ITHACA, NY—Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will end on Monday, April 2, not with a bang or a whimper, but a world premiere of an original, improvised film score to accompany a screening of Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent film, “Man with a Movie Camera.” The last scheduled event of the weeklong festival, the screening and performance will take place at 8 p.m. in Park Hall Auditorium and feature a score composed by electric cellist Chris White and trumpeter, saxophonist, keyboard player and percussion artist Peter Dodge. The event is free and open to the public.
“This year’s festival closes with the most exuberant and visceral city film of all time,” said Patricia Zimmermann, professor of cinema, photography and media arts and, with professor of politics Tom Shevory, codirector of FLEFF. “This legendary silent film is further pumped up with the world premiere of an avant-garde jazz improvisation by electric cellist Chris White and electronic keyboardist Peter Dodge. Inspired by Vertov’s ideas to ‘film life as it is,’ with the camera responding to what it interacts with, White and Dodge create a soundscape of ‘sound as it is,’ responding to and interacting with the visual and conceptual structures of Vertov’s film.”
As “Man with a Movie Camera” begins, the cameraman climbs out of the head of the camera to create a kaleidoscopic, humorous excursion through Moscow, Kiev and Odessa. By aggressively deploying all available filming strategies—superimposition, split screens, moving camera, montage and varied speed—Vertov (the pseudonym adopted by filmmaker Denis AbramovichKaufman that means “spinning top”) revolutionized cinema with his defiant deconstruction of cinematic language and dramatic norms. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Vertov made films and wrote manifestos that called for the death of filmmaking that involved artifice and drama. Ever the socialist utopian, Vertov asserted an objective cinematic eye would help to imagine and build a new proletarian society.
This new score by White and Dodge, inspired by Vertov’s ideas about the utopian possibilities of new technologies will turn a screening of “Man with a Camera” into an exhilarating new experience.
A classical, jazz and improvisational cellist and cello teacher based in Ithaca, White has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Europe and North Africa. He also performs regularly as a classical cellist with the Binghamton (New York) Symphony and frequently freelances with chamber and jazz groups. His most recent CD release is called “First Principles,” which features his original compositions as well as originals by the pianist Eric Hangen.
Dodge is a musician and composer, and is a graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music. He has performed in a variety of genres including classical, folk, rock, Afro-Caribbean and experimental jazz. A multi-instrumentalist and a collector, he has collaborated with choreographers, poets, storytellers, painters, sculptors, ritual artists and filmmakers. Dodge also belongs to the music program at Hospicare.
For more information on “Man with a Camera” or FLEFF, contact festival coordinators Patricia Zimmermann at (607) 351-4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tom Shevory at (607) 274-1347 or email@example.com