No pressure guys. The East End Film Festival‘s “sonic cinema” screenings have won the, ahem, coveted Silent London poll first prize not once, but twice. And this year, the festival is going off-piste with an evening called A City Without a Voice. The free screening will feature a modern silent film from Argentina, a live “gothic pop” score – and an “immersive” contemporary dance performance. If the prospect of all that doesn’t get your senses tingling, then quite frankly you may as well stay at home and watch Millionaire.
First, the film: La Antena (2007) is a visually delirious modern almost-silent film, a fantasy about a city in reduced to silence after the residents’ voices have been stolen by an evil capitalist villain. The intertitles dance across the screen, becoming almost physical objects, and the film’s imagery is explosively ineventive, combining silhouettes, surrealism and a heavy debt to the cinema of Fritz Lang. You can read more about this fantastic film in a post that the fashion and film historian Amber Jane Butchart wrote for Silent London.
As for the music, Esben and the Witch, who will provide the score, are a three-piece from Brighton, named for a Danish fairytale. The NME described them as “gothic but not goth”, and many of the songs on their new album are inspired by literature: from Vladimir Nabokov to Robert Frost. Here’s a taster of their music:
The visual performance comes courtesy of Neon Dance, who will persent their immersive piece The Intention, inspired by an Argentinian novel. You can read more and watch rehearsal footage here.
Over to the festival themselves to set the scene for the screening:
La Antena is screening as EEFF 2013′s free outdoor screening, soundtracked by a specially commissioned score by Esben and the Witch. Setting the scene for Esben and the Witch’s atmospheric performance, the London premiere of contemporary dance piece The Intention, performed by East London dance company Neon Dance, will be led by world-renowned choreographer Adrienne Hart. Inspired by ‘The Invention of Morel’, a novel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, ‘The Intention’ explores a world of disjointed presences; where the playback of a recording of events takes on a greater reality than the continued existence of its subjects.
A City Without A Voice is set to be a festival highlight and there are limited seats available, so bring your cushion and grab a front row seat for this unmissable event.
A City Without a Voice takes place at 8.30pm on Saturday 6 July 2013 in Old Spitalfields Market as part of the East End Film Festival. Arrive early to get a good seat and wrap up warm. Read more and book tickets here.