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A SONG OF CEYLON

Australia, 1985 (MIFF 1986)

Director: Laleen Jayamanne

This film's-title refers not only to Basil lights classic British documentary THE SONG OF CEYLON but also to a name erased from the map of the world, for there is no country officially named Ceylon Invoking this idea of absence this film pursues a certain phantasy or The body, a somewhat abstract form of the body in travail, the body in torsion. The extremity in question is around forms of hysteria A SONG OF CEYLON explores the narcissistic body, the masochistic body, the Hysterical body and maybe a few other bodies in extremis. This is done by bringing together two different theatrical tradiitions from two different cultures through the mediation of cinematography.

Four voices speak the verbal sound track of the film based on an anthropological text which both documents and Interprets a Sri Lankan ritual of spirit possession and cure The Image track stages a spectacle of bodies in various states of transport on a proscenium arch, while a group of figures watch It Though the film draws from anthropology It is not an ethnographic film or the body. M may be thought of as a dance film. If one: would include work on and with gesture and posture as being a concern of dance.

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