Oslo World Cinema Foundation event 2010: Celebrating World Cinema Foundation.
Films From the South Festival celebrates 20 years on October 10, 2010, at the Oslo Opera House with a live gala screening of Mario Peixoto’s legendary film, Limite. The film will be accompanied by new music composed by Norwegian composer/musician Bugge Wesseltoft and performed live by an ensemble of European and Brazilian Musicians. This is the first time such an event will be held at the opera house, not to mention Bugge Wesseltoft’s debut performance on the main stage.
On the occasion of their anniversary, Films From the South festival wishes to call attention to the global cause of film preservation in honor of the World Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Martin Scorsese in 2007 dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world. Both Films From the South festival and World Cinema Foundation are devoted to promoting the international language of film. With this special screening of a WCF’s fully restored masterpiece, they join forces to celebrate their cause.
Limite (1931), written and directed by Màrio Peixoto at the early age of twenty-two, is regarded as one of Brazil's finest cinematic works of all time. Inspired by an Andrè Kertesz photograph and filmed in black and white without sound, Peixoto creates a visually entrancing silent poem. He describes the film as 'a tuning fork' to capture the pitch of a moment in time. The film recounts a simple story of three people adrift on a boating trip. Peixoto cleverly uses varying camera movements and angles, allowing him to explore and experiment with the medium of film itself, and ultimately creates a complex, yet melancholic, statement about the limitation and futility of human existence. The aesthetics of the film’s images are often compared to surrealist photographer Man Ray, the rhythmic structure to Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and F. W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans(1927).
Due to poor conditions of the nitrate film, it was not shown between 1959 to 1978. The disappearance became subject to debate and discussion, pushing the film to legendary status. Some believed the film did not even exist at all. It was a decade ago that celebrated director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries, 2004) rediscovered the film. Salles was so inspired by Limite that he founded the Mário Peixoto Archive and initiated the WCF restoration. Collaborating with Cinemateca Brasileira, they have managed to restore the film.
Peixoto believes that Limite cannot be adequately captured by language, that it was made to be experienced. Now, for the first time with a live soundtrack, audiences are given that opportunity!
Peixoto´s original plan was to underline the film with the natural sounds of wind, rustling leaves and breaking waves, but due to technical difficulties, the idea was quickly abandoned. Instead, he paired with musician Brutus Pedreira (who also played the pianist in Limite) to create a soundtrack for the film. Pedreira chose pieces from Satie, Debussy, Borodin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Cèsar Franck. The tracks were then played on two alternating record players during the film´s screenings - which were frequently operated by Peixoto and Pedreira themselves. This procedure was rather laborious, and in later exhibitions the film was frequently shown without sound.
Celebrating the 20th year anniversary of the festival, the newly restored version of Limite will be accompanied by new music composed especially for the occasion. The work is composed by Bugge Wesseltoft and performed live by Wesseltoft on piano. He will be joined on stage by an ensemble consisting of Brazilian musicians Naná Vasconcelos, Marlui Miranda and Rodolfo Stroeter.
BUGGE WESSELTOFT, COMPOSER
Pianist, composer, producer and performing artist, Bugge Wesseltoft, has firmly established himself as a prime motivating force for an entire following of jazz musicians within the past decade, not only in his home country of Norway but in the international arena as well. He has performed with such notable artists as Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal and Billy Cobham. Growing out of the post-modern sounds of ECM-style Nordic jazz traditions, he has made the transition into his own uniquely fresh vision of what jazz can be.
Wesseltoft has assembled the “Limite” orchestra, consisting of Brazilian musicians Marlui Miranda, Naná Vascocelos, and Rodolfo Stroeter.
Marlui Miranda is an accomplished musician whose research and music has been acknowledged world wide. Born in Fortaleza and raised in Brasília, Miranda moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1971, where she studied classical guitar with the renowned Turíbio Santos. From there she went on to be an accompanist for such musicians as Egberto Gismonti, Milton Nascimento, and Jards Macalé. With the help of Gismonti, she released her first LP, Olho d'Água, in 1979.
Throughout the 1970´s, Miranda deepened her interest and research on the indigenous music of Brazilian natives. As the recipient of several New York based grants, she was able to conduct an extensive research project to help preserve the music of the Brazilian Amazon forest.
A member of Pau Brasil since 1996, she has had her compositions recorded by Sá e Guarabyra, Ney Matogrosso and other artists. In 1998, she appeared in the album "O Sol de Oslo" along with Gilberto Gil, Bugge Wesseltoft, Trikot Gurtu, Rodolfo Stroeter and Toninho Ferragutti. She is currently working on a project with jazz legend Jack DeJohnette.
Naná Vasconcelos is a Brazilian latin jazz musician that specializes in percussion instruments made in Brazil, particularly the berimbau. Surrounded by music from an early age -- his mother was a guitarist -- he grew up under the influences of Villa-Lobos and Jimi Hendrix. After performing in a number of nightclubs with local bands in Recife, Naná moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1966. It was here that he met Luiz Eça, Wilson das Neves and Gilberto Gil. He soon joined Milton Nascimento's back up band. In 1968 he played with Quarteto Livre and was invited to tour with Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri throughout Europe and the United States in 1970. It was at this time that he started developing his avant-garde work. Naná settled in Paris, where he made his first solo album, "Africadeus".
He returned to Brazil in 1973 to record "Amazonas,” which became a hallmark for its combination of voice and percussion. While in Brazil, Vasconcelos collaborated with Egberto Gismonti for eight years, and together they released three albums, including “Dança das Cabecas”. Vasconcelos also composed the soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch´s Down by Law.
Besides playing a variety of percussion instruments, he is personally involved in promoting berimbau outside of Brazil. Vasconcelos has a long-standing collaboration with Pat Metheny and Norwegian artists, Arild Andersen and Jan Garbarek. He currently runs a school for rhythmic music in Bahia, Brazil.
Rodolfo Stroeter is a Brazilian bassist and composer. After finishing his studies in 1980, he started his professional career as a bass player for two of the leading instrumental groups of Brazil of the 1980s. From there, he went on to become one of the founding members of the group Pau Brasil, a Brazilian instrumental quintet that has toured Europe, Japan and the United States and produced recordings worldwide. As a musician, he is best known for his collaborations with artists such as Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Gilberto Gil, and Naná Vasconcelos.
After many years as a musician and producer, he founded his own label, also named Pau Brasil, which concentrates on experimental contemporary Brazilian music. Through his work at the label, he has been able to collaborate on several important albums that have been distributed worldwide, one in particular being “O Sol de Oslo” with Gilberto Gil, Bugge Wesseltoft, Trilok Gurtu, Marlui Miranda and Toninho Ferragutti. He has also worked with artists such as Joyce, Banda Mantiqueira, Mônica Salmaso, Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica and Dori Caymmi.
Stroeter currently lives in São Paulo with his wife and five children.
Don’t miss this unique chance to experience the live gala screening of Limite at the Opera and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Films From the South festival!
Book your tickets here.