“DO RE MI” Magic Lantern Film Festival at Cinema dei Piccoli, Rome

Nathan Carter, The DRAMASTICS are Loud, 2016, still from video.
MP4 video, 29′. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York


Magic Lantern Film Festival presents DO RE MI, a three-day screening at Cinema dei Piccoli from 21–23 May 2018. DO RE MI aims to analyse how both the musical genre and the music video, intended as a tool for creative promotion, have been used and adapted by the language of the visual arts.

Hollywood film genre par excellence, the musical—envisioned as a “total spectacle” — exploits perhaps more than any other genre the two basic elements of cinema: moving image and sound. Its morphology has often been studied and borrowed by the visual arts on many occasions, thereby often upending the essential norms, including narrative and a dramaturgical development traditionally structured on music and choreography. Song and dance, activated by the characters in the story, become for artists a lexicon to rethink both formally and conceptually. The elements of the classical musical constitute a rich grammar with which to question, develop, affirm and, on occasion, give rise to potential new linguistic deviations. Among the films in the programme, DO RE MI presents for the first time in Rome the celebrated work by Mark Leckey, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999), Psykho III The Musical (1985) by the 1980s New York cult figures Mark Oates and Tom Rubnitz, and The DRAMASTICS are Loud (2016) by Nathan Carter.

Investigating the connections that music and the visual arts have long shared, each evening will include the screening of music videos directed by a visual artist. Following the history of a media product that has influenced visual imagery and sound at the end of the 20th Century, and which today seems to be in a moment of redefinition, DO RE MI focuses on how form and storytelling have changed over time.

Product of the early 1980s and the fruit of postmodernism, the music video—parasitic hybrid, appropriative, often infected by the market, sometimes weakened by aesthetic pretension—has attempted to create recognizable codes and stylistic characteristics. Presenting different expressive forms , from the live studio recording session, to the construction of short narrative films, to free styling editing and quotation. The music videos in DO RE MI trace the way in which a language and its codes have been utilised, expanded or revolutionised by the artist’s gaze, thus offering an overview not only of the dialogue between mediums and iconic dimensions, but also a key to reading the research and visual imagery of protagonists of the art world. Among these, thanks to the collaboration with James Mackay, long-time producer of Derek Jarman, a series of promotional videos will be projected by the inestimable English filmmaker, including The Queen is Dead realised with The Smiths in 1986, and Rent with the Pet Shop Boys in 1987.

DO RE MI follows Phantasmagoria, which examined the use of noir and horror tropes in artists’ films; Really, which focused on the biopic, and Wonderland, which looked at how childhood imagery has been co-opted by contemporary filmic poetics.


Magic Lantern Film Festival is a semi-annual thematic investigation of the interstice between visual art and cinema. The festival aspires to act both as a tool for the dissemination of artistic languages that use film as an ideal medium with which to give form to the imagination, and as a moment of critical inquiry of authors, ideas and genres. Magic Lantern Film Festival is a project conceived and curated by Maria Alicata, Adrienne Drake and Ilaria Gianni.


For more info and full programme


Magic Lantern


Magic Lantern Film Festival 
21–23 May 2018, at 6:45pm

Cinema dei Piccoli | Viale della Pineta 15, Rome