THE DIARIES OF VASLAV NIJINSKY

2001 / 90 min. / 35 mm / Documentary

 

Director:  Paul Cox

Producers:  Paul Cox, Anna Whitehead

Executive Producers:  William T. Marshall, Kevin Lucas

Screenplay:  Paul Cox based on the ‘Cahiers’ by Vaslav Nijinsky,

Camera:  Paul Cox, Hans Sonneveld

Sound: James Currie, Craig Carter

Choreographer:  Laid Chase

Costumes:  Jilly Hickey

Original Music:  Paul Grabowsky

Editor:  Paul Cox

Cast:  Delia Sylvan, Chris Haywood, Vicki Attard, David McAllister, Leigh Warren and Dancers Dance Company

Voice:  Sir Derek Jacobi

THE DIARIES OF VASLAV NIJINSKY Awards

2003:  Montréal Int. Festival of Films on Art - Jury Prize

THE DIARIES OF VASLAV NIJINSKY is a film very much in the same tradition as ‘Vincent-The Life and Death of Vincent van Gogh’ using the words from his diary and the many existing images from the Ballet Russe.  In this film however, the camera ‘dances’ and explores what it feels like to be a dancer, from Nijinsky’s point of view.  We follow the mind of a genius as he releases his delicate hold upon reality, and staggers along the outer verge of reason towards the end.

 

Vaslav Nijinsky was probably the greatest dancer of all time – the God of the Dance – and his diary was one of the most extraordinary and moving books ever written.

 

‘Cashiers’, the diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky were written in 1918-19 in St Moritz, where Nijinsky had retired, suffering extreme mental agony, in an attempt to escape the shadow of Diaghilev – the man who made him a dancer, and broke him as a coherent personality.  It is amazing that, grappling with insanity, Nijinsky was able to communicate his feelings so lucidly.  Like van Gogh’s letters, his diary is a rare and precious document.

 

Van Gogh said “there’s nothing more artistic than to love people”.  Nijinsky said, “...my madness is my love for mankind...”, both were seekers of ”that while light”, both wanted nothing but the truth.

New York Observer - Andrew Sarris - 2002

“I've never seen or heard anything quite like this film, and I recommend it for its originality alone.”

 

New York Times - Stephen Holden - 2002

“Mr. Jacobi's recitation is illustrated with a rush of sensuous nature imagery, beautifully photographed by Mr Cox and Hans Sonneveld and underscored with a lush soundtrack by Paul Grabowsky.”