Last month the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) made a stunning first announcement for its 2019 program – film score performances by iconic Australian musicians Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, backed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
And now MIFF has added two more major music events to its line-up.
Over at the Astor Theatre, Thurston Moore – frontman of seminal noise rock band Sonic Youth – will perform original compositions set to four works from pioneering experimental filmmaker, Maya Deren.
Deren, a Ukrainian-American director, inspired major American avant-garde filmmakers, including David Lynch. Her debut 1943 work, the 14-minute Meshes of the Afternoon, was a key influence on Lynch’s Lost Highway.
“Maya Deren is an avant-garde godmother,” says Moore in a statement. “Her mysterious images have burned into my consciousness like fiery, exotic dreams we are not supposed to talk about; each one a secret location of a symbolic prediction made with deep, dark magic in her Sibyl cave.”
Expect boundary-pushing no wave and alt-rock from Moore, who will perform scores to three of Deren’s most important films: Afternoon, 1944’s At Land and 1946’s Ritual in Transfigured Time. Moore has also composed new music for Deren’s unfinished short, Witch’s Cradle. Moore will be joined in conversation by host Jacinta Parsons for Thurston Moore: Ecstatic Soundtrack – a seminar focusing on his career as a writer and musician, and his cinematic compositions.
Also announced is the return of Hear My Eyes, Melbourne’s celebrated film/concert hybrid that gives local musicians free reign to re-score iconic films and then play the results live.
This year, the event will feature an all-female director/performer combo. Zambia-born, Australia-based neo-soul artist Sampa the Great will perform live to Girlhood – a defiant coming of age film from French director Céline Sciamma, who’s known for her astute portrayals of female adolescence. Sampa will reinterpret Jean-Baptiste de Laubier’s score with her trademark blues and hip-hop.
Last year Hear My Eyes commissioned Melbourne band Tropical Fuck Storm to perform an original soundtrack to the Oscar-winning Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men, selling out four consecutive shows at the Playhouse theatre at the Arts Centre. Hear My Eyes has appeared on the MIFF program previously, presenting live scores to Drive and Fantastic Planet.
Melbourne International Film Festival runs from August 1 to 18. The full program will be released on Tuesday July 9. Tickets to Hear My Eyes: Girlhood + Sampa the Great, Thurston Moore Plays Maya Deren and Thurston Moore: Ecstatic Soundtrack are on sale now. Tickets here.