Film Evenings 2011

23-25 August 2011
1st Arvo Pärt Centre Film Evenings

Three film screenings organized by the Arvo Pärt Centre took place between August 23 and 25, 2011 in the Katariina church in Tallinn. The films have one thing in common – all three films feature Arvo Pärt’s music.

In the last couple of decades over a hundred films of many different types and genres have been made with Pärt’s music. The Arvo Pärt Centre’s film evenings are the first public presentation of them together.

Although more than twenty-five different Pärt compositions have found their way into films, film-makers have particularly fallen in love with the tintinnabuli works Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), Für Alina (1976), Fratres (1977) and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten (1977). Interestingly the tintinnabuli pieces pass from film to film, somehow always appearing at moments when the hero or heroes are facing a moral or emotional crisis which brings their fundamental principles into doubt. At such moments Pärt’s music adds a transcendental measure to the situation, opening up other perspectives.

The first three films chosen to be screened at the first Arvo Pärt Centre film evenings were;

  • 23 August 6 PM – Heaven, dir. Tom Tykwer
  • 24 August 6 PM – Gerry, dir. Gus Van Sant
  • 25 August 6 PM – Wit, dir. Mike Nichols

Choosing from among all the films was a difficult challenge which we entrusted to Kaire Maimets-Volt, who wrote her doctoral thesis on Arvo Pärt’s music in films. The films that were chosen are connected in three ways:

•    they all use Spiegel im Spiegel and Für Alina,
•    they all dissect questions of the human condition and survival, and
•    they have all used Arvo Pärt’s music in similar ways and for similar reasons, even though their content is very different.

Each film screening started with an introductory presentation, Tom Tykwer’s Heaven, based on the screenplay of Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewiczi was introduced by Slawomira Borowska-Peterson, Gus Van Sant’s Gerry by Tiina Lokk and Mike Nichols’ i TV drama Wit by Kaire Maimets-Volt.

The second film evening on 24 August was followed by a round-table featuring film and music researchers Kaarel Kuurmaa, Tiina Lokk, Margo Kõlar ja Kaire Maimets-Volt discussing what they had seen and heard and what they know about the realms of film and music coming together.

The film evenings were sponsored by Swedbank.