A Night at MOMA: Hip Enough For The Room?

| by Hollywood Elsewhere

Last night I attended a one-time-only film and music event at MOMA called Here [The Story Sleeps]. It sounds arty-farty, yes, but that was the point -- come see an original multi-media presentation from some very committed and cool people, and try and figure it out.

show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76YtJr9KySk&feature=player_embedded

I couldn't quite manage that, but it was awfully pleasant to just let the avant-garde-ish sounds and images wash over and say to myself, "Yeah...this is cool and different, all right, which sort of makes me cool and different because I was invited to see it."

It was basically a three-screen tryptich presentation of footage from a forthcoming feature called Here, a two-character relationship drama with Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal from director Braden King. The music was by Michael Krassner and the Boxhead Ensemble, and the projection design was by Deborah Johnson.

Here will be out sometime next year, King said in a q & a after the show. It was shot last year in Armenia, which makes it the first American feature ever filmed in that former Soviet republic. The film is described in the program as "a landscape-obsessed road-movie romance chronicling a brief but intensely affecting relationship between an American satellite-mapping engineer (Foster) and an expatriate Armenian art photographer (Azabal)."

I loved the triptych effect mixed with music, but I don't know how inspired it was. You can take footage from any heavily covered film and break it into three reels, and then project the main footage on the main screen plus ancillary footage on the two adjoining walls, etc. And yet I haven't seen a presentation quite like this anywhere, and if I have I've forgotten about it.

The Boxhead Ensemble was quite good, particularly the drummer. They had rehearsed extensively, they said, but their music sounded moody and ethereal and unstructured in a kind of improvised, half-Grateful Dead-y sort of way, which seemed just right.

The funding came from Creative Capital and Pomegranate Arts.