Mon 2 September · Time: 09:00 PM


Wild Combination / Documentary / 71 minutes


WILD COMBINATION is director Matt Wolf’s visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art.

now, over fifteen years since his passing, Arthur's work is finally finding its audience. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthur's family, friends, and closest collaborators—including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg—to tell this poignant and important story.

WILD COMBIANTION begins in the bucolic landscape of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Chuck and Emily Russell remember their precocious son Arthur’s early inspirations. as a teenager in the 1960s, Arthur was obsessed with Timothy Leary, John Cage, and Beat poetry. clashing with his parents’ Midwestern conventionalism and inspired by these figures’ counter-cultural imaginations, Arthur ran away from home. he joined a Buddhist commune in San Francisco, and he met his lifelong mentor and collaborator, Allen Ginsberg.

Allen described Arthur as “delicate, exquisite-minded, youthful, and at the same time oddly reticent.” the two collaborated on a number of recordings. but when the commune tried to take away Arthur’s cello, forcing him to secretly play in a closet, he followed his greater musical ambition, and he joined Ginsberg in New York. Arthur began working with Philip Glass and other composers in the avant-garde music world, specifically at The Kitchen, where he became musical director in 1974.

he composed melodic orchestral music and absorbed the vanguard ideas of the new music scene. simultaneously Arthur discovered the liberating social and aesthetic possibilities of underground discos. under the guise of various monikers—Dinosaur L, Loose Joints, Indian Ocean—Arthur produced playful and eccentric disco records that became hits of the pre-Studio 54 era.

"in the process of making the movie, I learned things from Arthur about being an artist and pursuing it at all costs. Arthur struggled: he created obstacles for himself and he frustrated his collaborators and loved ones. but I think, unlike many other people, Arthur was able to connect to a primal place of childlike innocence and fun. I love going there with him." the director Matt Wolf.

join us for a swim into the intimate, resourceful and refreshingly open-minded documentary about the tireless musical genius of Arthur Russel.

entry: 5€

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