FILM MAUDIT 2.0 — REZA ABDOH

When we speak the word “life,” it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach. And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames. Antonin Artaud*

Film Maudit is here. Inspired by Jean Cocteau and presented by Highways, the second iteration of the festival of “outré” films brings together dozens of features and shorts for free streaming.

One of this year’s highlights is Adam Soch’s immersive documentary REZA ABDOH—THEATRE VISIONARY, a view from inside the transgressive work of the late, great theater provocateur, creator of such spectacles as The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, The Law of Remains, Father Was a Peculiar Man, Minamata, Tight Right White, and Quotations From a Ruined City.

Featuring extensive documentary footage of Abdoh’s rehearsals and produced work at the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Long Beach Opera, New York’s Diplomat Hotel, and the streets of the Meatpacking District, the film includes interviews with the actors, artists, friends, and advocates in his circle: Alan Mandell, Tony Torn, Ken Roht, Tom Pearl, Tom Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Gregg, Juliana Francis-Kelly, Peter Jacobs, Edwin Gerard, Diane White, Elsbeth M. Collins, Morgan Jenness, Bill Bushnell, Anne Hamburger, Peter Sellars, Norman Frisch, Daniel Mufson, Sylvie Drake, Sandy Cleary, David Schweizer, Tal Yarden, Sabrina Artel, Anita Durst, Alix HesterJohn Jahnke, Laurel Meade, Alyson Campbell, his mother Homa Oboodi, and his brothers Sardar and Salar Abdoh.

See link below for screening details.

REZA ABDOH—THEATRE VISIONARY

Directed by Adam Soch.

Film Maudit 2.0

Now streaming.

*Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, translated by Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958).

Reza Abdoh, from top: The Law of Remains (1992), photographs (2) from the Hotel Diplomat, New York, production, photographs © Paula Court; Bogeyman (1990), photograph © Jan Deen; Tight Right White (1993), photographs (3) from the 440 Lafayette Street, New York, production, photographs © Paula Court; The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1990), upper photograph © R. Kaufman, lower two from the Sigma Festival, Bordeaux, production in 1992, photographs © Patrick Veyssière; Quotations From a Ruined City (1994), written by Salar Abdoh and Reza Abdoh, middle photograph © Paula Court, upper and lower photographs from the 448 West 16th Street, New York production, photographs © Jan Deen.

Below: Salar Abdoh (left), Reza Abdoh, and Sardar Abdoh; Reza Abdoh, photograph © Richard Liebfried.

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