Fergus’ arrangement of Lili Boulanger’s “D’un Matin de Printemps” and subsequent performance by the Zemlinsky Chamber Orchestra was featured as a part of the world première of Georden West’s film: “Playland”, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023.
The multilayered, transdisciplinary film focuses on the life and downfall of the Playland Café, Boston’s oldest gay bar. Established in 1937 it was a vital hub in the city until its closure in 1998 and acted as a regular meeting place for an especially diverse crowd. Because of its connection to Pride Rallies and underground gay newspapers, it was regularly a target for police raids and zoning.
The film breaks all boundaries through its connection between music, dance, archival footage, tableaux, opera and stage performance. It also features an eclectic cast of queer performers, including drag icon Lady Bunny and Pose’s Danielle Cooper.
“Artist-filmmaker Georden West’s debut feature is an expressionist and very queer bricolage, focusing on an atemporal night in the renowned Playland Café. Following its employees and others who have haunted the space, weaving together a tapestry of personal and community anecdotes across the bar’s existence.”
“Alluding to experimental works like that of Derek Jarman and Sally Potter, West has crafted an uncanny and inventive film that boldly transcends physical space, reminding us that though certain pioneering queer spaces may be gone, their memories cannot be erased.” (Sophie Tupholme)
Trailer for the film can be found below, as well as the ZCO’s original Boulanger performance.