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Doha Film Institute Presents Musical Film Series in Celebration of On-Screen ‘Rhythm and Flow’

Sep 16, 2019

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  • Special showcase by DFI Cinema sings praise to modern cinema’s bold interplay of music, dance and narrative

Doha, Qatar; 16 September 2019: Paying tribute to the evolving face of musical cinema, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) Cinema will hold a special film showcase around the theme of ‘Rhythm and Flow’ from 18 to 23 September at the Museum of Islamic Art auditorium.

The six-day ‘Rhythm and Flow’ series will screen six award-winning films and two shorts from around the world that illustrate the lasting impact of musical film as a collaborative art form that interlaces dance and narrative, with the power of musical composition to deliver a unique viewer experience beyond the confines of language and culture.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of DFI, said: “Since the advent of sound pictures, musical film has developed as a stand-alone genre within the film industry ranging from musical adaptations to feature-films and modern classics. The unique combination of movement and music define the film-goers experience and leave audiences with a deeper emotive connection to the characters. We look forward to introducing audiences to classic and contemporary filmmaking talent that has contributed to a renaissance of musical film over decades. Their artistic vision allows us to reimagine on-screen storytelling through elaborate choreographies and captivating musical scores.”

The showcase will kick off on 18 September at 7 PM with Summer Interlude (1951) by Swedish director, writer, and producer Ingmar Bergman. A poignant depiction of isolation and the inescapability of the past, the cinematic masterpiece follows Marie, an ageing ballerina, who reminisces a tragic love affair that occurred thirteen years prior. With its artistic use of close-up and unique directorial style, the film is widely regarded to mark the beginning of a new epoch in Swedish cinema. On the night, it will be preceded by the Scandinavian short-film Birds in the Earth (2018), a ballet-based commentary on the Sámi people´s territorial rights. The story is told through two Sámi sisters, who dance through their ancestral lands in Sápmi – the northern region of modern-day Norway and Sweden.

Damien Chazelle’s award-winning global favourite La La Land (2016) will be screened at 7 PM on 19 September. A contemporary take on classical Hollywood romance, La La Land received worldwide acclaim for its colourful depiction of a love story between a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, whose career aspirations may eclipse their relationship. The film premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in 2016. It earned a record-breaking seven Golden Globe, eleven British Academy Film Award, and fourteen Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. It claimed six Academy Award wins including Best Director and Best Cinematography.

A screening of Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark (2000) will follow at 7 PM on 20 September. The soundtrack for the film was written by Björk, an Icelandic musician who also stars in the film’s title role of Selma Ježková, an immigrant factory worker and single-mother. As she slowly loses her eyesight, classic Hollywood music and dance films provide the only sustenance to her unfulfilled realisation of the American dream. The compelling Danish musical melodrama won the Palme d’Or at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

Sidney Lumet’s fantastical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz (1978) will be screened at 7 PM on 21 September. Featuring some of the greatest musicians of its time including Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, the film has established itself as a cult classic among global audiences as it explores the essential African American experience against the backdrop of theatrical adventure and composition.

Screening at 7 PM on 22 September, The Red Shoes (1948) will whisk viewers into a timeless story of torn passions when a young performer must choose between the man she loves and a budding career as a prima ballerina. Based on the fairy tale ‘The Red Shoes’ by Hans Christian Andersen, the film won Best Original Score and Best Art Direction at the 21st Academy Awards. The British Film Institute validated its lasting impact on the history of cinema by voting it the 9th greatest British film of all time. The screening will be preceded by Ballet After Dark (2019), a short documentary that tells the story of a woman who used dance therapy to overcome domestic abuse and establish an organization dedicated to helping other trauma survivors.

Closing the showcase, Lil’ Buck: Real Swan (2019) will screen at 7 PM on 23 September. The documentary follows Memphis-born Charles “Lil Buck” Riley’s rise to prominence as one of the most admired street dancers of his generation. The catalyst for his global breakthrough was a viral video of Lil Buck’s powerful dance interpretation of Camille Saint-Saëns’ ‘The Swan’, accompanied by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and has since served as an anthem to the power of art and dance in youth education.

Tickets are priced QAR 35. Students and Culture Pass by Qatar Museum members can enjoy discounted rates of QAR 25 per person. Tickets are available at the DFI ticket outlet opposite the MIA auditorium and online at www.dohafilminstitute.com, where the full programme of film screening times, ratings, and runtimes can also be found.