Saturday, May 26, 2012

Charleston Gets Some Glorious, Silent Film Treatment

The Piccolo Spoleto Festival sounds like something that should be taking place this weekend in central Italy rather than Charleston, South Carolina. Established in 1979, the annual event's Umbria-worthy name comes from the fact that Spoleto is an official sister city of Charleston.

This year's multimedia extravaganza, which runs May 25th through June 10th, features a most intriguing presentation tonight - Charleston, a Love Letter. The silent film of city vignettes, put together by Justin Nathanson, will be shown at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. with live accompaniment by the Entropy Ensemble, performing a score composed by Andrew Walker. Nathanson has been sharing clips about the musical rehearsal for this weekend's big show at the Hippodrome performing arts venue.

The filmmaker has a strong connection to the event through his production outfit The Cut Company, which is providing all of Spoleto's  promotional materials. From the Entropy Ensemble website:

What makes Charleston, a Love Letter so unique is the audio component of Nathanson's project relies entirely on his collaboration with Andrew Walker, founder of Entropy Arts, who has composed an original musical score for the film's screenings. This musical score will be performed live on the Hippodrome stage, in front of the enormous movie screen and during the film by a selected group of talented local musicians of various styles including jazz, classical, hip hop, and more.
The live music score allows for the audience to experience a truly spontaneous and experimental moment during the film's screening. The musicians have been encouraged to keep an open mind, and to improvise at times throughout their performance, contributing a new experience as it comes from the individual in a moment and in response to Nathanson's offering of love and beauty. Charleston, a Love Letter opens with the sunrise and ends just before it, so that we experience the event in one 24-hour period.

On his bio page, Nathanson describes himself as a “commercial director, independent filmmaker, plastic surgeon and weekend rocket scientist. Right next to you and yours, on this ride of life, love, trials and tribulations.” Good stuff.

[Charleston, a Love Letter]

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