The Flying Dutchman has been cursed for eternity. Once every seven years he is allowed to come ashore to seek redemption. He may have found it in Senta, a woman who longs for escape,,, Tim Albery’s acclaimed production is a darkly insightful account of Wagner’s early masterpiece, starring Bryn Terfel conducted by Andris Nelsons.
"An immersive and immersing experience… Bryn Terfel’s Dutchman is so strongly characterised that the doomed seaman’s entire history seems visible at his first entrance, weary and burdened, dragging the ship’s rope around his shoulders; vocally he paces himself finely, saving the strongest for last as the dramatic tension peaks. As Senta, Adrianne Pieczonka is simply magnificent, with a warm and radiant voice that melts in its lower register and cuts higher up, and the ability to inhabit the role to heartbreaking effect. The central pair are more than superbly supported by Peter Rose as Senta’s father, Daland; tenor Michael König is a lyrical Erik; and in smaller roles the contributions of Ed Lyon as the Steersman and Catherine Wyn-Rogers as Mary were outstanding. One of the night’s biggest plaudits, though, goes to the chorus: the terrifying clash of the locals and the ghost ship’s crew in act III packed a massive punch." Jessica Duchen, The Independent
Roy Andersson is one of the great unsung masters of modern cinema. He is not prolific, this is fifth feature film since 1970, but his style is unique and unmistakeable: a series of interlocking, deadpan tragi-comic vignettes that suggest he may be the missing link between Jacques Tati and Monty Python. Here the lugubrious efforts of two novelty item salesmen somehow conjures the ghosts of King Charles XII of Sweden, a WWII beerhall, and a diabolical colonial contraption. Once seen, never forgotten.
"Blackly comic absurdist banality interspersed with surrealist shards – alternately hilarious, heartbreaking and horrifying. The spirits of Samuel Beckett and Spike Milligan waltz through this beige-green purgatory, a series of arresting static-camera vignettes, pasty of face, deadpan of composition." Mark Kermode, The Observer
"Shot in long takes, the camera fixed like a picture frame, there are images here that lodge in the part of the brain where dreams are forged… For a film posing the metaphysical biggies, there is tenderness and laughs. Its bonkers approach to storytelling and life may drive some nuts. The rest of us will soar with the birds." Cath Clarke, Time Out