A film by Gitta Gsell

Price : 24,90 € + postage

Purchase Order No. : DVD 004


Switzerland 2005/2006, 75 min., colour + b/w
Format: DVD. 5.1. Mix, 16:9
OV w/ english/french/spanish ST

A film by Gitta Gsell
Photography: Hansueli Schenkel
Editing: Kamal Musale/Gitta Gsell
Sound: Dieter Meyer
Sound Design: Christian Beusch
Producer: Franziska Reck
Production: Reck Filmproduktion Zürich
Co-Production: Mirapix, SRG Idée Suisse

Music: Irène Schweizer
feat. Joëlle Léandre (b), Maggie Nicols (voice), Co Streiff (p), La Lupa (voice), Pierre Favre (dr, perc), Louis Mohol (dr), Hamid Drake (dr), Fred Anderson (sax), Han Bennink (dr), Jürg Wickihalder (sax)

With footage from
Jazzfestival Willisau, Café Casablanca (Zurich), Museum zu Allerheiligen (Schaffhausen), ICMF (International Classic Music Festival of South Africa, Cape Town), Jazzfestival Nickelsdorf, Uncool Festival (Le Prese), Jazzclub Moods (Zurich), Sorell Hotel (Zurichberg), JazzFest Berlin

Music is and always has been Iene Schweizer´s whole life. In her film, Gitta Gsell gets some rare one-to-one time with the internationally renowned Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer, whose music has roots in Jazz and has made her a pioneer of Improvised music. The film gives a fascinating insight into the life of a great artist.

"There it stands - the grand piano - waiting for her. For a woman who has referred to the piano as her companion for over 40 years, has shared happiness and sadness with it, was inspired by it and who has lived this inspiration to the fullest with it. Friendships and relationships ´played second fiddle´ to music, were cultivated between appointments abroad, rehearsals, somewhere between inspiration and creation. It was always music that inspired her to soar to the heights, sometimes followed by the deepest sense of loneliness. Music was and is her life.
I´m not quite sure when I heard Irène play for the first time. I only remember how delighted and enthusiastic I was. In the Swiss scene, she is an exception - as an instrumentalist. In the 50´s women were mainly singers, but even as a young woman, Irène had already been awarded first prize as a pianist at the Amateur Jazz Festival in Zurich. The atmosphere in the smoky Jazz clubs of the 50´s and 60´s, the political change in the air in ´68 and Women´s Lib in the 80´s fascinated me. Irène improvised on the piano: elbows hammering and dragging along the keys, fingers pecking and darting over them. Pulling and plucking the strings inside the piano.
With a biography and an alternative lifestyle like hers, Irène is an exception in Switzerland. As a woman working in a creative area myself, she both interested and inspired me to make this film. A good ten years older than I am, she is for me a forerunner of Women´s Lib and one of the very few female figures in the Swiss creative scene - with her musical roots in Jazz and, in the meantime, avidly involved in an internationally renowned for her Instant Composing and her improvised music. (Gitta Gsell)

Gitta Gsell
born in 1953 in Zurich. Residency in New York (1979-89). Has lived in Zurich since 1990.
1977-79 Attended the F+F, Schule für Experimentelle Gestaltung (Zurich); 1980-82 School of Visual Arts (New York), BA of Fine Arts; 1982-84 Hunter College (New York).; MA of Fine Arts in Combined Media.
Since 1977 scripts and direction of theatre and performances; since 1981 screenplays and direction of films and videos.

1981 Goodbye (experimental film)
1984 A.R.T. (documentary)
1985 Immer diese Ewigkeit (music film)
1987 Don´t Stand on the Ocean (feature)
1990 Cornelia Forster - Künstlerin (documentary)
Perception/Tension (music film)
1994 Uma passagem/Umgezogen (documentary video)
1995 Lilu in der Tanzbar (short film)
1997 Propellerblume (feature)
1999 Virus-L (short film)
2004 Lilo & Fredi (feature)
augenblickeN (documentary video)
2009 Bödälä - Dance The Rhythm (Dance documentary)


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