Erotikon dir. Gustav MachatýErotikon dir. Gustav Machatý
Icon Orchestra: Erotikon with live music

23 July 10 p.m., Wrocław Rynek

partner: Czeskie Centrum w Warszawie

EROTIKON directed by Gustav Machatý, Czechoslovakia 1929, 84 min.

One of the most famous Czechoslovakian silent films. A beautiful girl from the province, the daughter of a signalman, seduced and abandoned by a handsome and vain worldling, receives one more chance from fate. Everything suggests that she will waste it. She runs away from home to the city, where she marries and almost gets seduced again. The film was directed by Gustav Machatý, the creator of the legendary Ecstasy (1932), who began his career as an assistant of D.W. Griffith and Erich von Stroheim. The moving realism and dramatic sincerity of the film caused an international sensation. It went down in the history of cinema thanks to its love scenes, shocking and exceeding the moral taboos back in the 1920s. However, it was rather quickly forgotten. A copy of the film was found in the 1980s. To the surprise of those who sought only sensation, it charmed the audience mostly by its form. Travelling around the world, Erotikon is provided by the Narodni Filmovy Archiv in Prague.

Gustav Machatý was born on 9th May, 1901 in Prague. As a teenager, he was a taper, an actor and a screenwriter. In 1919 he directed his first movie Teddy wants to smoke. Between 1921 and 1924 he was an assistant director of D.W. Griffith and E. von Stroheim's films in the USA. He gained international acclaim with Kreutzer Sonata (1926) and Erotikon (1929), a visually sophisticated film, which proved to be a pioneering work in the history of erotic cinema. In 1931 he directed a melodrama From Saturday to Sunday based on a screenplay by Surrealist poet V. Nezval. Once again he gained recognition with the movie Ecstasy (1932). Pope Pius XI himself protested against the screening of his films at the festival in Venice. However, the movie was shown and it won the prize for best director.

In later years Machatý worked in the U.S. and western Europe. He died in 1963 in Munich.

Icon Orchestra (international quartet) was formed in April 2008 on the occasion of the screening of Erotikon, directed by Gustav Machatý, in the Czech Cultural Centre in Paris. Its members include: a Czech, Jan Holeček, a Hungarian, Agnes Kutas, a Slovak, Tomáš Žižka and Dragan Stojčevski from the former Yugoslavia.

Basic music form is improvisation with original short composition. Musical instruments are traditionaly and originaly also - violin, accordion, clarinet, bass-clarinet, flutes, piano, wind midi controller, originaly sound stump, musical machines,...under the 4 persons control. Orchestra played a contemporery style. Movie tense and action support minimalist epic advance. Emotional color of movie take up an alternative sound, ecstatic solo instrument parts, jazz, dance elements...all the contemporery music elements to keeping a visual silent movie atmosphere in art binding.

Icon Orchestra


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