Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The golem and the arts

GOLEM WATCH: Adelaide Festival review 2016: Golem (Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser). First, the performing arts:

Dunstan Playhouse, until March 13

GOLEM is a technical marvel above all else. Modern projectors that can put high intensity colour and resolution on a backdrop have evolved so rapidly that it seems as though the magic lantern shows have become young again.

In this 1927 theatre company production, animation and superb tromp l’oeil effects are put brilliantly together with live stage performances, transporting the show to a new realm of entertainment.

Golem is about that ancient figure of Hebrew culture, the being made of clay and brought to life to do the bidding of man.

Here, the man is the terminally pathetic figure of Robert, the natural born loser and nerd working in a geeky shop where everyone jokes in binary code. His only bright spot is his sister, Annie, who is in full flight raging against the system. He joins her in her punk protest band, Annie of the Underground, which has so far only played in the family cellar.


Everything changes when he is provided with a Golem by his friend Phil. The claymation Golem does his bidding, but rapidly turns into a nightmare of consumerism, full of short media bites and technicolour ideas that become more brazen until even Golem is superseded by his next, faster, brighter, model. Never has technology been used so well to question technology.

Then, under cartoon illustration: The Golem VS The Hulk (Rabbi Levi Welton, HuffPo). The writings of the Talmud, of course, were composed long after the second century. But the cartoon is entertaining.

For lots more on the Golem legend and its many modern incarnations, see here and follow the links.