THE SOUNDS OF THE DOCUMENTARY
THE SOUNDS OF THE DOCUMENTARY
programme concept by Stanisław Bitka
What if we paraphrased the famed sentence—erroneously attributed to Frank Zappa—which compared talking about music to dancing about architecture, and looked for a parallel to a film about music? Would it be even more absurd? Or perhaps the contrary, given that music is so hard to express in words a film is a better way to do that? The continuing popularity of music documentaries seems to corroborate such a conjecture.
It is irrelevant whether the film is devoted to pop music, avant-garde, heavy metal or the classical variety. The camera makes it possible to go backstage, enter a recording studio or delve into private archives. This year, we will travel the world with PJ Harvey as she recorded the brilliant Hope Six Demolition Project, see the most recent documentary about Milles Davis, an amazing portrait of the extravagant pianist Chilly Gonzales "Shut up and play the piano" and the breathtaking documentary musical "Symphony of the Ursus Factory", telling about the employees of the famous Polish factory.
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
dir. Stanley Nelson, USA, Great Britain, France, 2019, 113’
The music and the legend of the creator of Bitches Brew are as much alive as they have ever been. Apart from documentaries, Miles Davis became the protagonist of Miles Ahead, a 2015 feature film. This time, however, Stanley Nelson attempted a biography of the artist. The filmmaker is an author of numerous, socially committed pictures exploring the lives of African Americans, and a winner of a great number of accolades. This biographic portrayal of Miles Davis includes previously unseen archival footage and interviews with e.g. Flea, Herbie Hancock or Carlos Santana.
PJ HARVEY: A DOG CALLED MONEY
dir. Seamus Murphy, Ireland, Great Britain, 2019, 90’
Every note and each word on PJ Harvey’s album Hope Six Demolition Project has a history behind it. Seamus Murphy accompanied the artist as she travelled to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the white neighbourhoods of Washington where she looked for inspiration, as well as in the London studio, where the musicians, separated by a two-way mirror from the audience, made the vision of the artist a reality.
SYMPHONY OF THE URSUS FACTORY
dir. Jaśmina Wójcik / Poland 2018 / 60 min.
“Symphony of the Ursus Factory” is a feature-length film involving former workers of Ursus Mechanical Works. The concept of the project rests on former employees of Ursus Factory reenacting their jobs and recalling their memorized actions and sounds related to their daily work, and on using this footage in the film.
SHUT UP AND PLAY THE PIANO
dir. Philipp Jedicke | UK/Germany, 2018, 82'
Chilly Gonzales is a Grammy-winning composer, virtuoso pianist and entertainer. Criss-crossing between rap, electro and solo piano music, he became the outrageous pop performer who invited himself to the ivory tower of classical music. The eccentric artist inspires and collaborates with the likes of Feist, Jarvis Cocker, Peaches, Daft punk and Drake.