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Sweden, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Mozart: Mad & Marvellous)

Director: Suzanne Osten

Wedged somewhere between Italo Calvino's /f on a Winter Night a Traveller and Woody Allen's The Purple Rose ol Cairo, Osten's Mozart Brothers plays with, and stretches to true comic effect, questions of the creative process. Bordering on farce, but with rigour and discipline, the story's anti-hero, Walter (Etienne Glaser) is a theatre director who announces "I hate opera!"—then proceeds to dictate the sets, impose the plot and tell the orchestra what to do.

In the process of a contemporary staging of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Walter's method is one of deconstructing in order to reconstruct. Every aspect of Ihe opera is open for negotiation, and everyone— including a brief 'apparition' of Mozart himself—puts in their two cents worth. Parallels between the director and his lead character become apparent and ironic, and when a documentary maker turns up to make a film about the director, The Mozart Brothers shifts gear into classic film-within-a-film.

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