Exactly one hour before the audience arrives, Super Night Shot begins. Four performers take to the streets armed with video cameras and embark on a set of comic and fantastical adventures that celebrate unexpected encounters with strangers. Once the 60 minutes are up, they return to the theatre, to a rousing hero’s welcome, and the footage is mixed live into a film.
For two nights only, New Haven will become the set of Super Night Shot, as Gob Squad transforms the banality of everyday life into the glamour and glitz of a big-screen blockbuster. Moving, funny, and completely unpredictable, in Super Night Shot anything can happen—and usually does.
Gob Squad is an internationally acclaimed arts collective from the UK and Germany. Since 1994, the company’s seven members have been devising, directing, and performing pieces around the globe. In their work, they search for new ways to combine media and performance—producing stage shows, video installations, radio plays, interactive live films, and urban interventions that find beauty amidst the mundane. Over 200 unique productions of Super Night Shot have been created since it premiered in 2003.
Running time: approximately 60 minutes.
Q&A sessions with the company will be held immediately following both performances.
The film begins exactly one hour before you come to watch it when the four performer/activists meet, arm themselves with their video cameras, and start them simultaneously. With their watches synchronized, they state their manifesto with military precision:
“Each of us is just one in a million, easy to replace and easy to forget in a city that doesn’t really need us. But don’t worry. We’re going to change all that. We’ve got a plan. This city will need us, and this film will be our witness.”
Embarking on a “war on anonymity,” they set off into the night on an adventure where only one thing is certain: in 60 minutes, they will meet again and present what they have filmed to the waiting audience. The city becomes a film set—a place where cigarette butts, graffiti, cars, and buildings become props and facades, and every passerby is a potential extra, friend, lover, or liberator. Working under the constraints of the time limit (the length of their video tapes), the group sets out to capture a great moment of emotion, passion, and liberation on camera and bring it back to the waiting audience who themselves take part in the final scene, a heroes’ welcome. Once the tapes have rewound, performers and audience watch the results together. The sound is mixed live and scored with elements from film soundtracks. The result is an experience halfway between theatre and film that comments on our relationship to the urban environment. A movie that is both fantastical and documentary, that is at the same time a product and a process, both a “making of” and the thing itself.
Super Night Shot is Gob Squad’s most widely toured production, with nearly 200 unique presentations since the project’s inception in 2003, each one shot and screened only once in the host city. The piece has been performed in four languages on six continents and is still as fresh, dangerous, and exciting as the day the four performer/activists first stepped onto the icy streets of Berlin in order wage their “war on anonymity.”
Over the years, the film’s hero (a role rotated amongst Gob Squad’s performers) has done his/her best to solve all the problems thrown at him/her. In Siberia, the hero was asked to bring warmth to the city and melt the snow; in Brazil, the hero bridged the gap between rich and poor and helped raise money for a homeless woman to buy milk for her baby. In London, the hero gave some instant marriage guidance to quarrelling pensioners. In Bangalore, the hero provided security for a market trader; during a recent mission in the company’s home town of Berlin, the hero helped some confused shoppers assemble their new Ikea shelves.
Photo by Gob Squad.
Root Boy Slim Fund
Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. We bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.