Review: Concept for a Film
A Beautiful Harmony of Theatre, Music and So Mush Spore.
I loved the novel format of storytelling that ‘Concept for a Film’ delivered. The scene opens with Max Barton, sitting at a desk that faces the audience, reading out the script for a film. These readings are intermittently dispersed with many disruptions including phone calls from his Mother, audio recordings of audience sceptical feedback on the film and him shining a torch on his face as he addresses us, the audience.
The film script story begins in Pōneke. I appreciated how Max adapted the script to centre the story around Wellington and demonstrate he had spent time researching the area’s history and whakapapa.
The story is accompanied by a score composed by Jethro using an interactive modular synthesiser, that he builds throughout the performance. The white cables that swirl across the floor and connect with each piece of equipment resemble a mycelial network and look beautiful as Jethro uses his hands, light and buttons to build the soundscape of the performance. Both the visual impression and music created by this are very cool and a wonderful change from the use of traditional instruments for musical accompaniment. Introducing a modular synthesiser to this setting seems like a perfect harmony with performance art. Gear heads will drool over the set-up.
Between the rapid-fire delivery of each turn of the movie’s outline, Max’s insecurity about each section, his determination to rewrite, question and improve the script as we go and the brilliant performance of Jethro’s live sound manipulation. It can be a mind field to follow if you aren’t paying attention, but it works and the outcome is novel, fun and engaging. It is also a reflection of how nature does not move in an independent linear path, that we all affect each other through our connection with the earth.
Concept for a Film, is a show that will appeal to many types of people including music nerds, film buffs, environmentalists, pun enthusiasts and people who love mushrooms. Definitely one of the highlights of this years Fringe for me.