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Matmos is M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, aided and abetted by many others. Currently based in Baltimore, the duo formed in San Francisco in the mid 1990s, and self-released their debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the two quickly became known for their highly unusual sound sources. In 2001 they were asked to collaborate with the Icelandic singer Bjork on her “Vespertine” album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. Their many highly acclaimed albums include A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure (2001), The Civil War (2003), and Supreme Balloon (2008). Their most recent album, The Marriage of True Minds, was released in 2013 by Thrill Jockey Records.
One of the highlights of programming each year’s Maryland Film Festival is inviting guest hosts known best for work outside the realm of film to curate and host a favorite movie, and it’s a particular pleasure when the choices are as inspired as this year’s. MFF has two films guest-hosted by musicians in our 2014 edition—the other being DJ Spooky’s presentation of Putney Swope—and by sheer coincidence, both dip into the well of late-1960s cult favorites.
Barbarella is an ecstatic film with an impressive pedigree, a delirious, sex-fueled product of some of the era’s prominent countercultural icons and free spirits: lead actress and activist Jane Fonda; screenwriter Terry Southern (whose film credits include Dr. Strangelove, The Loved One, End of the Road, and Easy Rider); and director Roger Vadim, as well-known for his tempestuous marriages to leading ladies Fonda and Brigitte Bardot as he is films like And God Created Woman and Pretty Maids All in a Row.
An irreverent sci-fi film that operates as pure pop pleasure, Barbarella has been a source of direct inspiration on Baltimore-based electronic-music duo Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt: as part of Barbarella’s mission to stop the dastardly plans of mad scientist Durand Durand (!), she must survive the decadent city Sogo’s evil slime, Matmos (!!!). It’s a joy to present a 35mm print of Barbarella hosted by two innovative experimental musicians who know how to party. Whether it’s your first time seeing the film or your hundredth, come join us in submitting to the irrepressible adventures of Barbarella and dashing rebel leader Dildano! (Eric Allen Hatch)