Giacinto Scelsi. The First Motion of the Immovable

Director Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva
France, Italy / 81 min. / 2018 / Italian, English

Immersion in the mysterious world of contemporary poet and composer Giacinto Scelsi, forerunner of drone music, and his ideas about reincarnation and the power of sound to connect with other planes of existence.


A faceless portrait. In this Italian-French co-production, in which we listen to the voice and constantly perceive the presence of its protagonist without ever seeing him, the director (a distant relative of Giacinto Scelsi, eludes conventional biography and chooses to dive into his maverick and mystical conception of sound and music. Following relative success in the 50s, Scelsi lived (voluntarily and involuntarily) in seclusion for most of his life, not authorizing anyone to photograph him and, ignored even within contemporary music circles, shaped his own musical language: a single note modulated to infinity or clusters of sustained notes. Scores imbued with magic, sensuality and oriental spirituality that claimed to "receive" Hindu deities. In 1973, he recorded his memoirs on a tape recorder for four nights and demanded that the tapes not be made public until 15 years after his death. From the hand of Scelsi’s leading musicians ­– the soprano Michiko Hirayama, the bassist Joelle Léandre, the pianist Marianne Schroeder and the clarinettist Carol Robinson – the narrator explores the background of that disturbing ultra-earthly music which she discovered as a child, in a hypnotic film scored from beginning to end with a fundamental issue: death and how to deal with it.


Thursday 31st October - Warm up with Shak Benavides ( / Johannes de Silentio) 


Entradas BCN


International Official Selection

Showing format

IDFA Award for Best First Appearance (2018)

in festivals
IDFA (2018), Torino Film Festival (2018), Transatlantyk Film Festival (2019)


Olivier Chambon, Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva, Agostino Vertucci

Sophie de Hijes, Nicolas Lesoult

Film company

Film distributor

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