If you haven't had a phase in your life where you dressed entirely in black, studied German literature, only saw foreign films (preferably in black and white), danced to Kraftwerk (and their ilk) exclusively, or dabbled in homosexuality... then the following probably won't be of interest to you.
Otherwise, read on, Dieters!
PET SHOP BOYS AND EISENSTEIN'S BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN
Free concert and screening in Trafalgar Square
Sunday 12 September, 8.30pm (time tbc)
In an extraordinary encounter, the Pet Shop Boys will perform live their new soundtrack to a screening of Sergei Eisenstein's magisterial film Battleship Potemkin, in Trafalgar Square, on the evening of September 12, as one of the highlights in the Trafalgar Square Summer 2004 Programme.
Staged in the home of British political dissent, this event combines past and present, music, performance and film, art and politics, London and Europe, into a free event for the people of London.
At the heart of the event is the principle of collaboration - the event has been produced by the ICA which since its beginnings has wanted to mix up the arts with each other and the wider culture. And, on September 12, the Pet Shop Boys will collaborate with the 26 strong Dresden Sinfoniker and with Simon McBurney of Complicité, who will stage the event.
Eisenstein's 1925 film is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of twentieth century culture - a cinematically revolutionary account of a revolt by sailors in 1904. It has clearly been a major influence on film-makers but has also shaped the work of visual artists: Francis Bacon spoke of being haunted by the screaming mouth in the film and using that inspiration in his own work.
In a work of extraordinary re-imagining, the Pet Shop Boys have written a soundtrack that gives the film a new life for Britain in 2004 - and takes account of the powerful symbolism of Trafalgar Square, a place simultaneously of dissent and celebration. For the Pet Shop Boys, one the great English groups of the last twenty years, this soundtrack gathers together their past work and moves it on in unexpected ways. Best known for their witty, sensuous and powerful songs of urban life, and for their experimental work with filmmakers and artists of all sorts, this soundtrack confirms their status as innovators - it's a characteristic leap into the unknown.
Philip Dodd, ICA Director: "The ICA has always been, on principle, an untidy place - mixing art forms and letting the wider culture and politics into all of its activities - the Pet Shop Boys/Battleship Potemkin event honours that untidiness. I'm deeply grateful to the Pet Shop Boys and to all the event's collaborators for their immediate recognition that Trafalgar Square is THE place for re-imagining the past in terms of the needs of the present"
Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe: "It's wonderful to be given the opportunity to write a complete soundtrack to this classic film and then to perform it as a free concert in the heart of London. The music is a combination of electronics and strings and, although mainly instrumental, includes three new songs."
The orchestrations are by the acclaimed young German composer Torsten Rasch whose work, "Mein Herz Brennt", based on the music of the rock band Rammstein, received a triumphant reception at its premiere last autumn and has since become a best-selling CD in Germany and the USA.
When there is so much talk of Europe, this event will truly be European - stretching from Russia, through Dresden to London.
Pet Shop Boys and Battleship Potemkin is one of more than twenty events being organised as part of the Trafalgar Square Summer 2004 programme. It is the fourth annual programme of free events organised by the Mayor of London - aimed at Londoners and visitors to the capital. Following the square's award-winning refurbishment, the 2003 programme attracted over 100,000 people.