As some may know, the composer Michael Nyman was scheduled to appear at last year’s Pordenone silent film festival, playing a piano accompaniment to Jean Vigo’s A Propos de Nice. As those who were there will know, he wasn’t able to attend and we got John Sweeney (who was excellent) playing to the film instead. But it’s just been announced that Nyman will be coming to this year’s festival, to accompany the same film, thus fulfilling a promise, which is very noble.
Nyman (best known to the film world for his Peter Greenaway and Michael Winterbottom scores and Jane Campion’s The Piano) has demonstrated a taste for accompanying silents before now. He has presented A Propos de Nice alongside Paul Strand’s experimental work Manhatta as a part of his show ‘The Piano Sings’, and of course he scored Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera for the BFI DVD release.
For the full Pordenone programme (so far) click here, or for the Bioscope’s account of it (sans Nyman), click here.
There is still no information about the 21st century silents section on the site. I’m really looking forward for that one (hopefully this year I will attend to the festival, for the first time).
As the profile of modern silents grows and grows – Criterion have just given the deluxe treatment to their DVD release of Guy Maddin’s Brand upon the Brain! – maybe it’s time Pordenone made 21st century silents a fixed part of the programme (they’ve been moving that way for a while now, showcasing the pastiche work of the Wisconsin Bioscope, giving prominence to Aki Kaurismaki’s Juha a few years ago).