Not only did we screen Gravity in Basel, we also did a live performance! Me, Brent, Jim White and Howe Gelb (arriving at the last minute, practically whisked from airport to stage, in the dramatic fashion he is known and loved/tolerated for) put on a show of Brent's short animations mixed with a few of Howe's lovely ballads (and an unexpected Doors cover which I hope to soon forget) under the show title of With A Head Full of Dying Crows. The language barrier was a bit odd, Brent's pounding sounds moved a little too quick for most but, as one audience member pointed out, the films have a poetry to them and even if only one line is taken away it can be an unforgettable line that can stay with you forever, not to mention the beauty in the improvised universal musical experience accompanying the films.
The (sold out!) theater piled in and seemed pretty taken with the strange and beautiful thing we presented, causing a lot of people to hang out late into the night and me to have my first taste of real Scotch whiskey! The evening finally ended with me, alone in a movie theater, eating an ice cream cone, watching the incredible film WR: Mysteries of the Organism by Dusan Makavejev (film still below) which was the most perfect ending to my time at the most perfect film festival! The film was unlike anything I have ever seen, collaged together with such a distinct, unique voice it focused on the politics of sexuality and the sexuality of politics and how we are all free thinking and acting humans changing & producing life at the mercy of death. The genre bending, editing and sound art used the medium of film with such a bold and innovative intensity- it was absolutely incredible! The fact that the filmmakers wife created the sound design for this film also resonated with me and my own foley making causing me to relate to the vision of these creative collaborators on many levels and making our time spent with them during the festival extra special!
Seeing this film really did make me excited to think of how visionary these people are, embodying the very things I find lacking in current indie cinema- strong, loud statements discontent with the state of things. It is amazing tht Bildrausch Film Fest Basel honored this filmmaker with a retrospective bringing a new generation of filmmakers this work, work that I hope young filmmakers take away what I did from it: the desire to make and say something new. Having dinner with a group of wonderful film festival people, including Dusan & his partner Bojana, in a courtyard under low slung trees, lightbulbs and stars in Switzerland as I was falling fast from jet lag was really one of those indelible moments that I know I will always remember and that I am still not sure how I am allowed to have! Night after night of beauty & film on the Rhine, what a great fest!