‘Loneliness and the Modern Penthatlon’ by Daria Martin

‘Loneliness and the Modern Penthatlon’ by Daria Martin

Fine Arts Untermehmen

May 24, 2005

Daria Martin
Loneliness and the Modern Penthatlon 


Loneliness and the Modern Pentathlon by Daria Martin
16mm film, 17 minutes, 2004-2005.

Daria Martins short 16mm films create and explore fragile worlds of utopian aspiration, Gesamtkunstwerks on the verge of collapse. Her newest and most ambitious film, Loneliness and the Modern Pentathlon,fastforwards 20th century avant garde ideals using as her vehicle an arcane Olympic sport, the Modern Pentathlon. Tensions between aspiration and its limits in exhaustion, between forward-looking modernity and nostalgic romanticism, and between artifice and expression are further heightened and unraveled in this many-layered film.

This work takes as its starting point the discipline of the Modern Pentathlon, an anachronistic but still surviving Olympic sport comprised of running, swimming, shooting, horseback riding, and fencing. Its five formalized events were chosen by Baron de Coubertin, founder of the Modern Olympics, to encapsulate the romantic adventures of a gentleman liaison officer who fights his way on horseback, foot, and finally through water, to deliver an urgent message.

Loneliness and the Modern Pentathlon archly hangs this rarified sporting discipline on the narrative structure of the British Angry Young Man film classic The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” (1962). This newly imagined version is also set in an isolated school in rural England and likewise plumbs themes of individualism versus collectivity. Yet, crucially, elements have changed … In Loneliness and the Modern Pentathlon, a charismatic headmistress (rather than headmaster), played by Rita Tushingham, an iconic star of British New Wave cinema, presides over the daily life of her charges. Her regard sometimes tender, sometimes cool– is echoed by the observations of a roving camera in a flowing series of vignettes which accumulate in a loose and poetic rhythm rather than a strict narrative.

Played by both professional dancers and Olympic-level Pentathletes, this group of youths enact a form of the Modern Pentathlon through hybrid movements that are part dance, part sport, part experimental performance Underlining the unorthodox nature of their activities, a score composed by Zeena Parkins, the New York-based master of electric harp (and sometime collaborator with Bjork) ebbs and flows throughout the film.

The premiere took place on may the 7th, 2005 at Kino Arsenal – Berlin.

Produced by Fine Arts Unternehmen and funded by Arts Council England
with the support of Film London
www.fineartsunternehmen.com/ www.artscouncil.org.uk/ www.filmlondon.org.uk/

About Daria Martin:
Daria Martin began working in film while studying art at UCLA in Los Angeles. She was attracted to film as a multi-sensual prism capable of absorbing the various arts: painting, sculpture, fashion, performance, and music.
She has exhibited her work at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, Tate Britain, London, and The Castello di Rivoli, Turin. She is currently short-listed for the Becks Futures Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. She lives and works in London and is developing a film inspired in part by Weimar Berlin cabaret, in collaboration with Danish musician Maja Ratkje.

Premiere: May the 7th, 2005, Saturday, at 4:30pm
Location: Kino Arsenal II – Potsdamer Str. 2 – 10785 Berlin
Information: film@artisart.com

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May 24, 2005

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