Anthology Film Archives


September 20 – September 28

Numerically speaking, in the unique case of John Zorn it is more apt to say he’s turning 60 years young, but no matter how you phrase it Anthology’s Composer-In-Residence is celebrating a very big birthday in 2013. Zorn is a downtown mainstay and longtime Anthology comrade whose pioneering music and incredible sense of community has proven that aesthetic, critical, and popular success can be achieved without abandoning your principles. He is being feted this year by cultural institutions around the city (including The Met, Miller Theater, Lincoln Center, Japan Society) and the world, and there is no shortage of notable past projects and stunning new developments to discover. Zorn has performed at Anthology countless times and composed an assortment of outstanding scores for classic films in our collection. While it is always a thrill to welcome John and his musicians back to play live in the Courthouse Theater, this time around we also want to explore more deeply both sides of his involvement with cinema, as a composer and as a viewer. A committed cinephile who is interested in all types of films, Zorn’s complex musical language is infused with innumerable nods and references to the sights and sounds he has experienced at the movies over the years.

The festival opens with Zorn’s hand-picked selection of favorite films by his most cherished soundtrack composers, and continues with a selection of films scored by Zorn. While all of these soundtracks have been made available on the Tzadik record label, many of the movies remain hard to see. The impressive variety of titles he has worked on is consistently surprising and includes everything from animated shorts and ads to political documentaries and narrative features. In the same way that his music effortlessly leaps between styles, the eclectic range of films Zorn has scored demonstrates just how adept he is at working within and going beyond genre conventions. Each film in its own way reveals Zorn’s innate ability to create responsive undertones and pitch perfect moods.

Add to this two nights of concerts featuring old favorites and world premieres and you have a dream come true.


Special thanks to John Zorn, Maria Beatty, Arno Bouchard, Joseph Dorman, Dmitry Geller, Henry Hills, Lewis Klahr, Akino Kondoh, Marc Levin, Sheila McLaughlin, MM Serra, Timo Veltkamp, Udy Epstein & LC Lim (Seventh Art Releasing), Paul Marchant (First Run Features), Miho Osada (Mizuma Art Gallery), and Kara Rozansky (Blowback Productions).

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