If music is part of the language of the cinema, without doubt it is Rock and all its aesthetic derivatives, always passionate, often captivating, to which film is the closest. Both artistic forms are young and Rock is visibly and systematically a part of films on war and conflict. Singers become actors, soundtracks become essential to the narrative. A major movement of 1960s and 1970s counter-culture, the emblem of anti-establishment youth, Rock condemned war and made more bearable the lives of the men and women reluctantly involved in conflicts they rarely understood. It became progressively associated with animated film, presenting to the public increasingly curated concerts and music videos often resembling real films.
We will be exploring this relationship. This year, as an introduction to this vast and inspiring subject, we are showing four films, one of which is previewing.
The Beatles embodied the 1960s, illustrating the evolution of Western society at all levels. After making two films with all four musicians (A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) Richard Lester called on John Lennon, at the height of his fame, to play an awkward and inexperienced soldier who becomes, thanks to his preposterous naivety, a conqueror in the irreverent film How I Won the War. In Across the Universe, the wonderful repertory of the Beatles accompanies 1960s youth scarred by political and social protest and the Vietnam war.
In Hair, his cult musical, Milos Forman tells the story of the encounter between a young conscript waiting to leave for Vietnam and a gang of hippies who try everything to change his mind.
The French preview of Era of Dance takes us to the beginning of the 1980s and the first raves in the Baltic countries, then still Soviet, and in an East Berlin isolated by The Wall. They gradually and overpoweringly contributed to weakening the Iron Curtain, under the impetus of a figure as essential as he is mysterious: Indulis Bilzens, cultural diplomat and pioneer of today’s urban artistic trends. The film illustrates the way music converted the young, controlled until then, and undermined a political regime that everyone believed to be unshakeable.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE de Julie TAYMOR (2007) – Etats-Unis/Royaume Uni
HAIR de Milos FORMAN (1979) – Etats-Unis/Allemagne de l’Ouest
HOW I WON THE WAR, de Richard LESTER (1966) – Royaume Uni
ERA OF DANCE, de Viktors Buda (2017) – Russie