Offering an early look at the festival’s 2023 program, RISING has unveiled its first major international commission: Euphoria – a festival exclusive by Berlin-based master artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt.
The monumental multi-channel film installation featuring Cate Blanchett explores capitalism and the effects of unlimited economic growth and promises to transform Melbourne Town Hall into a spiralling vortex of screens this June.
Incorporating opulent 360-degree visuals and a rumbling original score by Canadian composer Samy Moussa and British saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, Euphoria sees Rosefeldt, who directed a chameleon Blanchett in Manifesto, return to reimagine two thousand years of greed as an epic and extravagant cinematic event.
In a complete takeover of the historic 1867-built space, audiences will experience Melbourne Town Hall as never before – with a life-sized choir of singers from Brooklyn Youth Chorus set to encircle viewers across 24 gigantic screens positioned at ground level.
Meanwhile, above, five duelling jazz drummers – including the legendary Terri Lyne Carrington, Peter Erskine (Weather Report), and Grammy Award-winning drummer and composer Antonio Sánchez (Birdman 2014) – will be projected in the round.
Across each of the upper screens, five theatrical vignettes will loop, with acclaimed actors like Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) and Virginia Newcombe delivering musings from some of history’s most influential economists, writers and thinkers from Snoop Dogg, Warren Buffett and Ayn Rand to Angela Davis and Mark Fisher.
Blanchett continues her long-time collaboration with Rosefeldt, this time appearing as an anthropomorphic tiger stalking supermarket aisles. Homeless men discuss economics and executives do acrobatics in a bank lobby as part of a vision that pummels capitalism with its own excess, then waits for the dust to settle.
“I’m so thrilled this international collaboration we embarked on back in 2019 between Germany, New York and Amsterdam is finally complete and coming to Melbourne for RISING,” said RISING co-artistic director Gideon Obarzanek.
“It’s huge! Almost two-hundred years since the communist manifesto, Euphoria takes stock of Capitalism – the biggest and most seductive Ponzi scheme that keeps on giving.”
A surround-sound world hooked to the pulse of jazz, the powerful clarity of a children’s choir, and big ideas that test capitalism’s mantra of endless, euphoric consumption, Euphoria comes exclusively to RISING straight from its debut at Park Armory in New York.
Helping ensure Euphoria remains accessible to as many people as possible, visitors can purchase tickets via a pay-as-you-wish pricing model, choosing a price that aligns best with their financial situation, while sessions on Fridays are free entirely (bookings are essential).
“RISING showcases Melbourne’s creativity and offers unique experiences for locals and visitors to enjoy,” said Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos.
“RISING will turn Melbourne Town Hall into a massive, immersive cinema, creating a ‘must-see’ event that will bring crowds from near and far. This year promises to be another incredible RISING program that will take over the city in June.”
Image: Euphoria by Julian Rosefeldt comes to Melbourne exclusively for RISING in June (supplied)