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Arcade Fire At TIFF: Indie Group To Score Marcel Dzama's 'A Jester's Dance'

Surprise! New Arcade Fire Material Debuts At TIFF
Arcade Fire performs during the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Arcade Fire performs during the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

By now we all know that the video for Reflektor, the first single from Arcade Fire’s forthcoming album, will be premiering Monday at 9pm, but that’s not the only new material from the indie rock titans that will receive its debut this month.

"Un Danse des buffons" (also known as "A Jester’s Dance"), an experimental silent film by Marcel Dzama that’s running as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Future Projections programme, boasts a completely original score written and performed by members of the band. The Canadian-born and New York-based Dzama, a long-term Arcade Fire friend and collaborator (he was also the concept artist for "Scenes From The Suburbs" and directed an animated promo for "The Suburbs"), recruited his compatriots for the piece when he ran into drummer Jeremy Gara this past summer.

“Jeremy was in town mixing the new album, and I was just telling him about this film that I was doing,” Dzama tells The Huffington Post about the project. “And he was really into the idea.”

When Will Butler arrived in town on vacation, the pair recruited him and holed themselves up in a studio owned by fellow indie heavyweights The National to work on the kind of strange instrumental tracks that the film required.

“We actually went into their studio and recorded a few songs there. That was really fun. And then Jeremy and Tim [Kingsbury, Arcade Fire bassist] added guitar and drums and other sounds to it,” says Dzama. “That was only a few songs that Will and I did. The better songs were just the three of them,” he admits with a laugh.

Adding to the already impressive indie cred of Dzama’s film is an appearance by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth fame, who plays a star-crossed lover thrown into a series of bizarre situations. Dzama has known the legendary art rocker for a number of years now, but only recently worked up the nerve to ask her to work with him. “When this project came along, I thought maybe she’d be interested and I asked her and she surprisingly said yes. So I was very happy,” he says.

The artist couldn’t quite work up the guts to ask Gordon to contribute to the soundtrack, though. “There was actually a scene where I was going to have Kim sing a disco song in it. We made this whole disco song that was really great, but I got shy about asking Kim to sing,” he admits. “So then I didn’t put that part in the film.”

“Un Danse des buffons,” in all of its indie rock-tinged glory, is running as part of David Cronenberg: Transformations, a series of films and installations inspired by the work of the twisted and brilliant Canadian director.

David Cronenberg: Transformations is premiering in TIFF’s Future Projections programmed and will continue to run until December 29 as part of The Cronenberg Project at MOCCA. For more information, head here

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