DJ Spooky Rescores Alexander Dovzhenko's Earth (Zemlya)
Unquestionably one of the towering figures of Soviet-era cinema, Alexander Dovzhenko
is one of the few filmmakers to whom the label "film poet" could aptly
apply. There is an extraordinary delicacy in his use of visual metaphor,
a complexity in his use of imagery, that separates him from his more
ideologically driven contemporaries Eisenstein, Vertov and Pudovkin.
While all of them were influenced by the Constructivist movement at that
drew his inspiration from deep roots in Ukranian folk culture in his
passionate celebration of his native landscapes and the people who
worked them. Nowhere can this be seen more powerfully than in the film
considered his masterpiece, EARTH, a stunning work that celebrates a
natural order of being that reaches from seeds planted in the ground to
the stars that light up the sky.
Where Dovzhenko's connection to Soviet art and cinema was a clear relationship to the avant garde, Dj Spooky arrives at a similar milieu through contemporary digital media. As the 21st century evolves, it's increasingly clear that Dovzhenko's work is aligned with a strain of European modernism (represented by artists such as Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Duchamp) that sought inspiration for new forms of art in the tales, imagery and traditions of folk culture as transformed into a lyrical exploration of the edges of the known political, social, and economic methods of telling stories. Dj Spooky's new score to "Earth" revives that tradition and creates a new way of exploring its hidden dimensions.
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