DOXA FILM FESTIVAL VANCOUVER, CANADA :
WINNER OF THE DOXA DOCUMENTARY AWARD 2012:
We would like to recognize the film Extase, by Carine Bijlsma with an Honorable Mention. This film captures the transcendent power of music through the journey of an impassioned conductor and instills in the viewer a belief in the necessity of art in all of our lives.
Conductor Reinbert de Leeuw (born in 1937) is about to live one of his most cherished dreams: conducting Arnold Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder, a remarkably intense high point in post-romantic music. The camera follows him for the 10 days of rehearsal leading up to the sold-out concert, where he stands before an inexperienced orchestra of 356 musicians. De Leeuw has been living and breathing the work ever since he heard he was finally going to conduct it. It's almost like a love affair. Inspired but exhausted, he imparts all his energy to the orchestra as he literally melts away before our eyes, taking the occasional short smoke break.