Legong: Dance of the Virgins 1935 Ages 15+
1.30PM Sun 18 Feb 2018
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
Extolling the island of Bali, Indonesia, as the 'Isle of perpetual summer', Legong: Dance of the Virgins blends travelogue with docudrama by following its Balinese cast as they go about their daily lives; visiting markets, temples, gaming, and traditional rituals and performances. Shot on location over four months in the village of Ubud, its centrepiece is a love triangle told against the backdrop of Legong, an ancient dance tradition used to tell traditional stories through a series of expressive gestures, intricate finger movements and complex footwork performed to gamelan music. Legong dancers Poutou and Saplak are the daughter of the village chief. When Poutou falls in love with Nyong, a young musician who joins the village gamelan orchestra, she is devastated when he falls in love with her sister instead.
One of the last Hollywood feature films shot using the two-colour Technicolor process, Legong was part of a subgenre of exotic stories set in Bali which captured Western ideals of tropical life featuring unspoiled landscapes and rich cultural traditions. It was released at a time when the Island was beginning to attract the attention of wealthy tourists, anthropologists, artists, intellectuals and filmmakers eager to find an Eden untouched by the troubles of war. While the original release of Legong: Dance of the Virgins was silent, this 1992 restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, features a new soundtrack showcasing a combination of Balinese gamelan and Western instrumentation composed by Richard Marriott and I Made Subandi, and performed by the Gamelan Sekar Jaya ensemble and the Club Foot Orchestra.
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 60 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: HENRI DE LA FALAISE / PRODUCER: CONSTANCE BENNETT / CINEMATOGRAPHY: W HOWARD GEENE / EDITOR: EDWARD SCHROEDER / CAST: POUTOU ALOES GOESTI, BAGUS MARA GOESTI, SAPLAK NJOMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: BENNETT PICTURES CORP / PRINT SOURCE: 35MM RESTORED PRINT COURTESY OF THE UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: MILESTONE FILMS