Entries tagged with: documentaries
by Ian Chainey
GWAR at the Housecore Horror Fest in Austin, 2013 (more by Trent Maxwell)
Style Weekly dug deeply into GWAR this week and for good reason: the band have had a year like few others. Certainly, the sad news of Dave Brockie's passing will be the lasting memory for many, but after their downs, GWAR also had their ups. They've released a mountain of atypical merch and marketing ideas -- some good, some not so much. They're going back out on the road with Decapitated, Corrosion of Conformity, and American Sharks. When they've played Oderus-less, they've looked in good form. And now there's going to be a GWAR documentary.
The nine minute trailer for Let There Be GWAR details the band's beginnings, showing how frustrated art school castaways built a band to fit their fantasies. It's actually a rather inspiring story and a clever piece of cinema, utilizing a picture-in-picture talking head technique to great effect. Of course, GWAR aren't just any band, but their origins are similar to other lifers that keep on doing it out of love. If you've winced at their recent capitalistic streak, it's a nice palette cleanser. A date and other release information for the Don Drakulich-directed documentary hasn't made the rounds yet, but you can watch the full nine minute trailer below.
Speaking of GWAR-related documentaries, you can catch them in Riot on the Dance Floor, the new film about Trenton, NJ rock club City Gardens, which makes its BV-presented NYC premiere TONIGHT (8/28).
Let There Be GWAR trailer below...
Memphis indie legends The Grifters just announced and played their first shows in 17 years. Coming off the heels of a last minute hometown reunion show in November 2013, they'll be playing NYC shows at Glasslands on November 7 and Mercury Lounge on November 8. Tickets for the Glasslands show are on sale now. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show will go on AmEx presale Wednesday (8/20) and on sale to the general public Friday (8/22).
The NYC shows will mark the 20th anniversary of their album Crappin You Negative, and are in addition to playing Gonerfest in Memphis on September 25. No other dates have been announced, but hopefully this means they'll be playing more shows in the coming months.
What caused the band to reunite now? It was a documentary actually...
Directors Robert Allen Parker and Nan Hackman's biggest coup may have been convincing local indie-rock godfathers the Grifters to reunite after more than a decade of inactivity. The band was both one of Memphis' biggest local draws and most successful exports of the 1990s, releasing several LPs, EPs, and singles (the 1994 full-length Crappin' You Negative received rave reviews from publications like Rolling Stone and Spin) and touring extensively until around 2000, when exhaustion and the emergence of new projects and opportunities led the Grifters to slow things down and ultimately disband. [Memphis Flyer]Check out the trailer of the documentary, produced for the Memphis Film Festival, which features some cool live footage, below.
City Gardens DJ/promoter Randy Now
The long-in-the-works documentary about storied Jersey punk/metal club City Gardens, titled Riot On the Dance Floor, is now finished and has been shown at a few festivals so far. Would you like to see it? BrooklynVegan and Rocks Off are pairing up for the NYC premiere of the film, happening Thursday, August 28 at AMC Loews Village 7 in the East Village. We're also hosting a post-screening Q&A with Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Sim Cain (Rollins Band), Director Steve Tozzi and more TBA. UPDATE: John Joseph (Cro-Mags) and Howie Abrams (co-founder of In-Effect Records) added to Q&A.
The event doubles as a benefit for the film -- which was funded by Kickstarter -- and starts at 8 PM. $10 tickets are on sale now.
After the film join us for the afterparty at Bowery Electric. Gibby Haynes will be DJing (and more details TBA).
Screening flyer below...
The National @ Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
If you haven't seen the National documentary 'Mistaken For Strangers' yet, July 7 is your chance when it screens for $5.00 at City Winery in NYC (try not to drink all the wine... because then you won't remember the movie!). One night earlier City Winery is screening a documentary about one of The National's favorite bands, the Grateful Dead. That one is free (don't take the brown acid).
The National movie recently opened across Europe where The National will be touring next week. All dates are listed below, even the ones they cancelled in Russka and Ukraine. In April they announced:
Due to the ongoing political crisis in the region, we are sad to report that we have decided to cancel our shows in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev this summer. Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase. We remain hopeful of coming to play for you in the future and we sincerely hope this current instability resolves in a positive, democratic and peaceful way. Take care of yourselves and we hope to see you soon.They'll see the U.S. again in August whtn they play a series of festival dates including Made in America in Philly, Boston Calling in Boston, and Riot Fest in Chicago and Toronto. Their most recent NYC shows were in Prospect Park for three nights in a row. We also caught them this year at Sasquatch, in Austin, and in Chicago.
by Ian Chainey
King Buzzo at Housecore Horror Film Festival, 2013 (More by Trent Maxwell)
Richard "King Buzzo" Osborne, frontman/guitarist for the Melvins is now streaming his new solo outing, This Machine Kills Artists, in full. The record (not to be confused with the new Scion AV split with Tweak Bird) is a departure from his recognizable stew of slow sludge, booming doom, and Kiss-riffs twisted into a nightmare. Instead of punk distortion overload, This Machine is simply Buzz and an acoustic guitar, recorded straight to tape, string rattle and all. It will be released by Ipecac on June 3. Then, Buzzo will hit the road for a long tour.
That said, it would be a mistake to think This Machine lacks heft. While opener "Dark Brown Teeth" is a Richie Havens-esque strummer containing beautiful, haunting singing pulled from '70s power pop, there are long passages where the collection gets unnervingly dark. When I caught Buzzo at the Scion Rock Fest, I was surprised by the force of his impact. I wrote:
He yelled, growled; hammering the same gut-bucket progression past flushness. His grey hair spun out in spirals, whipping the air. He was Woody Guthrie in a nightmare. The audience watched reverently.It was but a man and his guitar, but his charisma, keen sense of melody, and focus kept a crowd of antsy metalheads facing the stage during his set. This Machine isn't any different. Its sub-three minute songs, while raw, are full of surprises.
In related news, after a Kickstarter campaign dating back at least two years, The Color of Noise, the documentary tracking the history of Amphetamine Reptile Records will be seeing a debut shortly. Began by Tom Hazelmyer in 1986, the Minneapolis label catered to the burgeoning noise rock scene, releasing records by Melvins, the Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Tar, Today is the Day, and many, many more that have achieved a cult following. Its legacy lives on today, influencing third and fourth waves of noisy bands best described as having that 'AmRep' sound. The film will premiere May 30 at Third Man Records in Nashville, Tennessee and features many talking heads ranging from Steve Austin, Derek Hess, John Stainer, and, yep, King Buzzo.
Ad-Rock and Champagne Jerry
Kathleen Hanna isn't feeling well, so her husband Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock will be filling in for her as DJ at MoMA's Pop Rally event tonight (11/21). Kim Gordon's group Body/Head also performs and tickets are still on sale.
You can still catch Kathleen soon though, but on the big screen, when "The Punk Singer" opens in theaters on 11/29 (maybe you caught the documentary as part of Doc NYC). Ad-Rock is also featured prominently in the film, and even filmed a scene.
It's not all DJing, movies and bass playing for Ad-Rock these days though. The former Beastie Boy reportedly also raps a few verses on a forthcoming track called "Yo Kev" that he co-wrote with rapper and performance artist Champagne Jerry who he has been collaborating with lately.
"CHAMPAGNE JERRY also known as Neal Medlyn is, by far, the greatest rapper in the world. He likes snacks, books, sexual intercourse, and rhyming."If you don't know, now you know. Listen to "Tampa Realness" below - the track "was written by Champagne Jerry (lyrics) and Adam Ad Rock Horovitz (music) with additional production and mixing by Max Tannone. It is dedicated to the city of Tampa and all things neon, Four Loko, and teal. Adam wrote the beat on a plane to Hawaii, CJ wrote the lyrics on a bus in Brooklyn." Stay tuned for "Yo Kev".
"Tampa Realness" and "Yo Kev" will appear on Champagne Jerry's album For Real You Guys which is being rolled out one single at a time, and one monthly show in NYC at Joe's Pub at a time. The next show is December 7th and Ad-rock will be in the house, like he has been for many intimate shows at Joe's Pub in the past, sometimes with Bridget Everett who is also a Champagne Jerry collaborator, as is Carmine Covelli (who is in both Kathleen Hanna's band The Julie Ruin and Bridget Everett's band the Tender Moments) and Max Tannone (whose credits include Jaydiohead).
Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments next play Joe's Pub on 12/11 and 12/12.
Champagne Jerry music and videos below....
Much earlier this year mentioned that The Residents were celebrating their 40th anniversary with a $100,000 box set packaged in a 28 cubic-foot refrigerator. NBC Bay Area now reports that one has been delivered to a happy buyer whose transaction will also appear in a forthcoming docyumentary...
Last September, Cryptic Corporation Vice President Homer Flynn announced the sale of the first Ultimate Box Set to a man named Tripmonster from Bloomington, Ind. In a video press release, Flynn also said the delivery would be shot as part of a documentary called, "Theory of Obscurity," about the 40+ year history of The Residents.Box set related videos and documentary trailer below...
Acting as the managers for The Residents, The Cryptic Corporation has handled all press, business dealings and public interactions during the majority of the group's career, providing the members of The Residents with an impressive level of anonymity.
"For The Residents, the delivery of their Ultimate Box Set was both a profound and satisfying experience," Flynn said. "The expression of joy on the face of Tripmonster, as he held Mr. Green, the eyeball mask from his UBS, was worth every minute of their 40-year existence."...
Before you head out to the Grand Theft Auto music events happening as part of the ongoing New York Film Festival tonight (9/30), here's a bit more about the films I've seen so far this festival:
Some films that did not do much for me:
When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism by the Romanian director Corneliu Poumbou -- This was another film about film and the making of a film. It features very long static shots, a trend of the Romanian New Wave of film going on today, of which this director is part of. In fact the whole film is only about 20 takes but did not connect with me at all. loved his last film Police, Adjective though.
Jimmy P Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian --- This one stars Benecio Del Toro and was directed by the French director Arnaud Desplechin whose 2004 film Kings & Queens was one of the best I saw that year. Based on a true story, it is just what the title states, a case study of the psychotherapy of a Native American ex soldier after WWII. Very well acted by both Del Toro and French actor Mathieu Amalric, but it was a completely unremarkable film to me. Another critic put it best to me. This would have been great if it was a PBS American Playhouse production.
The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh was loved by a number of people I saw it with. It is told with the use of both newsreel footage and clay figurines. It's a pretty harrowing story of the Khmer Rouge and their deadly atrocities in Cambodia and the direct affect on Panh, the only survivor of his family who all died in the refugee camps. While striking in content, I could not find my way in to it.
Finally, there were 3 fascinating documentaries I saw:
The time has come for the Rocks Off Film Festival at the Kraine Theater in NYC with films about Charles Bradley, the Cockney Rejects, Drivin N Cryin, Slade, Pentagram, Jason Becker and more. Check the schedule.
Speaking of films, thanks to all who came out to our free screening of Crystal Fairy which is also in theaters tonight. Hopefully you enjoyed the movie and weren't upset by the lack of Michael Cera's penis.
Rocks Off is spreading its wings beyond the high seas and live shows, and into the film world by announcing the "only film fest in the world focused on what we all know and love, rock n' roll music!" The Rocks Off Film Festival happens July 12 - 14 at "the deliciously derelict" Kraine Theatre in the East Village. Amongst the screenings are films like Pentagram doc, Last Days Here, East End Babylon (about punks Cockney Rejects), Charles Bradley: Soul of America, and many others.
Visit the film fest's site for tickets. Line-up/Schedule and flyer below...
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early '70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death's music - and band name - too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers.A Band Called Death opens June 28 in limited release around the country, including NYC's Cinema Village (tickets) and then at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg and MIST Harlem Cinema starting July 5. Check out the full list of cities and theaters below.
You don't have to wait that long to see it, though. BrooklynVegan is excited to be presenting a screening which will happen at Williamsburg Cinemas on June 20 at 10 PM, part of the Northside Film Festival. Our screening has limited FREE tickets but do note that a ticket does not guarantee entry. First come, first served, so come early with your ticket to make sure you get in. Limited Northside badges will also be let in. Hope to see you there!
Back in March, A Band Called Death screened at SXSW where the band played two shows, one of which was one of our day parties. As mentioned, Death will play here in NYC on July 1 at Le Poisson Rouge and tickets for that are still available.
A full list of current screening dates and a trailer for the film below...
Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm will open at Cinema Village on Friday, April 19 which is, sadly, the one-year anniversary of the legendary musician's passing. Synopsis:
Director Jacob Hatley's intimate documentary finds Mr. Helm at home in Woodstock, NY, in the midst of creating his first studio album in 25 years. Shot over the course of two-plus years, ...[the film] shows Helm dealing with the burdens of renewed celebrity, continuing financial obligation and returning health problems. The man known worldwide for his soulful voice, as well as his singular and unparalleled drumming and multi-instrumental skills, permitted a camera crew inside his home to show the world an intimate side of his art and life.Director Jacob Hatley and producer Mary Posatko will be around for post-screening Q&As at Cinema Village at the Friday (4/19) 7:10 PM showing, and the Saturday (4/20) 3:10 PM & 7:10 PM showings. Tickets are on sale now. The film will make it's way around the country after NYC. A list of cities and theater locations, as well as the trailer, is below.
Death at Europa in 2010 (more by Ben Lozovsky)
Long lost protopunk band Death, who made a return in 2009 when Drag City released their debut album and have been sticking around ever since, have gotten the documentary treatment. A Band Called Death, directed by Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett, was released in 2012 and it will be screening at SXSW this year (screening times are HERE).
The film description reads:
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was Death. Formed in the early '70s by three teenage brothers from Detroit, Death is credited as being the first black punk band, and the Hackney brothers, David, Bobby, and Dannis, are now considered pioneers in their field. But it wasn't until recently -- when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of Bobby's attic nearly 30 years after Death's heyday -- that anyone outside a small group of punk enthusiasts had even heard of them.Death themselves will also be at SXSW for a couple shows. They'll play at TenOak on Thursday (3/14) at 12:50 AM (so technically Friday), and earlier that day they'll play a BrooklynVegan day party, which happens at the old Emo's location, 603 Red River St. Death's set is a special early one at 1:30 PM on Thursday and the party is totally free. Rough Francis (aka Death's sons band) will also be at the BV party, playing right before them at 12:45.
Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family chronicle, the story of Death is one of brotherly love and fierce, divinely inspired expression.
A Band Called Death trailer and a stream of their track, "Politicians In My Eyes," below...
Meanwhile, a music video and a short documentary about the reunited band are in the works. The title of the doc, according to IMDB, is "10 Years of the Postal Service", and the one and only Tom Scharpling directed it, as he recently told Matt Pinfield:
"I shot two things with them," Scharpling says. "One is a mini-documentary, getting Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello to tell the story of how this weird band came together and how they were mailing each other CD-R's back and forth. It's a straight mini-doc thing that should be out shortly. The other is a funny video that takes place in 2002, that shows Jimmy auditioning potential lead singers for Postal Service. We got an amazing group of people to come through."Tom's videos are always the best, so we definitely can't wait to see that. Meanwhile check out the video Tom made for one of Ben's' solo tracks.
I'M NOW follows Mudhoney's 25-year career, from their early beginnings in the Pacific Northwest through the band's most recent world tour. Complete with testimonials from friends, music industry veterans, and musicians such as Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman, and the band themselves, the film is the ultimate document of one of the world's most influential and beloved rock bands. The film was directed by Ryan Short and Adam Pease.Mudhoney documentary I'm Now is out now and available for purchase or rent, details are at their site. Check out trailers and deleted scenes below.
Meanwhile, Mudhoney are prepping the release of Vanishing Point, the band's new LP due on April 2 via Sub Pop. Check out a song from the new LP for the price of an email address or stream it below. You can also check out Vanishing Point's track list, videos and tour dates that don't include NYC at the present time.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
The Salad Days documentary was celebrated over two days in Washington DC, when six hardcore bands of yesteryear reunited to play Black Cat on December 28 and 29. As discussed, the shows featured a reunion of Dag Nasty, along with appearances from Government Issue, Kingface, Black Market Baby, Youth Brigade and Scream. Check out video of all the bands below, including the full Dag Nasty appearance.
Also among the videos below are a pair of appearances from HR (of Bad Brains), who played the BB classic "Right Brigade" with Black Market Baby and "American Justice" with Scream, as well as apperances from Alec MacKaye (of The Faith) and John Stabb (of Government Issue) on a cover of "Steppin' Stone."
Koyaanisqatsi, also known as Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke.
The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. Reggio explains the lack of dialogue by stating "it's not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It's because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live." In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life". The film is the first in the Qatsi trilogy of films: it is followed by Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationship between humans, nature, and technology. Koyaanisqatsi is the best known of the trilogy and is considered a cult film. However, because of copyright issues, the film was out of print for most of the 1990s. [Wikipedia]
UPDATE: video removed at copyright holder's request.
Sound City Studios is a two-building complex in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, which houses sound stages. It was most notable for being the recording studio for albums such as Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Nirvana's Nevermind. The studio is operated since 1970 by the Skeeter family, with the first album to use the facilities being Neil Young's After the Gold Rush. Until the closure of the recording studios on May 2011, the Sound City was used by artists such as Tom Petty, REO Speedwagon, Rage Against the Machine, Johnny Cash, Metallica, and the last band to record there, Everclear. One of the mixing consoles was removed to make room for sound stages, and the mixing console is now owned by Dave Grohl, former Nirvana drummer and current leader of the Foo Fighters. -[Wiki]Dave Grohl will serve as a director for the documentary on Sound City, which will feature appearances from some of the biggest names in music, all of which recorded in the hallowed halls of the studio. The movie will make its premiere at Sundance in February and you can check out the trailer for the film below.
film producer Evan Kleinman and rapper Y-Love
Film director Jesse Zook Mann and producer Evan Kleinman made a new documentary Punk Jews, centered around Jewish artists in NYC, and it will make its world premiere in the city it takes place in on December 11 at JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave at 76th St). Tickets for the premiere are on sale now (there's an early show and a late show). The film description reads:
"Punk Jews" is an upcoming documentary film that follows an underground Jewish community expressing their identity in unconventional ways that challenge stereotypes and break down barriers. From Hassidic punk rockers to Yiddish street performers to African-American Jewish activists, "Punk Jews" shows an emerging movement in New York City of Jews asserting their Jewish identity, defying the norm, and doing so at any cost.You can watch the trailer for Punk Jews along with the premiere flyer below. The premiere happens during Hanukkah and is one of many upcoming Hanukkah events in NYC.
Its been one month since Frankenstorm Sandy struck the coast of the Northeast United States, leaving ruined homes and devastated communities in its wake. Its also been one month since Occupy Sandy leapt into the void left by government agencies and big NGO's to demonstrate the power, joy, and necessity of mutual aid. New York City will forever be changed by these events, as it should be. Now is the time to break the climate silence, and shine a light on the climate crimes that made Sandy inevitable.The guerilla film screening tonight (11/28) also includes "Super secret musical guests! Super secret popcorn! Super secret flashlight flash mob!" After the n to the, there is a free after-party at The Bell House tonight starting at 9 PM featuring "LIVE dance beats from DJ RiMix as well as surprise musical performances & more!" and will be accepting donations of heaters, warm socks, flashlights, canned food, diapers & baby formula.
Join academy-award nominated director [tonight, 11/28] Josh Fox (Gasland), Occupy Sandy Relief organizers, 350.0rg, The Other 98%, and The Illuminator for a Guerilla Premiere of Fox's new short film "Occupy Sandy: A Human Response to the New Realities of Climate Change," which viscerally shows the damage left behind by the storm, highlights the heroic grassroots efforts of Occupy activists, and draws the connections between the storm, climate change, and the reckless greed of the fossil fuel industry.
After the film, we will hear testimonials from victims of Hurricane Sandy, who themselves are now drawing these same connections. The time is long overdue for us all to make these connections, and to demand that our elected officials and the mainstream media do the same.
If you want to come, join our cell phone text loop by texting @climatecrime to 23559, or follow the hashtag #climatecrime on Twitter. We will keep you updated. What we can tell you now is to dress warm, bring hot beverages, be prepared to move and to be moved..." - [Occupy Sandy Relief NYC]
Check out the trailer for the Occupy Sandy movie and a video invite to the Bell House party below.
Trash Talk (more by Greg Cristman)
today in NYC
* Nass Gwana @ Zebulon
* Simon Amstell @ Theatre 80
* Ani DiFranco @ Town Hall
* Pedro Giraudo Sextet @ Barbes
* Louis C.K. @ St. George Theatre
* Bassnectar, GRiZ, Gladkill @ Terminal 5
* TRASH TALK, Mellowhype @ Gramercy Theatre
* Matt & Kim, Oberhofer @ The Wellmont Theatre
* Reagan Youth, Dust Angel @ The Grand Victory
* Dysrhythmia, Loincloth, Stats @ Public Assembly
* Mustard Plug, The Void Union @ Knitting Factory
* Said The Whale, The Tins, Andrew Keoghan @ Pianos
* Naomi Punk, Habibi, The Mallard, Noons @ Cake Shop
* Untold, Bryan Kasenic, Nihal Ramchandani @ 285 Kent
* Gary Wilson, Jan Teri, ZZZ's, Childproof, Aquadora @ XPO 929
* Ducktails, Scott & Charlenes Wedding @ 252 Norman Ave
* INC., Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes, Physical Therapy @ Steel Drums
* Matthew Dear, Light Asylum, Beacon, MNDR @ Webster Hall
* Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, The Stepkids @ Beacon Theatre
* Math the Band, Infinity Shred, The Eskalators, Saffire Doors @ Death By Audio
* Heart of Darkness Hosted By Greg Barris with Sean Patton, Nick Turner @ Union Hall
* Professor Blastoff Live w/ Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, David Huntsberger, more @ Bell House
* Real Estate, Vampire Weekend, Devendra Banhart, The Walkmen, Cass McCombs, Dirty Projectors @ St. Ann & The Holy Trinity (sold out Sandy benefit day show)
PS I Love You, who Bill just caught in Montreal, is at Glasslands tonight.
Antony's movie "Turning" is playing at IFC Center. The Mark Sandman of Morphine documentary 'Cure For Pain' is screening at Nighthawk today and Sunday at noon. Trailer below.
A$AP Rocky's NJ show at Starland Ballroom tonight is cancelled, like all Starland Ballroom shows right now.
Follow BrooklynVegan on instagram.
Sign up to volunteer at the Park Slope Armory shelter tonight or tomorrow.
Kembra Pfahler & Antony Hegarty
[Last night] at New York City's IFC Center, Antony Hegarty's long in-process Turning film finally began its American theatrical run, following the U.S. premiere last weekend at the DOC NYC festival.The film is playing now at IFC Center in NYC with tickets on sale for multiple screenings each day through 11/20, and special guests at select screenings. See IFC's site for more info, and head below for a clip and the trailer of the movie, and a list of upcmoming European screenings...
The film, a collaboration with Charles Atlas (The Legend of Leigh Bowery), documents the pair's 2006 European "Turning" tour, which featured Antony performing alongside large-scale projections of 13 models, who individually took the stage and slowly turned on circular platforms. It includes backstage clips and interviews with each of the models, many of whom are transgendered or grappling with issues of gender and sexuality. At the premiere, Antony said he hoped Turning would unveil the essence of its subjects' humanity. [Pitchfork]
photos by Gretchen Robinette
Staten Island after Sandy
We already posted some of Gretchen Robinette's pictures of Staten Island after Sandy. Here are some more. They're a reminder of how hard the borough got hit, a fact that not only needs to be remembered, but which needs to reach the right people. Like Obama maybe. The Staten Island Advance posted this letter to the president:
There would be no excuse.That said, I think they got their wish.
When President Obama comes to New York Thursday to view the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, his first stop must be the neighborhoods of Staten Island. Not Miller Field.
This borough is the scene of unspeakable devastation and personal tragedy. More than half of the city's storm victims -- 23 -- died here, and another Islander died in Lower Manhattan.
They were fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters -- and two young sons, ages 2 and 4.
Homes were lifted off foundations and deposited yards away, like pool toys. Other homes simply crumbled where they stood, or were smashed to bits by water and debris.
The wrecked remnants of houses, memories and lives line the streets, waiting to be taken away like trash. Some people are struggling to stay warm as they go on more than two weeks without electricity or heat. With 200 homes already declared structurally unsound and unsafe to enter, many here are homeless.
These people need help. They need their president.
Do please Mr. President, make Staten Island the centerpiece of your visit to this storm-weary city.
Speaking of Staten Island, let's not forget (maybe even remind the president who they'll be singing for next year), that it's home to the irresistible and talented kids of the P.S. 22 Chorus (the ones who recently covered Tame Impala). Luckily, as far as we've heard and can tell, the kids, chorus director Gregg Breinberg, and their families, all generally seemed to come out of the ordeal unscathed. Upon returning to school they recorded a version of "Chasing the Sun" by the Wanted, "the perfect choice with which to begin again after the unwanted hiatus." You can watch that below, but only after you vote for Once In a Lullaby in the Gotham Awards (they've already made it to the final round).
Check out a deleted scene from the film (starring Gregg and his parents), the Wanted cover video, and more of Gretchen's pictures, below...
City Gardens flyer from 1988
City Gardens was larger than a club (it held almost 1,100 people) and smaller than most theaters. During its time it hosted a multitude of live events that traversed the entertainment spectrum; everything from the comedy of Henny Youngman and Sam Kinison to the raging chaos of bands like The Butthole Surfers and The Exploited. Punk, Hardcore, New Wave, Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop, Ska, Reggae, Oi!, Industrial, Alternative, Funk, Goth... all these influences converged perfectly under the uncanny direction of Randy Now to form a perfect storm of seminal, historic moments. Over the course of a decade-and-a-half, City Gardens played an active part in the rise of bands like Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Sinead O'Connor, Green Day, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Joan Jett and dozens of others who went on to international success while, at the same time, providing a home for the music that never made it to commercial radio. The list of performers who graced the City Gardens stage is long and varied, and includes legends like The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Agnostic Front, The Circle Jerks, Cro-Mags, UK Subs, The Pogues, The Mentors, Joe Strummer, Fugazi, The Toasters, Dead Kennedys, Sham 69, Peter Murphy, Soundgarden, Slayer, Black Flag, The Bad Brains and literally hundreds more. These monumental shows are recalled by the people whose lives were indelibly touched and forever altered by the experience. The voice is given to the people: the bouncers, the stage managers, the sound techs, the bartenders (including former booze-slinger and current host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart); the roadies and, most importantly, the fans.The documentary Riot on The Dance Floor examines City Gardens and booker Randy Now, who hosted some of the most legendary bands of the era at the Trenton, NJ club. Funded via Kickstarter, look for the film to surface in 2013. Until then, check out some clips and a trailer for the film below.
We've all been there. Those big creative dreams we had when we were young fall prey to the practical concerns of student loans, rents, and families. Maybe we loved piano lessons as a kid but our father couldn't afford them. Maybe we fell in love with a sailor but our parents forbid us from seeing him. Maybe we went ahead and saw him anyways. And maybe when his ship sunk and he died, our mother told us: "what you refuse to give up yourself, God will take from you." After that, maybe we ran away to Iceland, where we worked odd jobs for many years until one day, at the tender age of 70, we rediscovered music.Documentary Grandma Lo-Fi will screen as part of Rooftop Films at The Old American Can Factory (232 Third St. at Third Avenue, Brooklyn) on Saturday, July 28. Tickets for that are still available. In addition to the screening, there will be a performance by Kira Kira which is actually Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, one of Grandma Lo-Fi's three directors. There is also a reception in the Can Factory courtyard following the screening with complimentary beverages.
Grandma Lo-Fi, the directorial debut of three Icelandic musicians, tells just such a story. The story of Sigríður Níelsdóttir, who recorded 600 songs in seven years, mixing together the sounds of household items, pets, found toys, and a Casio keyboard, achieving cult status among Icelandic musicians. One of her albums is all Cowboy songs, another has lyrics that are complete gibberish. Her passion and enthusiasm are infectious. Don't be surprised if by the end of the film you want to go out and get a Casio keyboard and hand-whisk and start recording homespun hits in your living room.
Shot mostly on Super-8 and 16mm film, Grandma Lo-Fi uses charming lo-fi animation and a delightfully quirky visual style to celebrate the life of a remarkable woman and her irrepressible creative drive.
In other Rooftop Films music documentary news, the PS 22 Chorus documentary Once in a Lullaby will screen for free at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George (home of the Staten Island Yankees) in PS 22's home borough of Staten Island on August 14. (More info here.)
If you haven't heard about this film about internet sensations and Oscar performers -- a big hit at the Tribeca Film Festival (where it premiered) -- here's the synopsis:
Public School 22 in NYC has more than just an amazing chorus, they have an amazing story. These 5th graders went from performing in their school auditorium on Staten Island to closing the show at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards! It all started when their dynamic and caring teacher Gregg Breinberg starting posting videos of their performances on YouTube. The videos went viral captivating viewers from your house to the White House (where they performed for President Obama) with the students' pure love of music. Celebrities and Indie Rockers alike started flocking to the elementary school to visit and perform. Then, at their annual Christmas concert they got a surprise visit from Oscar Co-Host Anne Hathaway who invited them to perform at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. With unprecedented access our crew follows them from the hallways and streets of Staten Island to the Red Carpet and backstage at the Kodak Theater for their big Oscar performance. Back stage drama combines with homesickness as the 10 year olds navigate the world of the entertainment elite. The drama culminates when the chorus director and the producer of the Oscars broadcast clash over creative differences and half the chorus looses their voices screaming at Disney the day before the big show. This documentary is an inspiring feel-good story that shows us children have a lot to teach about music, and that a talented teacher can teach his students the most important lesson of all; within themselves is the power to do anything.If you can't make it to Staten Island for the free screening, Once in a Lullaby will also play at the Los Angeles Laemmle NoHo from Aug, 10-16, and IFC Center in Manhattan from Aug. 3 - 9 as part of Docuweeks and tickets for those NYC screenings are on sale now.
Trailers for both Grandma Lo-Fi and Once in a Lullaby are below.