CC: Opera Jawa (2006)

2018/19 SEASON!

Thursday, April 04, 2019 - Thursday, April 04, 2019

Opera Jawa (2006)

Thursday, April 04, 2019 @ 7:00 PM

$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass


Opera Jawa is a sumptuous and exotic gamelan musical, strange and alluring, inspired by the "Abduction of Sita" episode from the Ramayana. It was commissioned for Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, alongside Tsai Ming-liang's I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century (2006), all three absolutely central works of twenty-first century cinema. Grown from the rich soil of Javanese culture and tradition, Opera Jawa tells the story of a potter, his wife, and a possibly malevolent butcher obsessed with the latter. The lives of the potter and his wife parallel the mythical tale of Sita and Prince Rama, which the couple used to reenact in their past lives as performers. The film features transporting music by Rahayu Supanggah, awe-inspiring choreography, stunning photography, and widely celebrated production design by Nanang Rhamat. You are guaranteed to have never seen anything quite like Opera Jawa.

- Written by Jason Wierzba


With the introduction of sound to the cinematographic lexicon, the Hollywood musical very quickly became one of the preeminent public entertainments of the 1930s. Even now, when one thinks of musicals, one may well be inclined to envision the lavish spectacles of Hollywood or Bollywood. There is a general tendency to overlook the variations on the form, often uniquely characteristic of their national or cultural spheres, that continue to emerge from around the globe. Calgary Cinematheque is pleased to have the opportunity this season to expose audiences to musicals from Hong Kong, Egypt, Iran, Japan, and Indonesia. Musicals are by nature popular entertainment, public art, spectacles meant to be enjoyed by amassed spectators representing a collective body. They are inherently celebratory and communal. Musicals from around the world viewed (and heard) in public space ideally expand our concept and experience of community. Think of these films as locally-global phenomena; experiences grounded in kinship and exultation.

About Calgary Cinematheque

We are a non-profit film society dedicated to presenting significant, challenging, and essential works of cinema art in Calgary. During our season, which runs from October to April, we screen films weekly, in curated programs which situate each film in a thematic and historical context. We do this because we believe cinema is an essential form of artistic, social, and political expression. Audiences should be able to engage with a wide range of cinematic expression, not only with what is commercially viable. We believe in the power of sharing these experiences with other people in a theatrical setting and we strive to cultivate a community around that experience.  

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NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to