On 6 February there is a screening of I Do Not Want to Smoke, a fascinating short film by Steven Sheil. Towards the end of last year I composed a solo piano score for the film, which is based on a Soviet script, published in 1936 but never produced.
The unprecedented ‘war on smoking’ unleashed in early Soviet Russia combined anti-tobacco propaganda with innovative cessation therapies. One of the most distinctive methods developed by the Soviet state to combat smoking and cultivate healthy habits and behaviours was film hypnotherapy.
I Do Not Want to Smoke brings to life one of the world’s first experiments in using the cinema as a means of psychotherapeutic treatment. The film showcases the techniques used to educate the public about the dangers of nicotine and to impart mass suggestions about smoking cessation.
Funded by the Wellcome Trust, I Do Not Want to Smoke sheds light on the intersection between cinematic technology, medicine, and programmes of mind/body transformation.
Steven produced & directed IDNWTS with Dr Anna Toropova, a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, who will introduce it in Bristol as part of a project called Life Of Breath.
6 February 2020, 5.30 PM – 6 February 2020, 6.30 PM, Room G5, 3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB
I recently scored a new short film, I do not Want to Smoke, by filmmaker Steven Sheil, who worked with medical historian Anna Toropova from the University of Nottingham on the script. This fascinating Welcome Trust funded film is based on a script for a Russian medical film from the 1930s which was initially intended to show how hypnosis could be used to cure people from the urge to smoke.
The film called for solo piano music for its score, which ranged from minimalist to Russian nationalist influenced. I asked the fantastic Kamilla Arku to record the piano part.