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"Chapiteau," Russian film, SIFF

Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 3:30pm to 6:30pm
Kirkland Performance Center

Mixing cabaret-style musical numbers, a labyrinthine structure, and a healthy dose of playful surrealism, Chapiteau-Show tells four interconnected short stories about relationships, all emerging from within a mysterious circus tent on the coast of the Black Sea. In the first story, Love, a young woman comes face to face with a solemn friend whom she met online. In Friendship, a young deaf man finds that it’s difficult to connect with his new friends. Respect follows a famous actor attempting to reconnect with his estranged son. And an ambitious theatrical producer tries to stage an outlandish production in the final tale, Cooperation. Characters from the foreground of one story end up in the background of another, and between chapters they gather in a colorful cabaret to expose their true feelings with pop songs performed in the style of Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Freddie Mercury. All the characters in this film are beautiful losers, says director Sergey Loban, who’s crafted a fiercely inventive and light-hearted epic that gleefully breaks all the rules. Already a huge hit in its native Russia, Chapiteau-Show is a postmodern delight that defines Marshall McLuhan’s famous aphorism the medium is the message.

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