The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky

  • 95'
  • Australia
  • 2001
At the end of 1917 Vaslav Nijinsky and his wife Romola and their daughter Kyra were in St. Moritz, waiting for the end of the war. The famous dancer was no longer working for Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes and really had nowhere to turn. A year later he had a nervous breakdown. He kept a record of the battle he started to fight in a diary.Almost fifteen years after Cox' famous film portrait of Van Gogh (Vincent), he returns to a theme very close to his heart: the artist who has to balance on the edge. His filming of Nijinsky's diaries is a real labour of love: Cox worked on and off for dozens of years on the film.The diary fragments are narrated beautifully in the film by Sir Derek Jacobi. Cox is very inventive in finding images to match the words. The film alternates between poetic, almost abstract images of nature, settings of Nijinsky's choreographies in the open air, fragments from his family life and historic images. Nijinsky emerges in the film as a complex character, an apolitical yet profound thinker who suddenly feels very close to God, albeit in a pantheistic way. His thoughts on Diaghilev, Nietzsche and Christ are juxtaposed with ideas about eating meat and masturbation and thoughts of his wife and daughter. Cox' film is an ode to life, music, dance and, in the end, film.
Director
Paul Cox
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
Australia
Production Year
2001
Festival Edition
IFFR 2002
Length
95'
Medium
35mm
Language
English
Producers
Illumination Films, Music Arts Dance Films
Sales
Winstar TV + Video
Screenplay
Paul Cox
Cinematography
Paul Cox
Editor
Paul Cox