Musikanten (2005, Franco Battiato)
A rather curious film strarring Alejandro Jodorowsky has been released in Italy.
"Musikanten" was directed by Italian all-round genius Franco Battiato, who is deservedly famous there for his work as a pop musician, but is a man of many interests and qualities (he's also a composer of experimental music and operas, a painter and obviously very interested in all sorts of esoterica). The film is about a female TV show producer who - via some sort of reincarnation therapy - is transported back into the 19th century where she finds she is a patron of Ludwig van Beethoven (who is played by Jodorowsky). Nothing much happens in this film, it's a rather extended meditation on the reality of the things we see, on the relations of astronomy and music, music and society, and quite a few other things. It was co-written by Battiato's friend, Italian philosopher Manlio Sgalambro.
Well, I'm not quite sure what to make of this film, and if the above description sounds weird, well, the film surely is. It is beautifully photographed though, and Jodorowsky as Beethoven is definitely worth seeing, although as a whole it certainly is slightly over the top. Knowing a lot about Battiato's other works surely helps to appreciate it. I can understand if many viewers do not like it, but in a strange way it intrigued me.
The disc has optional subs in English, so no problems I'd say. Some glorious extras as well (unsubbed), among which is a 48-min. TV programme hosted by Battiato featuring interviews with many of the cast, including Jodorowsky who talks (in Spanish) about male and female sexuality, Tarot cards and alchemy. Also part of the programme are some musical 'interludes', containing music by Gesualda da Venosa, Mouse on Mars and an Italian band doing a really weird cover version of Bob Marley's "Guiltliness" which now sounds like a Cocteau Twins recording. I'd almost say the dvd is worth it for that one alone...
Any thoughts, anyone?