Think back to the best horror movie you’ve seen. There would have been blood, and lots of it, rusty weapons, creaking doors and a masked figure lurking in doorways, but did it all unfold created right in front of your eyes on stage like in Live, Live Cinema?
Leon Radojkovic and his team are the people behind bringing older horror films to life, and they’re bringing one such show to Geelong in March.
Live, Live Cinema – which involves a small musical ensemble, actors and Foley artist providing the sound for a pre-existing (generally silent) film – isn’t a concept that people will be familiar with, so how did Leon first come across the idea?
“I’ve always been into cinema in a pretty big way and I got quite fascinated with film scores and sound design. Particularly just the way that sound is such an important element in cinema, perhaps at times an overlooked element, but it really has a huge effect on how you interpret the images you’re watching,” he says.
“I got quite into that idea and how you can really change the way an audience can connect or interpret a film depending on how you frame it with sound. You can really play around with that quite dramatically so I guess this was the original idea behind it, just seeing well what can we do, what would happen to these films if we gave them a new audio treatment? What can we change and what can we push and pull in different ways can we create a satisfying cinematic experience?”
The best thing about the concept is that it’s giving a new lease of life to old B-grade films that have gotten lost in the public domain. Dementia 13 (1963), a film by Francis Ford Coppola, starts with Louise Haloran in a peaceful row along the river her husband when he has a heart attack and dies, and she throws him overboard. Worried that she can only inherit part of the family fortune if her husband is alive, Louise must then deal with his strange family who are still grieving over the death of their youngest daughter. Throw in an axe wielding murderer and you have yourself a horror.
Watching these older films at home mightn’t elicit the same response as horror movies of today, but attend a Live, Live Cinema screening and you’ll still get some scares.
“Because of the live environment and what we do with the music and sound, inevitably we have people spilling drinks on their dates, flinging their popcorn in the air and shreaking and all those sorts of things,” he says.
While it’s guaranteed to get a scare, the real wonder is in what the team have created. Every aspect of sound, down to the footsteps of the actors and wind blowing through the trees, is recreated right in front of you. It sounds like a lot of work but surprisingly, the group managed to get it all under wraps in a number of months.
Ultimately all that’s left is to come and see the talent of the team first hand, and as Leon assures me, it’s bound to be something everyone will enjoy.
“I think it covers all bases – if you like cinema you’ll like it, if you like music you’ll like it, if you’re geeky and like the technical aspects of films I think you’ll enjoy it too. I think it’s got a broad appeal and most people can find something rewarding about the show,” Leon says.
When&Where: GPAC – March 18