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November 13, 2006

{     Bye Bye Blackbird     }    

http://www.crowndozen.com/main/archives/upload/2006/11/Byebyeblackbird-thumb.jpg If you are attracted by the circus and its comical tragedy/tragical comedy, if Moulin Rouge was too glittering girly and sickening sweet, if the ghost of Charlie Chaplin still plays its charm on you, Bye Bye Blackbird is for you. In the 2006 time frame this is a movie of lyrical beauty, winner of multiple deserved awards and, painfully, just released. Set in early 1900's London, the story is as follows: Josef is a construction worker bulding a suspension bridge together with his friend Peter. But Petes, Josef's faithful companion in his sky-high daily walks, suddenly falls and dies. Josef, grieved with pain, rethinks his life and decides to change everything: catching a glimpse of an advertising poster for Dempsey's Circus, he imagines himself as a weightless trapeze moving in the magical lights of a striped tent. He manages to get hired but it will take time and effort to prove he can do better than sweeping the floor and to be given the chance to perform with the circus owner's trapeze daughter. Directed by Robinson Savary with Mercury Rev to sign the soundtrack, our trapeze hero is James Thiérrée, nobody but the great-grandson of the grand Charlie Chaplin. His performance is stunning (he choreographed all the aerial sequences himself) and so is the photography of the movie, probably the most beautiful aspect being the exceptional colours and atmospheres. Despite these striking attributes, the movie could soon become one of the least seen hidden treasures of contemporary cinematography. Completed in early 2005, it was first presented at the end of the summer at the Cannes Film Festival and since has been touring for an entire year all the main international festivals, winning many awards but never getting a set distribution deal or a final release date. This movie in fact was born with a bizarre pedigree, which ensured total creative freedom (albeit not unlimited financing) but put its distribution in cinemas at a stake: an Austrian / Luxembourg / German / British co-production, it was in the realizers' intention not to rely on distributing companies and, like a door-to-door seller, went on proposing their movie from one cinema to the other. Finally, the hand picking process seems over and By Bye Blackbird was nationally distributed in France a month ago: whether this painfully independent distrution paid off though, is matter to be decided in a few months and it will depend on whether the movie will manage to get a screening placement out of France or not. It definitely would be a pity if it didn't: the movie deserves to be seen, acrobatic flights, photography, music, performances and all. My suggestion is not to rely on a potential (and likely pretty far in the future) DVD: keep an eye, instead, for the release date in your country, since the movie could appear and disappear in a flash and you do want to grant yourself a seat in front of it. Not only because it's great but also because endorsing productions born out of the regular Hollywood channels means granting one extra inch of creative freedom to future artists and supporting who has so long fought to produce this jewel of a movie. And long live independent cinema!

     » Bye Bye Blackbird (trailer on opening page)

Comments

never heard of this, but i now MUST see it. thanks for the heads up T!

Posted by: shane at November 14, 2006 12:44 AM
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