live cinema

based on 'The Desert Book' by Ingeborg Bachmann

Author: Roberto Paci Dalo'
Version: beta
Licence: GPL
Environment: All
Status: Development

A live cinema and music environment created differently every time,
is the new project of director and performer Roberto Paci Dalò

Live Cinema is a further step into the future of cinema. It means that, through the use of digital tools, it is now possible not only working on lower cost productions but also dealing with cinema as performing arts. Bringing back to the emotion of the early cinema through the newest technlogies. Creating sets where action happens live and with a public. The wish of many people: being on set of a movie shooting. This is BLUE STORIES.

Yves Klein and Derek Jarman drive me into the world of blue, of vision, of listening. Together with them the crucial dziga Vertov's work and his kinoglaz. A 360 degrees work on cinema which reconnects early cinema with digital technologies in order to produce an old and new craftmanship of film art. Where - between expanded cinema and new formats we can think about cinema as time art.

Through the creation of a series of modules both acoustical and visual I develop a series of performances released every time in a different way. Buildings and rooms inhabitated by the cinema which is produced in realtime in performance in front of the audience. Innovative electronica, cities, soundscapes, sampling as basic practices.

The project proceeds accumulating materials and combining fiction cinema with documentary and architectural / urban explorations. In the performance materials are mixed live. A live cinema which brings back to the emotion for the "pre-cinema" made out of camera obscura and laterna magica in a Athanasius Kircher's spirit of fascination for visionaries technologies. I play with expressions and concepts of the Linux world programmers (release, open source) and at the same time music (version, remix).

Blue Stories' reference text is The Book of Desert by Austrian born writer Ingeborg Bachmann. This book has been published by the Italian publishing house Cronopio Edizioni collecting 2 different texts: Wüstenbuch and Der Tod wird kommen. This text is the core of the screenplay I'm developping.

Here is an example of the proceed I'm following for the performances of BLUE STORIES.
During the days before the performance - or even the same day -I travel in the city where the performance will be presented, recording digitally both sounds and images which will be edited in realtime working with laptops.
Those elements will be part of the materials of the show of the night playing around with already existing post-produced materials which guarantee the frame of the performance. Shooting on-site means both places and people.

The performance place becomes a sort of very small movie set with lighting, cameras, mixing consoles.
Actually I'm fascinated about the use of digital video which makes possible for me to re-create the quality and texture of super-8 films. This is why I'm using digital video both on its highest and 'lowest' standard qualities.

In the solo performance I mix live videos and I play the music based on electronics and sampling. From environmental sounds to breathless beat where the sound deals deeply with perceptional strategies involving fast bpm and particular frequencies involved i.e. extremely low pitches like 25 Hz in combination with ultrasounds. A minimal electronica where big space is given to pure sounds and their relationships with the space.
Together with images from computers' hard disks and tapes, I use micro infra-red live cameras placed in the performance space. Specific visual and acoustical softwares are employed in the performance in order to control in deep parameters involved.

The idea is to work for about a year presenting a number of performances all around the world. This will build a rather big archive of images and sounds. At the end of this step it will be possible to edit a movie which is going to be quite particular and to be screened in movie theatres.


"(The Wizard of Oz) is one of my favourite films I must say"
Derek Jarman

from BBC interview with Jeremy Isaacs

I waited a lifetime to build my garden,
I built my garden with colours of healing
On the sepia shingle of Dungeness.
I planted a rose and then an elder,
Lavender, sage and Crambe maritima,
Lovage, parsley, santonlina,
Hore hound, fennel, mint and rue.
Here was a garden to soothe the mind,
A garden of circles and wooden hedges,
Circles of stone, and sea defences.
Derek Jarman

I had just removed from my studio all earlier works. The result - an empty studio. All that I could physically do was to remain in my empty studio and the pictorial immaterial statesof creation marvellously unfolded. However, little by little, I became mistrustful of myself, but never of the immaterial. From that moment, following the example of all painters, I hired models. But unlike the other, I merely wanted to work in their company rather than have them pose for me. I had been spending too much time alone in the empty studio; I no longer wanted to remain alone with the marvellous blue void which was in the process of opening.

Yves Klein
from The Chelsea Hotel Manifesto

When filmmaker Derek Jarman (Caravaggio, The Last of England, Blue, and other films) discovered in 1986 that he was HIV-positive, he decided to construct a garden at his cottage on the coast of Dungeness, Kent. He cultivated his garden from 1986 until his death in 1994.
He created the garden outside a fisherman's cottage on the shingle at Dungeness, in southeastern England, beside a nuclear power plant.
Jarman fashioned stone circles, sculpture out of driftwood and old tools, and a garden based on indigenous plants plus introduced shrubs and flowers that could survive in the area's inhospitable environment. Jarman started by collecting stones from the beachand arranging them in circles; he added driftwood, antique tools and found objects for sculpture, then put in native shrubs and flowers. Completed, the garden evokes serenity and pleasure.

The narrative structure of the project comes from a screenplay in-progress. Where in each presentation there are new versions, cuts and so on. The screenplay itself is conceived as a public space. It's possible to follow on-line the development of the script made out also of 'old school' story boards.
The Journal of the project includes on-line videos coming from shooting in every performance place.

BLUE STORIES it's an event and process which can be presented in public space, film festivals, museums, theatres, clubs, and in special out-of-format venues like large scale industrial buildings or even outdoor.
Where is possible, an Internet connection is active allowing the remix of webcams from the net and eventually the webcasting of the performance hosted by other websites as well.
BLUE allows the possibility of video/sound environments to be experienced as installation

Original materials of BLUE STORIES were presented first time December 2000 at the Fondazione Morra (Naples).
A bit earlier I made my first project in Catania where I've somehow created the praxis of BS shooting all day in different places of the city and screening the result of this wandering in performance same night. Later in Rome I did a project together with achitects group Stalker where I was mixing videos they made with my sounds.

BLUE STORIES is part of the on-going project COSPIRAZIONI created together with Patrizio Esposito.

Roberto Paci Dalò, Athens, march 2001