I spent the weekend in Rome catching up with some of my nearest and dearest. And while I did that I had the chance to meet some friends of friends.
They're currently working on a really cool project at Rome's biggest exhibition space, Palazzo Delle esposizione, which is on Via Nazionale. In recent years the multifunction site has become one of Rome's most important and has hosted some major blockbusters (some of which I was tasked to write reviews for). But the site is also home to a little known cinema which runs some of the most amazing retrospectives and mini film fests- often for free or for a pittance.
Anyway, FOF (that's a new acronym I've decided I'm going to use; Friend of friend) was telling me about his rather ingenious project that he's currently involved in there. Way back in time, and I'm talking silent movie time, people, les vampires had tongues wagging. It was a kind of silent series with a crime bent that just had cinema goers going nuts.
Musician by day and crim by night teams up with a reporter as they take on the dark, noirish (I think I just invented that word too) Parisian nights and the inbuilt criminal element. It's the kind of stuff that inspired a million copy cats and that continues to do so.
Well, the PDE is currently running a brilliant series of events based around Les Vampires- using ten of the original episodes but partnering them with musical and visual interpretations. A series of musicians and groups have been invited to play alongside the footage and basically add their own interpretation to the old classics.
What I love about the project is how it seems to be built around adding an appreciation to three different mediums, and bridging time as well as the visuals and sonics together. I think it's a really inspired idea which of course has been done with other things but, adding such an element to the silent films is effectively bringing them back to life in the face of a million other reincarnations and references.
Sounds pretty brill if you ask me- and runs until November 15, so if you're in Rome over the next week or so, visit the PDE site which has a full run down of events in English in addition to the other things on at the complex.