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K.364 A Journey by Train

A glancing, expressionistic portrait of talent at work

Two Israeli musicians, violist Avri Levitan and violinist Roi Shiloah, travel via railway from Germany to Poland to perform a Mozart symphony with an orchestra in the pleasant but slender docu “K.364 A Journey by Train.” Although a joy to listen to for music fans, this latest semi-experimental offering from visual artist-turned-helmer Douglas Gordon lacks the cinematic chops of his more compelling previous feature, “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait” (co-directed with Phillippe Parreno). Still, Gordon’s rep should help pic fast-track onto the fest circuit.

Pic starts with affable Levitan and sweet Shiloah explaining how the journey they’re seen taking, from Berlin to Warsaw, is charged with meaning, given that it’s the same route their relatives would have traveled to reach the death camps during the Holocaust. They also talk more cheerfully about their own lives while being filmed through windows and in reflections. In the second part, split-screen work is deployed as they perform as soloists on Mozart’s Concert Symphony in E-Flat Major with a Polish orchestra. Once again, Gordon crafts a glancing, expressionistic portrait of talent at work, but without the complex texturing of his Zidane film.

K.364 A Journey by Train

U.K.-France

  • Production: A Lost But Found production in association with Love Streams, Agnes B. Prods. (International sales: Lost But Found, London.) Produced by Douglas Gordon, Zeynep Yucel, Agnes B., Francois Xavier Frantz, Christoph Audeguis. Directed by Douglas Gordon.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD), George Geddes; editor, Sari Ezouz. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 10, 2010. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Visions.) Running time: 70 MIN.
  • With: With: Avri Levitan, Roi Shiloah. (English, Hebrew dialogue.)
  • Music By: