Manual Cinema is now a late special addition to this year’s Chicago International Music and Movies Festival (CIMMfest No. 5) with their newest and most technically sophisticated feature-length work to date: Lula del Ray on April 20. Although it looks like cinema, Lula Del Rey is actually elaborate shadow puppetry done with overhead projectors. The production is actually more sophisticated than that, combining handmade shadow puppets, live actors, cinematic motifs, three overhead projectors, Foley sounds and a live band soundtrack. It’ll be at new performance venue Constellation, formerly the Viaduct Theater.
Manual Cinema presents Lula del Ray as part of CIMMfest No. 5, Saturday April 20, 4:30 p.m. at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Avenue. $22. http://cimmfest.org/manual-cinema/
Told almost entirely sans dialogue, Lula del Ray is the story of a lonely adolescent girl who lives with her mother on the outskirts of a vast satellite array in the middle of the desert. After a chance encounter over the radio, Lula becomes obsessed with a soulful country music duo, the Baden Brothers. Inspired by their music, she runs away from home and into a world of danger, deception and disappointment. Set in the mid-century American Southwest and inspired by the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline, Lula del Ray is a mythic reinvention of the classic coming-of-age story. Lula del Ray was developed at the University of Chicago in the Theater and Performance Studies Program where Manual Cinema currently serves as Ensemble-in-Residence.