This Austrian Silent Film is Made More Magical by Tanya Markova’s Live Musical Scoring

Movies accompanied by bands or orchestras are starting to pick up steam in Manila as it definitely should as the live music makes the experience of watching a movie much more intimate. We’ve had Call Me by Your Name with The Manila Symphony Orchestra, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with the Philharmonic Orchestra this September.

However, these are modern films that are already well known by audiences. What about foreign silent films that most of us have never heard of? What kind of music should accompany them?

The 13th International Silent Film Festival is the answer to this question. A showing of silent films from all over the world, the experience of watching them was made more memorable by the local bands that accompanied them. Carefully curated, these bands embody the mood of the films they are playing for. One such as example is the the closing film of the festival, Kalif Storch, which the band Tanya Markova played to.

Based on a German fairy tale of the same name, Hans Berger’s Kalif Storch tells the story of a Caliph and his Grand Vizier, who are transformed into a stork. The film follows their misadventures as they are unable to get back to their true form, mostly due to the fact that they cannot stop laughing.

The Filipino rock band’s sound was the perfect partner to the magical film as their music usually references local folklore. Tanya Markova was able to add some color into the black and white world of Kalif Storch. The band’s penchant for dressing up and putting on white makeup on their faces also added to the mystical feel of the film.

Press and Cultural Attaché of the Austrian Embassy Manila, Zelpha Bombais, shared:”This year, we try to introduce silent films to those who are yet to discover that the silent film experience can indeed be fun, taking to heart our goal of awakening appreciation for the classics within the hearts of a contemporary audience, and what better way to do that than with a fairy tale.”

Kalif Storch is just one of the silent films that was shown at the 13th International Silent Film Festival, which also represented the country of Austria. Other films and their accompanying bands include: Germany’s Von Morgen bis Mitternachts with Anima Tierra, Italy’s L ‘Onestà del Peccato with Steff&no and the Pocket Orchestra, Spain’s Es Mi Hombre with Tarsius, Japan’s Orizuru Osen with Kaduma Ni Karol, and our very own Native Life in the Philippines with Munimuni.

Although this year’s International Silent Film Festival in Manila has ended, we can always wait and anticipate next year’s lineup. Besides, more movies in concert might come along in the future.

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