Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
The Milwaukee Film Festival has featured screenings of silent films set to live soundtracks before, but it’s never featured anything quite on the scale of this one-off event. The festival is screening a rare 35-milimeter print of the groundbreaking Soviet film, Earth (Zemlya) by Aleksandr Dovzhenko, accompanied by an original score from the Milwaukee post-rock orchestra Altos, which has expanded to an 18-member lineup for this performance. A visually striking, chillingly dark film, Earth portrays the difficult life of Ukrainian farmers coming to terms with Stalin’s collectivization policy. If any group can come up with a soundtrack that’s as unforgettable as Dovzhenko’s movingly off-kilter imagery, it should be Altos.