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Ronin Films

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Year: 2003

Classification: M

Runtime: 27 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Carla Thackrah

Produced By: Carla Thackrah

Language: English

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The Landau String Quartet comes together to rehearse. Each player has travelled a very different path to become a musician. In this dramatised documentary, the musicians reveal the story of that journey. In their own words, they talk of abusive teachers, loss of innocence, seductions, fear and attempts to escape the pressure of discipline.

Leon, the first-born son of Polish Jewish migrants to Australia is destined to become a great violinist, but his life moves in unexpected directions under the influence of his abusive teacher.

Julia loses her innocence and discovers her own deep sensuality through her experience with music, and with a handsome conductor.

Richard plays the violin to escape his stifling suburban family. He encounters the dark and fearful world of his own psyche on his travels to the city to play.

Christie, a young cellist, throws off the shackles of her disciplined musician's life and escapes on an adventure with a handsome stranger, a journey that ultimately brings her face to face with herself.

Carla Thackrah turned to film making after a long career as a professional orchestral musician - chiefly Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra - so she is well placed to understand the complex psyche of the performing artist. As she says, "I've always been fascinated by the strong psychological correspondence between a musicians' self-definition and their instrument. This film is essentially a dramatised documentary around this theme."

Thackrah collaborated with 3 visual artists to conceptualise, design and direct the creation of the visuals.

The stories are true, but apart from the first story, "Leon", the players we see on the screen are not the owners of the stories.

Featuring Moshlo Shaw (violin), Bridget Crouch (viola), Roland Adeney (violin) and Alison Smith (cello).

Voices – Rebecca Turner, Patrick Drew, Jacobie Gray

Written, produced and directed by CARLA THACKRAH
Cinematographer – SIMON GRAY
Artist Directors and Designers – ELISE GOODRICH (1st movement), INA SHANAHAN (2nd movement), LEAH KING-SMITH (3rd movement), CARLA THACKRAH (4th movement)
Choreographer and dancer – JOHN UTANS
Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland

© 2003, See Tea Music Productions


Brisbane International Film Festival - OFFICIAL SELECTION

Sarasota Film Festival, Florida, USA - OFFICIAL SELECTION

Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, UK - OFFICIAL SELECTION

Australian Guild of Screen Composers - BEST MUSIC for documentary

Australian Cinematographers Society, Queensland - BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Australian Cinematographers Society, Queensland - JURY PRIZE