The Crazy Ray (Paris qui dort)

[silent film, René Clair, France 1924]

live music: ipa'D'quORST [2003] by IzP


duration: 37'


commissioned by UTOPIALES - Science Fiction Film Festival Nantes / France


(first performed: nov 07th 2003, Nantes / France)

Paris stands still. The movement of its people and machines are frozen. Only one person — the caretaker of the Eiffel Tower — awakes, at the top of the monument, as though nothing has happened. Filled with astonishment, he sets out to solve the puzzle…

Rene Clair’s first film is in fact a science fiction film. Just as the scientist in his film experiments with time, the youthful Clair experiments with the medium of film. He allows both his fascination with American slapstick as well as ideas from the contemporary Parisian avant garde to have some influence on his film. From these develop a dreamlike, humorous work in which the themes of time and city play the leading roles — a work that seems modern even today.


[text: Scopium / Peter Ellenbruch]


Science fiction is fairy-tale cinema. To this day, it has kept its naïve allure: its fascination with both technology and progress has always been the characteristic element of this genre. Technological fantasy serves as the foundation for Interzone perceptible’s development of music for this film. Interzone perceptible’s field of endeavor has always consisted of the utopian, the impossible, and the unheard/unanswered. The focus is both on the fascination with a machine, as well as on the societal effects and consequences that machine has on the operative elements of the film. However, the passing of time is also influenced by this cinematic machine: from one moment to the next, time may suddenly pass infinitely slowly, and then rapidly change to an insanely fast pace. For the viewer, these different cinematic temporalities make the experience of time one in which relationships are blurred, with constants becoming unclear, and then dissapearing. This experiential uncertainty of timing is not only technically caused by different frame rates, but also occurs organically, through gaps and turbulence in the plot.

Interzone perceptible’s ipa’D’quORST uses this principle of making temporal confusion more complex and bewildering through compositional means. Time traps are fashioned with the help of musical engines, bridges, and aberrations — science fiction is adventure, exploration, a journey without return — loops, reversed crackling, noise, beats, suddenly interrupted by silence, giving way to the screams of a group of primates.


[translated by Eric Flesher / USA]