Some of the adaptations are bound to be more successful than others. Part of Sunday's "The Culture of Man" lineup, Enter Achilles -- DV8 Physical Theater's tale of a band of young men who frequent a bar called "The Plough" -- is an astonishing display of dance technique combined with a statement about homophobia. The group of dancers toss cigarettes and bar glasses while making lewd gestures at invisible women outside. Their camaraderie is busted up when a newcomer arrives, dancing in a way that makes the homoeroticism in their tomfoolery evident. The film is full of hilarious perversity, beautiful imagery, and music like a night on the jukebox at Jimmy Woo's.
Also of note is Laura Taler's The Village Trilogy, part of Saturday's "Exterior Space, Interior Life" program. The first short opens with Taler herself dancing through a desolate warehouse dressed in a huge overcoat. She shuffles and mopes like a little kid lost in an imaginary game. The black-and-white cinematography here is lush and swooping; it's a gorgeous match to the dancing. The second of the Village Trilogy is a heart-rending story of two separated brothers discovering their relationship, fluttering hands in a forest. Taler's Bergman-like dance sensibility plays sentimentally true in these shorts.