Surrealist Silent Film Special (musical accompaniment by Julia Bekker & Hugo Heinen)

Musical accompaniment at the cinemas. Around 1910-1930 this was a normal course of events in the Netherlands. But with the advent of sound film, the so-called ’talkies’, this has become rather unusual. In a way this is a pity, because it provides the viewer a completely different cinema experience than what we are used to nowadays; the musician really turns the film into something of their own.

With this in mind, and also knowing that there is always musical talent hanging around in VERA, it’s time to revive this old cinema tradition. Hence, I invited Julia Bekker (OOO, Potgrond) and Hugo Heinen (Atoomclub) to bring their own compositions to Zienema. Together they will accompany two indispensable films from the French avant-garde period of the 1920s: La Coquille et le Clergyman (1928, Germaine Dulac) and Un Chien Andalou (1929, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí).

When we talk about surrealist film, these works can be mentioned in the same breath for a reason. Although Un Chien Andalou is known by many as the first surrealist film ever, you can see that it was undeniably inspired by La Coquille et le Clergyman. In both you see a series of almost incomprehensible images, bizarre characters and unusual sets that all together tell a story.

Judge for yourself which film is the best, and in the meantime let yourself be taken on a musical journey by Julia and Hugo through this very inventive period of film history!