Gustav Mahler



Russell had long been an admirer of Mahler’s music. He said he based the film on “the rondo form in music where you present the theme and follow it with variations, then return to the theme and so on. My theme was the composer‘s last train journey before he died. During the journey we flash back to incidents in his life, the variations on the theme as it were. They vary from passion to comedy. Like the scherzos from his symphonies some of the scenes are pretty grotesque, too.”
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Janina Rajakangas

Canary (Finnish: kanarialintu) is a bodily fantasy about hypersensitivity. The title alludes to birds that coal miners took down with them to serve as an indicator of the level of toxity in the air. When the bird died, the mine was deemed dangerous for humans as well. In the performance, the bird is replaced by hypersensitive human bodies that celebrate imperfection and confusion.