The Galapagos Islands (off the coast of Ecuador), the first thing that may come to mind is the seamy/ sleazy use of those islands in the Tennessee Williams play (and movie based on that play), Suddenly Last Summer. We think of those famous turtles, and then perhaps of Williams' character of Sebastian, much talked of but never actually seen, and his gaudy demise. One of those Galapagos turtles is viewed to enormous effect in the new documentary THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN, and its huge size and large, expressive face are among the strangest and most beautiful things in this very strange film. Local lore has it that these turtles can size up a newcomer to the island immediately, knowing if s/he is bound for a good or a bad end.
Dayna Goldfine and Daniel Geller (shown above, flanking actor Thomas Kretschmann, who voiced one of the characters here), you can only imagine what the old, heavy-shelled fellow determined about the folk you've just met -- most of whom are German and several of whom have come to very bad ends. (You may also, if you're anything like me, be wondering what it was about post-WWI/pre-WWII Germany that made for such delicious, often nasty decadence and stupidity. Christopher Isherwood was certainly onto something in his Berlin Stories!)
Ballet Russes, we are there. The filmmakers have elected to tell their story the old-fashioned way -- no "dramatic re-enactments" here -- using some wonderful archival footage, along with the many letters and other writings of several of the participants (given voice by some very high-end actors: Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Koch, Connie Nielsen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Josh Radnor and Herr Kretschmann).
Zeitgeist Films, opens this Friday, April 4, in New York City at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, on April 11 in San Francisco at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal on April 18.
After (and sometimes during) these weeks, the film will slowly expand across the country. To see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters, simply click here and then use the sidebar at right to scroll down....
The graphics above are from the film