Roberta on the Arts
Dahesh Museum of Art Presents Art Films from Montreal's Film Festival
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Memorable Misadventures
Our Sponsors

Dahesh Museum of Art Presents Art Films from Montreal's Film Festival

- In the Galleries: Backstage with the Filmmakers

Dahesh Museum of Art
580 Madison Avenue
NYC, NY 10022
MUSE Film & Television
(MUSE Website)
Art on Screen
Highlights of the 24th Montreal
International Festival of Films on Art
(FIFA Website)
(See a Review of Dahesh Napoleon Exhibit)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 22, 2006

Le Rossignol (2004)

Director, Christian Chaudet

Screenplay, Hans Christian Andersen

Cinematography, Jean-Jacques Bouhon
Emmanuel Soyer

Sound, Raymond Buttini

Editing, Yves Baudry

Music, Igor Stravinsky
interprétée par l'Orchestre national de Paris sous la direction de James Conlon

Cast, Natalie Dessay, Marie McLaughlin, Violeta Urmana, Vsevolod Grivnov, Albert Schagidullin, Laurent Naouri, Maxime Mikhailov, Hugo Simcic, Jim Adhi Limas, Yon Geol Kim, Jian Ye, Man-Yan James Hor, Duy-Thông Nguyen, Yuko Kametani, Guerassim Dichliev, Sophie Burgue, Sophie Leso, Constantino Raimondi, Antoinette Senior, Benoît Turjman, Antonia Tzvektova

Producer, Dominique Barneaud

Production, Agat Films & Cie/ARTE France/Mikros Image/EMI/Thirteen-WNET

Distribution, Idéale Audience Internationale

The Dahesh Museum of Art and MUSE Film & Television teamed up this week to share with museum members, guests, and the New York film audience a series of highlights, i.e., films, that were featured at the 2006 Montreal International Festival of Films on Art. I was fortunate to catch two of these memorable and mesmerizing films, featured below. Hopefully, the Dahesh Museum of Art will continue to present rare and artistic films, those that would otherwise be impossible to experience in New York.

In an amazingly surrealistic and creative style, Christian Chaudet filmed an opera, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, which is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. This story loosely involves a Chinese Emperor, a real nightingale, a factory of porcelain vases, a young boy, a fisherman, Chinese lanterns, a full orchestra of individual instruments, computers, cell phones, headphones, microphones, and a giant stairway. In other words, we have ancient Chinese icons morphing into futuristic imagery, all the while floating and swarming amidst Stravinsky’s edgy, atonal score.

I found the film reminiscent of Disney’s Fantasia, but there was digital, photographic imagery here, rather than fully animated figures, and this was not totally a film for youngsters, with some very intense moments, some relating to the survival of the nightingale. I found the moment, in which the young boy touches the blue vase and turns the etching into a moving landscape, to be sensitive and poignant. Especially effective were also the streaming instruments, mixed with technological icons, in thunderous, cloudy weather. Also effective were the scenes of multiple nightingales, when their warbling was the only sound recorded. The simplicity of nature fully realized.

Mozart Balls (2005)

Director, Larry Weinstein

Screenplay, Thomas Wallner

Cinematography, John Minh Tran

Sound, Sanjay Mehta

Editing, David New

Music, W. A. Mozart

Participation, David Cope, Franz Viehböck, Konrad Rich, Duncan Evans, Steph Waller, Julius Müller

Producer, Jessica Daniel, Larry Weinstein

Production, Rhombus Media/ZDF-ARTE

Distribution, Rhombus International

Mozart balls are round, chocolate candies, called Mozartkugeln, and today, in the 250th anniversary year of Mozart’s birth, we were transported by Larry Weinstein to a real Mozartkugeln factory, and we watched the renowned chocolates being prepared and wrapped by the hundreds. We also saw Mozart’s persona exemplified in a handful of “eccentrics”, people who insist they are living Mozarts, in his extra lives, who methodically count the steps to his grave, who bring his music into a space capsule, who create computerized instant concertos in the Mozart motif, or who claim to be Mozart’s mistress, a long-lost love.

This interesting and enjoyable compilation of actual interviews and filmed adventures, that Weinstein recently followed in Austria, is presented in portions; that is, each character is developed in partial fashion, not sequentially, but in fragmented form, so that by the film’s conclusion, the viewer learns more of the eccentrics and what drives their Mozart-obsessed lifestyles. There is humor, pathos, warmth, science, harmony, music, and impressive imagery. The scenes at Mozart’s grave, after that long, meticulous walk, mixed with Salzburg’s urban landscape, plus hundreds of fancy chocolates, wrapped and boxed in bright displays, led the viewers to the ultimate moment; Larry Weinstein offered each member of the audience a Mozartkugeln, and the chocolates added a delicious dimension to this celebratory film of many senses.

FIFA Festival - Rossignol
Photo courtesy of Dahesh Museum

FIFA Festival -Mozart
Photo courtesy of Dahesh Museum

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at