz’s biggest names captured on film in Prague in the 1960s and 1970s. Footage of Louis Armstrong’s 1965 performance in Lucerna, intersperesed with fascinating glimpses behind the scenes, including Armstrong’s visit to Semafor theatre and the ensuing impromptu jam; Charles Lloyd’s fabled appearance at the 1967 Prague International Jazz Festival, with a stellar band including a young Keith Jarrett on piano; and Oscar Peterson, filmed at Lucerna in 1974 playing in solo, duo, and trio formats, culminating in a spellbinding ‘duelling pianos’ performance with the great Count Basie. This remarkable footage not only documents extraordinary performances by jazz masters, but is also highly evocative of the Prague of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Sun 20th October 5.00 pm
Suchý/Šlitr: Recital ’64

Music Jiří Suchý, Jiří Šlitr, director: Ján Roháč
CZ 1964, 44 min

The best-known songs from the Semafor theatre.

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It was the composer Franz Liszt who was supposed to have coined the term ‘recital’ for a solo performance. In the introduction to this film, the lyricist Jiří Suchý stresses that, although the programme is dedicated to two artists, only one will perform, for the most part – he himself. He performs songs whose usic was written by his colleague Jiří Šlitr (1924–1969). Viewers therefore have a chance to remember the huge talent of this Czech composer, instrumentalist, singer, and actor who died at the age of 45. Šlitr had a profound influence on Czech popular music, and together with Jiří Suchý formed a creative duo whose music and plays helped shape the music and theatrical scenes of the 1960s. And don’t worry – Jiří Šlitr also appears in the film.

Living legend Jiří Suchý will re-create ‘Recital ’64’ in a special recital at Rudolfinum at this year’s Strings of Autumn, 55 years after the original was filmed.

Sun 20th October 6.30 pm
Music: Zdeněk Liška: A Documentary

director: Pavel Klusák
CZ 2017, 52 min

Pavel Klusak’s documentary about the great Czech film music composer.

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Pavel Klusák’s documentary about the great Czech composer of film music: a man never afraid to experiment, the timelessness of whose music is born witness to by its popularity even among the generations that came after him. He wrote the music for dozens of films, and his masterpiece, the score for František Vláčil’s ‘Marketa Lazarova,’ was brought to life in a special performance at Forum Karlin at the 2015 Strings of Autumn festival. This documentary portrays the composer in all his varied glory and looks at the increasing interest in the man and his work internationally.

Sun 20th 8.00 pm
Zdeněk Liška: Marketa Lazarová

director: František Vláčil
CZ 1967, 165 min

František Vláčil’s acclaimed historical ballad

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František Vláčil’s celebrated historical ballad continues to fascinate with the earthiness with which it portrays life in the middle ages. The titular heroine is a virtuous girl, destined for a monastery, but forced to become the lover of a violent young man. This brutal struggle and the bizarre characters trudging through a wild landscape is expressed through images that captivate the viewer. The film is divided into two parts: ‘Straba’ and ‘The Lamb of God,’ and was shot between 1965 and 1967.

In 2015, Strings of Autumn presented a special live performance of the restored score of Liska’s music for Marketa Lazarova

Mon 21st October 5.00 pm
Jazz Legends in Prague

Louis Armstrong, Charles Lloyd
(1965, 1967, 71 min)

Remarkable footage found in the archives of Czech Television that documents the performances in Prague of some of the greatest names in the history of jazz. As well as being a musical treasure-trove, these films also beautifully evoke the Prague of the 1960s and early 1970s.

More

Some of jazz’s biggest names captured on film in Prague in the 1960s and 1970s. Footage of Louis Armstrong’s 1965 performance in Lucerna, intersperesed with fascinating glimpses behind the scenes, including Armstrong’s visit to Semafor theatre and the ensuing impromptu jam; Charles Lloyd’s fabled appearance at the 1967 Prague International Jazz Festival, with a stellar band including a young Keith Jarrett on piano. This remarkable footage not only documents extraordinary performances by jazz masters, but is also highly evocative of the Prague of the 1960s.

Mon 21st October 6.30 pm
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

director: Stanley Nelson
USA/UK 2019, 115 min

An in-depth look at jazz’s greatest icon, this new documentary has received widespread critical acclaim following its premiere at the Sundance film festival.

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Using words from Miles Davis’s autobiography, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool offers an incisive insight into our understanding of the legendary musician.

Newly released archival material, alongside interviews with pre-eminent historians and personal friends like Quincy Jones, illustrate a man of intensity and devotion to his craft. Despite the indignities of America during the time of segregation, nothing was going to stop Davis from realizing his dream: to create a new form of musical expression. Davis worked like a physicist with his collaborators to push musical experimentation and widen the tones and lyricism of jazz—the effects of which are felt to this day.

Mon 21st October 8.30 pm
Philip Glass: Leviatan

director: Andrej Zvjagincev
RU 2014, 140 min

The second collaboration between the iconic American composer and the Russian auteur

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Acclaimed drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev, the director of The Return (Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner and Golden Globe nominee). Kolya lives in a small fishing town near the stunnin Barents Sea in northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya and his son Roma from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt maypr is determined to take aqay his business, his house, and his land. First, the mayor tries buying off Kolya, but Kolya unflinchingly fights as hard as he can not to lose everything he owns. Facing resistane, the mhyor becomes more aggressive.

Like Strings of Autumn alumni and fellow contemporary American composers Steve Reich, Michael Nyman, and David Lang, Philip Glass’s music has long had a close relationship with film. ‘Leviathan’ is the second Zvyagintsev film to be scored by Glass.

Tue 22nd 5.00 pm
Bobby McFerrin: ČT Live, 2010

director: Rudolf Vodrážka
CZ 2010, 52 min

A live film of Bobby McFerrin’s performance at a gala evening for Strings of Autumn at Municipal House in Prague.

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In 2010, Strings of Autumn held its first fundraising gala evening at the magnificent Municipal House in Prague. Bobby McFerrin took centre stage at a special concert that saw him perform solo, with choir, and in improvised duets with Czech guests Dan Bárta and Iva Bittová.

Tue 22nd 5.00 pm
Jiří Bárta: My Attempt at a Masterpiece

director: Jakub Sommer
CZ 2015, 26 min

One man’s relationship with Bach’s masterwork for solo cello.

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Jiří Bárta broke onto the the music scene at the turn of the ’90s, and soon joined the international elite of leading cellists. Very early in his career, he brough Bach’s 6 solo cello suites – an undisputed milestone in the history of cello pieces – into his repertoire. Jakub Sommer’s documentary follows Bárta’s struggle with the suites, as he searches for the ideal interpretation of this masterpiece.

Jiří Bárta performs Bach’s cello suites at this year’s Strings of Autumn, 23 years after his first appearance at the festival.

Tue 22nd October 6.30 pm
Solo

director: Artemio Benki
CZ/Fr/Arg/Au 2019, 84 min

A premiere screening of this moving documentary about an Argentinian pianist’s struggle with mental illness, in the presence of the director and protagnoist, who will take part in an informal Q&A after the screening.

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Martín P. is a young Argentinian piano virtuoso and composer, who has been since his breakdown four years ago a patient of El Borda, the largest and the most notable but also controversial psychiatric hospital in Latin America. The child prodigy and the most promising talent of his generation is now trying to find a way how to overcome his mental disease and come back to life outside the walls of the asylum and on the concert stages, while working on his new composition Enfermaria. Solo tells unique, yet universal story about the obsession with perfection and creation, narrating the evolution of a human being who draws his strength from his own fragility.

In cooperation with the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival

Tue 22nd October 8.30 pm
David Lang: Youth

director: Paolo Sorrentino
It/Fr/UK/Swi 2015, 124 min

Starring Michael Caine as Fred and Harvey Keitel as Mick, YOUTH explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement

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While Fred has no plans to resume his musical career despite the urging of his loving daughter Lena, Mick is intent on finishing a screenplay in what may be his last important film for his muse Brenda. YOUTH asks if our most important and transformative experiences can come at any time – even late — in life. The film is written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino and also stars Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda. The film is produced by Carlotta Calori, Francesca Cima and Nicola Giuliano. The filmmaking team includes director of photography Luca Bigazzi, editor Cristiano Travaglioli, production designer Ludovica Ferrario, set decorator Giulia Busnengo, composer David Lang, and costume designer Carlo Poggioli.

David Lang presented his Pulitzer Prize-winning piece ‘The Little Match Girl Passion’ at Strings of Autumn in 2015

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