In anticipation of the reissue of Max Richter’s pioneering work The Blue Notebooks–originally released in 2004, and now re-released with bonus tracks on a Super Deluxe Edition due June 29 on Deutsche Grammophon–is a new short film to accompany "On The Nature Of Daylight."
Filmed in Toronto, Canada in March 2018 by director George Belfield, with Steve Annis as Director of Photography, the six-and-a-half minute short stars Elisabeth Moss, a recent winner of, among other prizes, Golden Globe and Emmy Awards as Executive Producer of and Lead Actress in The Handmaid’s Tale. Moss—who calls herself Richter’s “biggest fan”—also produced the film, alongside Richter’s creative partner Yulia Mahr, Stefan Demetriou, Tarquin Glass, and Max Brook.
We're told that the film is a response to themes raised by Richter’s original composition, which he’s described as “a meditation on violence and its repercussions, inspired both by the Iraq war— which was looming—and my own experiences.” He talks in the reissue’s liner notes of how, as “a very sensitive child, I reacted to the violence around me by internalising everything. I closed all the shutters, built up walls, became as perfect as I could be.”
“When I was asked to do this project,” Moss reveals of her decision to participate in the film despite her currently hectic schedule, “it was a dream come true. My work has been inspired by his music for so many years and not a day goes by on set where I don’t have Max’ music playing in my ears before a take. His music and my acting have gone hand in hand for a long time. So for me, the opportunity to act to one of his most prolific pieces was such an incredible honor. Working with George and this entire team was so artistically fulfilling and an experience I will never forget.”
“Lizzie perfectly understood what I was trying to communicate,” director Belfield says, “and brought a lot more to the role besides. She and I spent a lot of time developing her character together before the shoot, building her backstory and writing inner monologues for what she would be feeling at different points of her journey. Despite being incredibly busy on The Handmaid’s Tale and her upcoming feature projects, she invested a lot of herself into her character. It was amazing to work with her.”
The Blue Notebooks is set for June 29 reissue and will feature bonus tracks and come available as a super deluxe edition. Meanwhile, you can stream the video below—or here for EU readers due to temporary GDPR restrictions.