“A ‘Necessary Music’ is a science fiction film about modernist social housing. A musically conceived piece, referencing the video operas of Robert Ashley, the film explores the social imaginary of a utopian landscape through directed attention to the voices that inhabit it.”
I have to admit reading through the above text taken directly from the film’s website I am a little concerned. But having met the artist Beatrice Gibson, who developed the film in collaboration with composer Alex Waterman I am not as worried as I might be otherwise. Both seemed genuinely interested in presenting a film that would not paint the island as another “Dark Waters” which many individuals think of when they hear the name Roosevelt Island, film and science fiction in one sentence.
Apparently I missed the film's opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art but as per the below image it is currently running at the 548 West 22nd Street location through June 1st. Acording to an email I received from Ms. Gibson the times are 11am - 6pm every day through June 1st. I plan on getting there this week to check it out.
More from the film’s site:
“Treating the medium of film as both a musical proposition and a proposal for collective production, A Necessary Music employs the resident of New York's Roosevelt Island as its authors and actors, gathering together texts written by them and using them to construct a script for the film. Casting seventeen residents to enact these lines accompanied by a fictional narration take from Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1941 science fiction novel 'The invention of Morel', the film deploys fiction as a tool to frame and activate its site. Self-consciously dissolving from attempted realism to imagined narrative, what begins as a process concerned with sociality becomes instead a ethnographic fiction about place and community, and an investigation into representation itself.”