24 giugno 2014

Il festival Just Not Cricket! si tenne a Berlino dal 6 all'8 ottobre 2011 secondo un programma meticolosamente curato dal regista Antoine Prum, con protagonisti molti campioni storici e attuali della musica improvvisata britannica tra cui Steve Beresford, Gail Brand, Lol Coxhill, Rhodri Davies, John Edwards, Dominic Lash, Phil Minton, Eddie Prévost, Orphy Robinson, Mark Sanders, Alex Ward e Trevor Watts. Un corposo box di 4 lp - ancora disponibile tramite Bandcamp - ha già documentato le fasi salienti del festival; oggi debutta al London’s East End Film Festival il lungometraggio realizzato in quei giorni, con riprese dei concerti e conversazioni con i musicisti raccolte da Tony Bevan e Stewart Lee. Il titolo è Taking the Dog for a Walk.

The world premiere of Taking the Dog for a Walk is part of the London’s East End Film Festival 2014. A director’s cut of 128 minutes will be screened on this occasion. Many of the musicians who have participated in the film will attend.
After Sunny’s time now, his authoritative portrait of the American Free jazz drumming legend Sunny Murray, Luxembourg filmmaker Antoine Prum turns his attention to the British Free Improvised Music scene in this new feature-length music documentary. Branching out from a three-day festival in Berlin conceived and organised for the purpose of the film, Taking the Dog for a Walk maps the scene of British Improvisers, past and present. Following the leads of artistic advisor Tony Bevan, it retraces the road that leads from its emergence and emancipation from the various free music movements of the 1960s to the recent (albeit small) surge in popularity as talented new players and dynamic venues are coming to the fore.
While not trying to be exhaustive, the film talks to key players who have helped define and redefine an ever-changing musical idiom by taking on board new influences. In his search for the ‘Britishness’ of British Free Improvised Music, Prum and Bevan are assisted by stand-up comedian and bona fide Derek Bailey expert Stewart Lee, who converses with musicians from different generations and backgrounds to uncover the specifics of a genre that refutes the very notion of genre. Alternating with extended live music sequences, the conversations gravitate around the idiosyncrasies of improvisation, from playing in front of the proverbial ‘four men and a dog’ to pursuing a career in a milieu where success is not measured by mainstream criteria. Guided by its sense of humour, the film suggests that the relative confidentiality of free improvised music, rather than hampering its development, has ensured its continuing renewal.