Live & Onstage
USA, 2010, 120 minutes
Sun, Apr 25 / 9:30 / Kabuki / UTOP25K
Academy Award nominated documentarian Sam Green has teamed with sound artist Dave Cerf to create a moving performance—a live documentary—that investigates the meaning and status of idealism in contemporary culture. Broken into interchangeable modules in a unique format that ensures no performance is ever exactly the same, Utopia in Four Movements ranges from a history of Esperanto to a meditation on a time capsule buried at the 1939 World’s Fair asking what has happened to our collective ability to believe in a bright future. While repeatedly finding dramatic and haunting instances of its corruption over the course of the 20th century, the piece also illuminates new modes and directions for utopian thinking in present-day hopes and actions. This improvisational performance, at turns humorous and heart-rending, mixes archival and original footage as Green narrates and triggers video cues from the stage and Cerf mixes music and sound. For this unusual cinematic performance, Brooklyn-based band the Quavers will join the aural landscape, following their participation in Utopia’s recent and rousing debut at the Sundance Film Festival. In a culture of increasing disaffection, Utopia represents a celebration of big dreams as well as an homage to cinema as collective experience and event, managing a touching triumph by not only reflecting on but embodying hope, fashioning new possibilities from old dreams.
This live performance event will feature narration from the stage by Sam Green, music and sound mixing by Dave Cerf and musical accompaniment by the Quavers. Presented in association with Exploratorium and Headlands Center for the Arts.