Maverick Ensemble Festival | Chicago Reader

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Stan Brakhage's four-minute masterpiece Christ Mass Sex Dance (1991) pairs James Tenney's electronic composition “Blue Suede” with images whose varied rhythms parallel the music without mimicking it. Fragmentary glimpses of superimposed lights and a twirling dancer combine with the irregularly structured sounds to evoke a measureless space. Brakhage's first film, Interim (1952), was also scored by Tenney (both were in their late teens) and reflects the influence of Italian neorealism tempered by an agenda of greater control: a boy and girl pursue romance beneath viaducts, whose vertical architecture becomes intensely constricting. In MFL (2000) Chris Mich synchronizes images of an Olympic athlete to music by Paul Oehlers in a manner that is mechanical and predictable. All scores will be performed live by members of the Maverick Ensemble. This only film event in a three-program music festival also includes other musical performances and a screening of Brakhage's silent Mothlight (1963). 105 min.

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