Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring Cycle
NR, 56 min. Directed by Jon Else.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Thu., Oct. 5, 2000
Opera buffs get that religious look in their eyes when they speak of Richard Wagner’s marathon 17-hour Ring Cycle. Generally regarded as a pinnacle of operatic achievement and a gleeful endurance experience for the viewer, who ever stops to think of the endurance contest this opera is for the stagehands who have to work it? They literally have to move mountains ñ not to mention giants, dragons, fog machines, and whatnot. Sing Faster provides a look into the backstage world of stagehands, the behind-the-scenes players who make the whole thing work. Their work day is a mixture of heavy lifting, quick-change artistry, time-passing card games, and “lots of hurry up and wait.” It is an opera unto itself, and director Jon Else reveals their story. (Director Jon Else will be present following the screening for a Q&A. See this week’s Screens section for an interview with the director.) The Texas Documentary Tour is co-sponsored by the Austin Film Society, the UT Department of RTF, The Austin Chronicle, KLRU-TV, and SXSW Film.