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| film moments | silent

March 7, 2007

Paolo Cherchi Usai‘s Passio is meditative rather than narrative. It is a silent film but designed to be shown with the live accompaniment of composer Arvo Part’s choral work of the same name, which Cherchi Usai regards as one of the masterpieces of the previous century.

Cherchi Usai fuses an Arvo Pärt libretto with found footage from film archives around the world. It’s more about ideas than plot, and is clearly meant as a critique of contemporary visual culture and expects audiences to experience the film, not just watch it. He believes it must only be seen as part of a live performance in a theater. To that end, he has destroyed all masters and vowed never to release it on video.

“The question Passio asks is how we are going to deal with the change of visual culture — a change for which I think we are profoundly unprepared,” he says. More…

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