“Tabu” : un ciné-concert de Christine Ott, sur un film de F. W. Murnau.
© Jean-Pierre Rosenkranz
Christine Ott’s live musical accompaniment of F. W. Murnau’s film.
On the island of Bora-Bora, a tropical paradise lost in the Pacific Ocean, Matahi, a pearl diver, is head over heels for beautiful Reri.
But Hitu, the tribe’s priest, has other plans for her: he wants her to devote her life to guarding the temple. He declares Reri henceforth ‘taboo’, untouchable. The lovers’ only choice is to flee far away from their home in paradise. Nevertheless, Hitu chases after them.
Tabu (1931) is the last film by Friedrich Murnau, a master of silent cinema (director of Nosferatu). Striking the right balance between documentary and fiction, Tabu combines a heart-breaking story with sublime shots of the southern seas. His chaotic filming style has become legendary: Murnau and his team supposedly violated certain local taboos by filming in an ancient cemetery and above sacred reefs. Hitu the priest would have cursed them for such sacrilegious acts. Drownings, poisonings, and mysterious explosions marked the filming and Murnau died in an accident eight days prior to the film’s premiere.
In 2012, Christine Ott composed a new score for the film. Melodious and worrisome, it is incredibly expressive, sometimes flirting with the human voice. This live music screening is the perfect opportunity to hear the Ones Martenots, a precursor to modern electronic instruments invented by Maurice Martenot in the 20s, and Ott is one of few people in the world who play it!