Commissioned for the opening of Frank Gehry's newly designed concert hall for the New World Symphony in Miami, Polaris (Latin for the Northern Star) explores the use of star constellations for naval navigation and the emotional navigation between the absent sailors and what they leave behind. In the film, Tal follows two mysterious characters who roam a desolate shore. Like sirens or Amazons they are on the outlook, constantly searching the coastline while stars flicker and shadows of the sailors appear as ghostlike presences. Inspired by Rockwell Kent's haunting Moby Dick illustrations, Polaris was shot on a remote location in the north coast of Devon, UK.
Projected on to the distinctive sail-like acoustic surfaces of the concert hall (which were specifically designed for moving image), the film brings to light the matrix of panoramic experiences within its five-screen canvas.
© Photos by Rui Dias-Aidos.
Original format: 5 synchronised channels (NWS acoustic sails).
Traveling format: 3 HD triptych or 1 HD (split-screen), approx. 13 min.
Music by Thomas Adès.
Directed by Tal Rosner.
Producers: Tal Rosner, Rosa Bosch and Hannah Price.
Commissioned by the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy for the opening of the New World Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the San Francisco Symphony, UK-USA 2011.
Above: Polaris (excerpt), QuickTime, 9.7mb.
World Premiere: 26 January 2011/Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas with The New World Symphony Orchestra/Miami/USA.
West Coast Premiere: 9 April 2011/Conducted by Thomas Adès with the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Los Angeles/USA.
Film unit credits:
Production coordinator: Zoe Graham.
Cast: Miss Pokeno and Tessa Stanway.
Cameramen: Arthur Cauty and Jake Cauty.
Wardrobe Stylist: Dean Golden.
Make-up: Kelly Bond.
Above: Production stills from Woolacombe Beach, Devon, UK/November 2010.