Ebertfest Day Three – Wild and Weird (The Alloy Orchestra)

Wild and WeirdI have put off writing about Wild and Weird because I’m not totally sure what exactly to write about. Wild and Weird is a series of short, silent films in which the Alloy Orchestra creates and performs the accompanying soundtrack. The Alloy Orchestra is three men that mostly play percussion instruments, some traditional, some unique. They take great care in their music and, while untraditional, works extremely well with the source material.

For Ebertfest, the Alloy Orchestra did not play their full repertoire, the Wild and Weird DVD contains 14 shorts, I believe we saw 8-10 of them. The shorts were all unique, all different, and all fairly unusual. My favorite was Red Spectre (note this video has no sound) which is hand tinted and had a fitting devilish soundtrack to it.

As a huge huge fan of early silent cinema, the entire show was totally enrapturing. The music completely changes the tone of some films, but it keeps you entertained and at attention. I will be purchasing the Wild and Weird DVD shortly, actually.

Two of the guys from the Alloy Orchestra came back for the Q&A afterwards (the third guy was selling merchandise) and they went over some of their techniques, some of their instruments and their experiences with short films. It was said that films like Hugo have really brought the interest for silent cinema back in demand. YouTube is a haven for many silents, but so many have been destroyed or neglected over the years it’s an absolute shame. The Alloy Orchestra have been at this for over 20 years, long before YouTube, which is totally admirable. I recommend checking them out if you ever get the chance, I do not think you will be disappointed.

While I haven’t seen the DVD…Based on the stuff I saw…

I give it 5 out of 5.

Some interesting Ebertfest links:

Alloy Orchestra: http://www.alloyorchestra.com/
The festival’s main site: http://www.ebertfest.com/
Stream the interview sessions for free: http://ustre.am/JauL