The Nightingale

  • Christian Chaudet
  • Spectacle
  • 2004
  • 47 min

Entering his grandfather’s pottery workshop one night, a young boy discovers an unusually large vase. Fascinated, the child goes over and touches the still warm terracotta, which by a miracle or by magic, changes into a magnificent piece of Chinese porcelain. Immediately, a fisherman’s sampan emerges from behind the tall trees of blue enamel…And so begins the story – told entirely in music – of
the Nightingale: the daydream of a child in a land of Chinese objets d’art, mobile phones and Webcams; a “videographic extravaganza” inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story with music by Igor Stravinsky. “The Nightingale”, 150 years later…To satisfy the whim of an Emperor no longer venerated by anything but tradition, a Chamberlain with a great love of new technology which invests him with a new power, starts a search – on the Internet – for a little Nightingale, “an insignificant little thing” blessed with an extraordinary voice, which lives somewhere in the wild amongst the artists and ordinary people. Soon found, thanks to a smart little Prince, the bird is brought, under heavy escort, to the Porcelain Palace, transformed for the event, with total disregard for protocol, into the setting for a TV variety show. Disdaining the profusion of lights and special effects desperately aimed at turning the bird into a prime time phenomenon, the Nightingale, with its voice alone, manages to create a moment of unexpected grace, drawing tears from the Emperor and stopping the show! Afraid that he is losing control, the Chamberlain changes tack and announces the arrival of a false but colourful bird, whose vulgar eccentricities win the “clapometer’s” favour. Feeling betrayed, the Nightingale flies away and the Emperor banishes the insolent bird, to the great satisfaction of the Chamberlain. Several years later, as the porcelain from his palace is being seized and labelled, the Emperor lies dying in his lantern, watched night and day by surveillance cameras. Hearing the Emperor’s call, the Nightingale reappears. His incomparable song frees the Emperor from Death and places him back amongst his now recovered porcelain.

  • Agat Films
  • Dominique Barneaud
International seller Idéale audience international