Among today’s great musicians, Luciano Berio is perhaps one of the most popular. He is in any case the one who managed most succesfully to attract to his work a large, heterogeneous and loyal audience.
Berio’s popularity is closely linked to his personality: a curious and eclectic man, he brings together a virtuous free creativity and an artist’s attention to all the aspects of the musical life and to all the sides of culture. berio’s music, even if it is still very much anchored in “italianim”, includes many other genres as well: traditional, folkloric or exotic music, jazz, folk and through his method of “quoting”, the whole classical repertory.
In order to tacklesuch a non-conformist personality, we had to find a language enabling us to remain loyal to his diversity. From the start, Olivier Mille chose to lead us to the metaphor, through a bursting of images where the past, the present and the imaginary spin acomplex and varied web. Music drags us to a sustained rhythm from dream to reality, and back. Between a fictitious childhood in the Seventies (introduced by archive images) and the present, the film’s images mingle into a vast “travelling” going through the favourite themes of Berio’s work.
The film was mainly shot in Italy, on the premises dear to the composer: the Ligurian coast of his infancy and Toscania, where he lives. It includes excerpts from the rather frenzied TV series Berio had directed in 1972: C’E MUSICA E MUSICA, in which we also find the moving presence of Cathy Berberian. Berio is seen working with the orchestra of Munich, rehearsing Electric Phoenix, a commentary on his seminal work: SINFONIA. And we also find the clown Gock with his tiny violin, a stubborn emblem of a notorious characteristic of Berio’s music: humour…
« Olivier Mille court-circuite tous les poncifs et les certitudes du documentaire musical. »
« Le réalisateur français réussit la gageure de brosser un portrait suffisamment complet et juste de l’une des personnalités les plus riches, les plus foisonnantes de la vie musicale contemporaine. Cette récapitulation sévèrement dossée, soupesée, possède l’élégance de cacher calculs et artifices sous une apparence de joviale improvisation, de liberté festive. (…) Avec une touche de virtuosité cinématographique et de drôlerie. »
Special Price MIDEM AWARDS, Cannes (1992)
Official Selection, Classic Image (Paris – Milan – Prague)
Official Selection, IDFA (Amsterdam, 1992)
Official Selection, Lussas
Official Selection, Belfort
Official Selection in Montreal