Cowards Bend The Knee

Originally conceived of and presented as a peephole show, Cowards Bend The Knee’s ten chapters concoct an alternative cinematic biography for director Guy Maddin, torn between the influence of his hockey star father and his attraction to Meta, the beautiful girl from the local beauty salon / illegal abortion clinic. Ela Orleans brand-new soundtrack follows her new scores for Frank Borzage’s Lucky Star, Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr and Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures.

“This wild, gorgeous and almost insane new score by Ela Orleans has completely reinvented Cowards. She understood at musical levels the depths of shame, heights of hysteria, and quivering viscous ick I felt while shooting it; she drew out from the film every dark strand of soiled soul unravelling within and hung it in a new moonbeam for all the appalled to see.” Guy Maddin

Journalist Brian Beadie first proposed Matchbox’s team-up with Ela Orleans, to commission our first ever live score, for Guy Maddin’s Cowards Bend The Knee (2003). Ela’s incredible new work was first performed at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, as part of the Scalarama 2017 programme.

Ela Orleans interview (Scalarama)

Guy Maddin interview (Scalarama)

Ela performs Cowards Bend The Knee at Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival, Hawick, on Sunday 06/05/2018. Full details and ticket link here.

If you’d like to book a UK screening of Cowards Bend the Knee with Ela Orleans live score, email us for details/terms:

Matchbox Cineclub poster by Marc Baines.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.