The singer Ellie James, a young French woman from Rennes in Brittany, presented her four part show, Lumières! It is her first solo show and was part of the Adelaide French Festival this weekend, and was a success.
Called “Lumières!” it is a show and cine-concert for which Ellie James plays the sound track that she has written and created for four short films live.
The short films have light as their theme. In the first, we see a wolf who walks about with the moon.
The second of the short films, and my favourite, is about a man who works in a globe factory who dreams of creating his own lamp so as to discover the world and observe the sky.
The third short film “Un trop petit prince” (The pipsqueak prince) is about a person with OCD for cleaning. He is so obsessed with cleaning that he takes it upon himself to clean the sun. At the end of the short film we understand that it is our world which has created these dirty marks on the sun and the stars. A metaphor which shows society’s troubling obsessions which are incompatible with reality…
In the fourth and final of the short films, we see how the interaction between a squirrel and a bat, of which the squirrel is scared, can symbolise the battle between night and day.
Ellie James explains to us during the show that “spectacles vivants” (living shows) are in fashion in France and cine-concerts are happening more and more. She is a talented musician using a variety of instruments: a hangdrum, a kooldrum, as well as the looper which allows her to make many different sounds at the same time during her show “Lumières!”
The show is appropriate for all ages. Around us, children were rapt with the short films and were intrigued by Ellie’s drumsticks which lit up in blue.
Her melodic voice lulls us while also guiding us as narrator of the films. She speaks with a very soft voice, which puts everyone at ease. At the same time, Ellie encourages people to participate in this living show.
If you have the chance to see “Lumières!” somewhere around the world, I recommend that you go and spend an hour in the world that Ellie James has created.
You can also read our interview with Ellie James here.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of the Adelaide French Festival.