Joining an after-school band or orchestra is one of those activities that everyone seems to have ingrained in their memories. Whether you wanted to take part or not there was always an underlying awkwardness, a hint of discomfort that London-based director Sophie Littman has captured in her film Village Orchestra for Nowness.
Nostalgically filmed in a school hall, the film is an example of understated charm in choreography. “I was really drawn to the idea of preparation becoming a spectacle in itself,” explains Sophie. “A scene of people assembling and unfolding like a perfectly rehearsed and composed moment.” Aptly cast, the film depicts recognised characters from your school days, a gangly beauty with enviously long hair, the uncoordinated individual who always tries and a nervous boy making eyes from across the room. It was an aim to personify the act of being in an orchestra, “the feeling of a small microcosm, an intensified version of these places or clubs that you step into that are their own self-contained worlds, complete with their own social codes and rules.”
Warmly lit and focused throughout Village Orchestra has an underlying eeriness to it building up to as Sophie describes, “a totally anti climactic ending.”
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