Magazine article Screen International


Magazine article Screen International


Article excerpt

Dir: Aleksey Igudesman. Austria. 2011. 82mins

This irreverent mockumentary, poking fun at music festivals and their star-studded casts, should easily appeal to music lovers everywhere, as long as they do not mind taking their favorite pastime with a pinch of salt and some pepper too.

This documentary is ultimately not only enjoyable on its own but also a great piece of advertising for the "Julian Rachlin and Friends" Music Festival in Dubrovnik.

Shot at an event organised by violinist Julian Rachlin in Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast, once a pirate refuge and now a picturesque Croat tourist attraction, the idea was devised by Rachlin's friend Aleksey Igudesman, and produced by both of them, with full cooperation of all their "victims". The film screened at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Director Igudesman lacks any real filmmaking background, but has a knack for serving up music in mischievous packages, for instance his "A Little Nightmare Music", a show he presents with Korean pianist Joo Hyung-ki (featured in the film as well).

For this particular prank he is assisted by Austrian filmmaker Sebastian Leitner (credited for camera and editing). The two of them were let loose on the 2010 edition of the festival, where Igudesman quickly managed to step on all the wrong toes, insulting the participants at the worst possible moments, to the point that most of them got up and left their interviews in the middle.

However, this being a mockumentary, and since Igudesman himself actively contributed to the programme of this festival, it is safe to assume that before talking out of turn he had warned all the concerned parties, who may pretend to be offended on camera, but don't make much of a fuss about it all, carrying on as if short, stocky, impish director and his film crew are just a minor disturbance.

The tone is established from the very beginning. Igudesman shows Rachlin the final cut of the film, to get his approval. They sit next to each other in a sound studio, and once the film starts rolling you see John Malkovich addressing the audience at the festival and informing them that the talent they will be listening to in the following days has not been chosen for its musical talent but simply because they are Jews and as everybody knows, the music world is ruled by the Jewish mafia. …

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