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Chopin takes off: The Flying Machine

Chopin takes off: The Flying Machine

By Jonahh Oestreich • February 8th, 2011

THE FLYING MACHINE:
THE WORLD OF CHOPIN’S ÉTUDES

Breakthru Films, Southbank Centre
Sky 3D, Sky Movies HD

Directors: Martin Clapp, Geoff Lindsey, Marek Skrobecki
Writers: Geoff Lindsey, Marianela Maldonado, Robin Todd

Starring: Heather Graham, Lang Lang

MOVIE SITE (Breakthru Films)
SOUTHBANK CENTRE
(Information & Booking)

When it comes to cinematic events, the life of Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) has always been an abundant source to storytellers. A Song To Remember (1945), the 1975 Ken Russell film Lisztomania, and Impromptu (1991 – with Hugh Grant as Chopin) are three of the better known movies. Although Chopin’s relationship with French novelist George Sand may have been the main inspiration, it’s also the music and the lasting influence of the composer that keeps fascinating people.

The Flying Machine: The World of Chopin's ÉtudesChopin’s works have been used on rather sad occasions like the Funeral March at John F. Kennedy’s state funeral, and for uplifting events alike. One of the latter is set to be a one-off film event in celebration of Chopin’s 200th Anniversary at the Royal Festival Hall in London on February 12th & 13th. It seems to be more the happening of a film rather than its screening.

The Flying Machine: The World of Chopin's ÉtudesThe Flying Machine is the first 3-D film to be premiered inside a concert hall, and also the first film to combine live action and stop-motion in 3-D – and not least has the first 3-D sequence in a feature where the audience is inside a painting.

Set to Chopin’s Études, the The Flying Machine centres around Anna and her little cousin Chip Chip who must take to the skies in an Flying Machine to travel home, criss-crossing the world and experiencing a The Flying Machine: The World of Chopin's Étudesseries of adventures along the way, with Heather Graham (Drugstore Cowboy, From Hell) playing the mother-of-two Georgie. The soundtrack is performed live by star pianist Lang Lang.

The event combines animation, music and live action in a way not seen since Disney’s Marry Poppins or Bedknobs And Broomsticks, both of which have become timeless classics. Producer Hugh Welchman (Breakthru Films):

“Our aim with The Flying Machine: The World of Chopin’s Études, was to bring together the world’s most exciting new animation directors with one of the world’s greatest composers, to create the most powerful marriage of animation and classical music since Disney’s Fantasia in 1944.”

The Flying Machine: The World of Chopin's ÉtudesNot unlikely that London and Warsaw based producer Breakthru Films deliver another spellbinding film event. Their animation Peter & The Wolf became the longest film to win an Academy Award as Best Animated Short in 2008, and considering that The Flying Machine was shot in 3-D (and not converted afterwards), the event and the movie itself could become a timeless classic, too.

If you don’t have the chance to see it live, the feature will air on Sky 3D in May 2011 – hopefully with a DVD or Blu-ray release to follow later.

Jonahh Oestreich

Jonahh Oestreich

One of the Editors in Chief and our webmaster, Jonahh is a photographer and journalist who has been working in the media industry for over 15 years, mainly in television, design and art. As a boy, he made his first short film with an 8mm camera and the help of his father. His obsession with (moving) images and stories hasn’t faded since.

His passion for intricate stories and the ‘seven basic plots’ (ask him!) often times makes his friends and family put him in the doghouse for "predicting" too many twists and endings.

You can follow Jonahh on Twitter @Resonance_Zero.

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