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Satie and Suzanne

Erik Satie's life and music captured in fanciful choreography. With Cirque du Soleil.

A printer-friendly version of this page 53 minutes
Directed by Tim Southam
Produced by Rhombus Media
Music: Erik Satie,
Performed by Reinbert de Leeuw

Another very unusual exploration of a musician's life by the wonderful Rhombus Media. In 1893, French composer Erik Satie had a brief but passionate love affair with painter Suzanne Valadon. Seventeen years later, the River Seine breaks its banks, flooding most of Paris. Pursued by the surging waters Suzanne (Veronica Tennant) seeks refuge in an after hours cafe in Monmartre.

There she encounters her former lover Erik Satie (Nicholas Pennell). As the floodwaters rise, the cast of trapped cafe denizens, including four exotic contortionists and a jester from the Cirque du Soleil, blend their expressive styles. The poignant story of reconciliatory love unfolds and we are entranced by the cafe patrons' fantastical machinations set against Erik Satie's mystical piano works. The choreography is by the Cirque du Soleil's Debra Brown.

Grade Level: Grades 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1995     Copyright Date: 1994
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-900-3     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-622-4

"Tim Southam has superbly captured both the wit and eerie melancholy of Erik Satie's music in his beautifully conceived film...typical of the work of the world-renowned Canadian company, Rhombus Media...The film is exquisite and entertaining without ever compromising the integrity of the art at its centre."

The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
"A film that is full of grace and wonderment, propelled by the strains of Satie's music and his writings."

The Ottawa Citizen
"Even some folk that wouldn't raise a pair of those mini-binoculars attached to a stick on a dare will be drawn into the magic of SATIE AND SUZANNE. Highly recommended"

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Satie and Suzanne

"Watching Satie and Suzanne is pure pleasure." The Toronto Star

Awards and Festivals
Chris Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Gold Award, Dance on Camera Festival
GRAMMY Nomination: Best Music Video - Long Form
Best Picture Editing, Gemini Awards
WorldMedal, The New York Festivals
Unique Cinematography, Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards
Certificate of Merit, WorldFest Houston
Golden Sheaf Nominations, Yorkton Film Festival
FIPA, France

European Studies
Performing Arts

Related Titles

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Ravel's Brain
Evokes and explores Ravel's illness-plagued final years, when he was able to produce music but couldn't write it down.

Brilliant portrait of the composer's elusive life.

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