Toronto post-hardcore visionaries and Polaris Prize winners perform an original live score to 1928 silent film, West of Zanzibar!
Part of the Images Festival / Live Images 6 / Closing Night Gala
Plus! Screening of General Chaos Visuals‘ “Luminations” DVD feat. music by URM(The Ambient Ping)
Saturday April 9 @ 8:00pm (NOTE NEW START TIME!)
Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue)
Admission: $15 general / $12 students, seniors, advanced
Tickets at Rotate This, Soundscapes & imagesfestival.com
West of Zanzibar
Photographed by Percy Hilburn
USA, 1928, 35mm, 63 min, silent with live musical score
Print courtesy George Eastman House
Taking the traditional format of live accompaniment to a classic silent-era film and smashing it to pieces, the Images Festival Closing Night Gala features none of what you would expect from this scenario. In collaboration with our good friends at the Images Festival, Wavelength has invited Toronto hardcore luminaries Fucked Up to play a live set along to the 1928 Tod Browning film West of Zanzibar.
High-school friends influenced by first- and second-wave hardcore bands, Matador Records artists and Polaris Prize winners Fucked Up formed in Toronto in 2002. Their first 7 inch was entitled No Pasarán after an anti-fascist slogan from the Spanish Civil War. It is ferociously melodic and inventive, and set the scene for a string of singles that combined political commentary with incredible musicianship and a sense of theatre. The political concerns of the band are always at the fore, as when they released an 18-minute single entitled Year Of The Pig, which is an impassioned commentary on the plight of sex workers in Canada, or their recent spat with Stars as to the appropriate response to controversial immigration laws in Arizona. Though Fucked Up remain punks at heart — if quixotically diverse ones — they create great, weird, heavy sounds that stubbornly stick in your brain and in your heart, somehow managing confrontation without cheap gimmicks or novelty, creativity without pointless noodling, and intensity without predictable arrangements.
Tod Browning’s West of Zanzibar is a devastating parable of lust, exploitation, guilt, greed and revenge, set in a dystopic jungle of the kind found only on B-movie backlots. The film stars Lon Chaney as the magician Phroso, a man both cuckolded and crippled the same night. A year later his wife returns and dies leaving behind her infant daughter (Mary Nolan), prompting Phroso to decamp to Africa to execute an elaborate revenge on his nemesis Crane (Lionel Barrymore). For 18 years Phroso, now known as Dead Legs by his cronies, plots his revenge, becoming a pseudo-king in East Africa, near to where Crane has set up an ivory business. When the daughter is grown, having lived in a brothel in Zanzibar thanks to Dead Legs, Phroso put his plan into action. “An orgy of revenge and retribution from the team of Browning and Chaney — this may be the meanest of films from those two meanies. Lushly shot always and uncomfortably racist at times. The sometimes indifferent Browning really got up for this one.” — Guy Maddin
The premiere big screen showing of Luminations by General Chaos Visuals and URM to celebrate the release of their hour long DVD of projected light and ambient electronic music. This unique film features the multi-layered projected translucent light paintings of Stephen Lindsey (General Chaos Visuals, who have been visual stimuli for Wavelength since the early days of Ted’s Wrecking Yard) which were created to accompany a musical soundtrack of soundscapes and electronic music created by Jamie Todd (a.k.a. URM, co-founder of The Ambient Ping). For over ten years, Stephen and Jamie have collaborated and experimented with these techniques of merging light projections with live music. This film represents the realization of their lengthy efforts to create something new and unique in the realm of audio and visual synergy.
Poster by Stacey Case.