- Film Guide
This year's Festival Centerpiece is a one-night-only, ultra-rare 35mm screening of Aleksander Dovzhenko’s silent classic Earth, accompanied by the live performance of a new original score courtesy of Milwaukee's own Altos.
MFF 2013 CENTERPIECE: EARTH (WITH ALTOS)
FRIDAY, OCT 4, 2013 | 7:00 PM
LANDMARK ORIENTAL THEATRE
2230 N. FARWELL AVE., MILWAUKEE, WI
Co-commissioned by the Milwaukee Film Festival and Alverno Presents, this year's Centerpiece event is a one-night-only screening of an ultra-rare 35mm print of silent Soviet classic Earth (Zemlya), featuring a new and original score performed live in the theater by an 18-piece version of Milwaukee-based music ensemble, Altos.
Released in 1930 as part three of the "Ukraine Trilogy" (along with Zvenigora and Arsenal), Earth was a highly controversial film for its time, painting a stark, lyrical picture of the lives of Ukrainian farmers as they dealt with collectivization and other agricultural adjustments developed during Stalin’s rule. (Developments that, in real life, led to clashes between independent farmers in the Russian Empire, and Soviet officials.)
The new, original score performed live alongside the screening comes courtesy of Altos— a 12-piece ensemble of Milwaukee musicians (including Collections of Colonies of Bees’ and Volcano Choir’s Daniel Spack) who have spent the last few years building a reputation as a live musical force to be reckoned with. Self-billed as a “surly high school orchestra,” Altos’ sound falls in line with the moody, atmospheric sounds of Godspeed You! Black Emperor “or A Northern Chorus in their prime, with forlorn strings creaking behind an impromptu ensemble of earnest-to-goodness singers.” Altos will expand their numbers to 18 for this rare, one-time-only performance.