Read my conversation with this talented curator and programmer. Chi-hui Yang was the guest curator of this year's Robert Flaherty Film Seminar at Colgate University in upstate New York. I got to attend for the first time and was absolutely floored by Yang's program. Click here to go to the site.
I've met Quinn several times at festivals and he always has a kind word and that Zen Buddha smile for everyone. I always liked watching his face when he was eavesdropping on all the rabid arguments and passionate conversations about nonfiction film on the shuttle between the hotel and downtown Durham at Full Frame. He always looked delighted that this art form continues to bring new waves of fresh talent to the field, and would listen carefully and considerately to everyone's point of view.
Read Crafting Stories That Promote Social Change: Reflections from Gordon Quinn by Rebecca Parrish here.
This Monday, the 18th, closes out the outdoor film series at the McCarren Park pool in Williamsburg. Force Theory has just put the finishing touches on the music and sound design on Cheryl Furjanic's nonfiction film Sync or Swim--an appropriate flick for an Olympic summer. This is the film's New York premiere (it last played in Maryland at Silverdocs). The fabulous Ionic Furjanic will be DJ'ing a set at 6:00 before the screening at 8:00. Like a beach party without the sand. Be sure to bring a chair and/or blanket--the pool floor's not very forgiving on the tush.
Then, on Friday, August 22nd, one of my favorite films from this year's festival season is slated for the Rooftop Films series. Joshua Weinstein's wonderful Flying On One Engine is also having its New York premiere at 50 Bedford (also in Williamsburg). You can buy tickets by clicking here. There will be live music at 8:00, followed by the film program and then, from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., there'll be an open bar afterparty at Matchless.
Filmed in New York and India, Flying tells the story of an extraordinary man and he is one of the most unique subjects I've encountered in a nonfiction film. Weinstein's first film, clocking in at an economical 52 minutes, is a rare treat, beautifully edited by Hemal Trivedi. The subject, Dr. Dicksheet, and members of his medical team, will be at the screening.
There's a new blog on the block called Docs That Rock. Warren Cohen (that's him with Beyoncé, circa 2003) focuses on nonfiction music and concert films. He also writes about music in documentaries, something I've become virulent about lately, for some reason. Mostly, I think, because people score their nonfiction pieces so shoddily.
His day job is as a VH1 producer, commissioning and acquiring nonfiction fare for the channel's Emmy-winning "Rock Doc" series. Welcome to the blogosphere, Mr. Cohen.
An official selection of over 25 international festivals and winner of Audience Awards at South by Southwest (where it had its debut), the New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival and the San Diego Film Festival, Inside the Circle has traveled the globe to play to many, many appreciative audiences. Director, Marcy Garriott's second feature nonfiction film is a beauty--a high impact story of boyhood friendship, rivalry and transcendence through dance. Produced, directed, shot and edited by Garriott, Inside the Circle tells the story of a home-grown hip hop movement out of rural Texas and follows three b-boys, Josh and Omar, former best friends turned rivals, and visionary street dancer, Romeo Navarro, creator and director of the "B-Boy City" competitions.
I saw the film and met its director when it played here in New York City last year as part of a dance film series at Lincoln Center. I also have a wonderful conversation with Garriott right here on this very blog--click here to read it. You can order the DVD now on Amazon (click on box to the right), on the Cinema Libre web site, the film's distributor, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble. The extras on the DVD include "B-Boy City" highlights (shot by Garriott), CROS1: Freestylin' It, and the film's electrifying trailer (which you can also view here).
August 8 - 14 brings the 12th Annual DocuWeek to New York, presented by the International Documentary Association. There are two programs at two different theaters, showcasing some of the best nonfiction theatrical fare. In fact, it's a rare chance to see these films in a cinema.
Screening at the Village East Cinema will be Glass: A portrait of Philip in twelve parts; The Matador; Of Time and the City; Project Kashmir; Fire Under the Snow; War Child; The Betrayal (Nerakhoon); An Unlikely Weapon; FLOW; The Forgotten Woman; and, Yodok Stories.
Screening at the IFC Center will be Pray the Devil Back to Hell; Dear Zachary: a letter to a son about his father; and, Spirit of the Marathon.
Go here for a full schedule and more info on these films. You can also read Q&As with some of the filmmakers, and watch selected trailers.
If I watch one more documentary in which the filmmaker tells us that s/he had no idea that her/his journey to wherever would also lead to a "journey of self-discovery," I'm going to scream and break a piece of furniture.
May I ask a favor of people out there making films? If you're making a film, ostensibly, about something else besides yourself, can you please refrain from narrating your life's story over the entire soundtrack and appearing on camera next to your subjects? I'd appreciate that. Thanks. If you want a film role, take acting lessons, get some headshots taken and hire an agent.
Jennifer Venditti's stunning debut feature is now available to order through Amazon, and the disc has lots of very, very cool extras. You can pre-order your copy of this multiple award-winner by clicking here, or on the Amazon box to the right. (Venditti, pictured left, in March, holding her Cinema Eye Honor for Best Debut Feature.)
Special goodies include a new anamorphic master created from hi-def elements and enhanced for wide-screen TVs; audio commentary by Venditti and actor Ryan Gosling; a new short by Venditti entitled Pieces That Don't Fit; a director interview (if you want to read mine from last year with this talented woman, click on the link to the right under Filmmaker Interviews); music selections from the film's excellent soundtrack, plus bonus tracks; the US theatrical trailer; a new essay by Miranda July (love that woman!); and snazzy packaging. Definitely one for the library.