marfafilmfestival



2010 FILMS

 

WEDNESDAY MAY 5

6:30 at The Crowley Theater

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Soy Mi MadrePhil Collins, 2008, México, 28 min.

Relating to conceptual approaches to film and photography, Phil Collins investigates the nuances of social relations in various locations and global communities. In soy mi madre he works with telenovela, one of the most popular products of Latin America. The format exploits the world market through the articulation and preservation of cultural difference, while at the same time serving as a powerful tool of self-representation and the re-signification of the continent’s colonial legacy.Shot in México City, soy mi madre is a telenovela-inspired tale of love, betrayal and family intrigue that examines the intricate power dynamics between unequals.A cast of leading Mexican television stars take turns at playing a spoilt mistress of the house and her resentful servants, with a dark family secret boiling under the surface and leading to an inevitably dramatic finale. Revolving around the ideas of role-playing and performance, masks and mirrors, symbols and rituals, soy mi madre posits social roles as volatile and unbalanced, defined by their inherent potential for theatricality and violence. Including the contribution of the acclaimed production designer Salvador Parra (Volver, Before Night Falls), soy mi madre is a study in the aesthetics and politics of melodrama.

Cast: Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Verónica Langer, Zaide Silvia Guitérrez, Gina Morett, Sonia Couoh, Miriam Calderón, Dobrina Cristeva, Eileen Yáñez, Luis Cárdenas, Tenoch Huerta, Almadella, Montse

Phil Collins was born in Runcorn, UK, and is currently based in Berlin and Glasgow. His films, videos and photographic works have been shown in museums, galleries and at film festivals around the world. He was one of the recipients of a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts in 2001, a nominee for the Turner Prize in 2006 and a recipient of the DAAD Scholarship in Visual Art for 2008/2009.

7:30 at The Crowley Theater

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Parque ViaUSA Premiere, Enrique Rivero Huerta, 2008, México, 86 min.

Beto, the custodian of a modernist villa in Mexico City, lives in one small room in the house where he has worked for 30 years. The owner moved out ten years ago with the rest of her staff while Old Beto takes care of the garden, cleans the windows and polishes the kitchen as if life could start up again at any moment. The solitude of the last decade, as well as the monotony and routine of his job, has made him lead a secluded life.He has developed a pathological fear for the exterior, to the point of limiting his contacts to only two people: the owner of the house, for whom he has a feeling of deep gratitude and respect that is translated into obedience; and Lupe, a friend, a confident and a lover. News that the house is to go on sale causes a dilemma for Beto, who doesn’t know whether to dare to set forth and live or to seek a way of remaining in his confinement. His solution is a most astonishing conclusion.Stunning camera work by Arnau Valls Colomer sharply reveals the relationship between the fraying rooms of the house and its eternal inhabitant, but also between the different social classes. The fictional element in the film focuses on Beto’s relationship with the chaotic, violent world outdoors: México City.

Cast: Nolberto Coria, Nancy Orozco, Tesalia Huerta

Mexican director Enrique Rivero was born in Madrid in 1976. He has worked in different areas of film production, from photography to art, and was assistant director of Pedro Aguilera’s La Influencia (Director’s Fortnight Cannes 2007). As director, he has made two shorts: Nidra (2004) and Schhht (2005). Parque Vía is Rivero’s feature directorial debut, which garnered the Golden Leopard and FIPRESCI Award at Locarno International Film Festival 2008, and the Best Latin American Film and Audience Awards at the Ficco Festival in México City.

THURSDAY MAY 6

9:30AM At the Crowley Theater

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Picasso & Braque Go to the MoviesArne Glimcher, 2008, 62 min.

Introduction by Marianne Stockebrand, Director, The Chinati Foundation, Marfa
Produced by Martin Scorsese and Robert Greenhut, narrated by Martin Scorsese and directed by Arne Glimcher, Picasso and Braque is a virtual tour through the effects of the technological revolution, specifically the invention of aviation, the creation of cinema and their interdependent influence on Picasso and Braque’s invention of Cubism, the most radical shock in the history of Western Art. The film takes us from Picasso and Braque’s early work in Paris circa 1900 and the Exposition Universal where the wonders of Modernism were revealed, and into the artists’ studios. Picasso and Braque first met in 1907 when they had independently arrived at a similar place in their work. Soon their work would be virtually indistinguishable from each other and their lives would be inseparable.”Bernice Rose, the former curator of Drawing at New York’s MoMA and I were working on a “Picasso and Drawing” exhibition for PaceWildenstein in 1995 and I confided my ideas about Picasso and the influence of early cinema on the structure of his imagery. Thus began our research for the film. Cubism evolved concurrent with the achievements of the Industrial Revolution and the inventions at the turn of the 20th century, specifically cinema and aviation. It was a time when permission was given to absorb popular culture into high art. I believe that endemic to Picasso’s career and the achievements of Braque and Picasso’s Cubist period was an innate competition that the artists had with film itself, a need to shatter the static image as the pulsing light of the cinematograph shattered space and time as we knew it.

“I hope that the film demonstrates that art and cinema became inextricably linked together beginning with Cubism and continuing into the present; and that the artist absorbed burgeoning technology in all of its facets and forms to create the new image of the 20th century.” – Arne Glimcher.

With: Martin Scorsese, Julian Schnabel, Lucas Samaras, Chuck Close, Adam Gopnik, Eric Fischl, Tom Gunning, Alexander Blaise, Robert Whitman, Cooje Van Bruggen, Owen Lund, John Yau, Natasha Staller, John Richardson . Associate Producer: Bernice Rose.

Arne Glimcher is the founder and chairman of the PaceWildenstein art gallery. He is also a published author, a film producer and a director, whose pictures include The Mambo Kings, Gorillas in the Mist, and Picasso & Braque Go to the Movies.

11:00am at the Crowley Theater

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Breaking BordersDiana Cordova, 2009, USA, 13 min.

Every Thursday night at a local Taco Cabana in El Paso, Texas, Manuel Nunez and friends put on a cross-dressing drag queen show titled “Samantha’s Travesti Show” while also informing their audience about why they chose their part-time profession. As individuals, these performers break numerous “borders” which range from societal to literal, as they cross over from Juarez, Mexico to perform for their fans. “There are people who don’t applaud and others who are apathetic to our show. We want people to laugh and have fun with us. It’s for people who want to forget ordinary life.”With: Samantha, Viviana, & ZaydaDiana Cordova, a native of El Paso, films subjects from her hometown. She attended The University of Texas at El Paso, graduating in 2006 with a BA in Communication and a minor in Woman’s Studies. Her first film, Culinary Courtship (2007) screened at “The Good, the Bad and the Indie” in El Paso, TX.

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Flowers in the Desert (Flores en el Desierto)USA Premiere, Jose Álvarez, 2009, México, 72 min.

The Wixarika culture (or Huichol) originates from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Durango where more than 50,000 Huicholes currently live and practice their indigenous traditions. A group of huicholes wants a film made that portrays their religious and social customs, as they feel it is vital to preserve their culture for new generations.

The huicholes are pilgrims, deer hunters, and they eat peyote. Every year, the Huicholes embark on pilgrimages from the mountain ranges in Jalisco to places like the Wirikuta Desert in San Luis Potosí and to the Aramara Sea along the coast of San Blas, Nayarit. The filmmakers were extended the rare opportunity to follow the Huicholes from San Jose and Tesorero on their travels and document their daily lives over a two-year period.

Cast: Andrés Carrillo, Joaquín Bautista, Antonio Carrillo, José Bautista, Pedro Villa, Francisco Bautista

Jose Alvarez was born in the Mexico City in 1964. He studied Law at the University of Mexico and worked in radio for twelve years, among other stations he directed Radioactive 98.5 in México City. In 1996 he directed the documentary The Silence of Sarajevo and in 2006 his short film Venus won international recognition. Flowers in the Desert won a special mention by the jury at the International Film Festival of Morelia and competed in Guadalajara and Toulouse.

1:30 At the Crowley Theater

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Canned MeatUSA Premiere, Terril Calder, 2009, Canada, 28 min.

Things had gone stale all around Ida Calder and her illusions had expired. All of her hope fermented. When things were no longer looking so lovely for her she decided to lock herself away as not to deface her youthful image. Canned Meat is set in a rural Canadian trailer park as we follow Ida on a surreal stop motion animated journey through the depths of her mind and body to discover if there was ever really a person in there?

Terril Calder is currently working with the challenge of making experimental stop-motion animated narrative shorts that exhibit her rural experiences and encompass a performance art feel. Calder is a Métis artist who was born in (Fort Frances) Northern Ontario where she studied drawing and performance in the fine arts program at the University of Manitoba. In Winnipeg she became a member of Video Pool through which she received training in video production. In Toronto Calder met the Shake Well performance art collective and joined them in various exhibitions that led to the founding of the 7a*11d International Performance Art festival in Toronto. She has lectured and taught Art through the years with various organizations that include the National Ballet School of Canada, Art in the Park program and the University of Manitoba. After receiving additional training in computer animation she is exploring the fusion of various disciplines; an amalgamation manifesting itself in video.

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Roll Out, CowboyWorld Premiere, Elizabeth Lawrence, 2010, USA, 75 min.

Introduction by Tom Michael, Station Manager, KRTS, Marfa Public Radio
Chris “Sandman” Sand is a rappin’ cowboy from Dunn Center, North Dakota (population: 120 and shrinking). He drives a semi, plays the guitar and raps. He looks like Woody Guthrie but sings like no one else. Roll Out, Cowboy follows the 39-year-old country/hip-hop musician as he tours the American West during the 2008 Presidential election. Small town America isn’t as conservative as we think.

His tour van is broken, he bought his house for a thousand bucks, and the small farming town in which he lives is disappearing faster with each passing year. Roll Out, Cowboy’s Chris Sand is the face of the dying American West. Except for one thing: he raps. The Woody Guthrie protégé looks like a cowboy, talks like a cowboy, but writes songs like Dr. Dre. When hip hop music hit the airwaves of the North Dakota badlands, where Sand grew up, he learned to rap and rhyme to the pulse of baling machines and irrigation pumps. The result? A music fusion in the raw–country/hip hop/folk/rap/cowboy. Whatever you call it, it’s unique, fresh, sexy, and distinctly Western. The film follows Sandman the Rappin’ Cowboy as he travels from red state to blue and back again, blending discordant music genres into a style uniquely his own. Through him we see a part of America that remains immune to marketing campaigns, record labels, and consumerist politicking, as if it were the truth. We witness band break-ups, small town groupies—even a brief flirtation with commercial truck driving, when a particularly impoverished Sand needs to make ends meet. This is not the romanticized, Roy Rogers version of the American frontier. This is Sandman. The cowboy who raps.

With: Chris Sand. Music: Chris Sand

Elizabeth Lawrence, born 1980. Roll Out, Cowboy marks her directorial debut. Previous roles include production manager and line producer. She’s assisted producers and directors on films such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Underworld Evolution and The Last Kiss. Lawrence has written and directed numerous short films, including the award-winning Nightmarecrawlers and Beyond the Gates of Ill-Repute. Elizabeth currently lives in Los Angeles.

4:00 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Burning PalaceMara Mattuschka, Chris Haring, 2009, Austria, 32 min.

A stage, marble columns, the red curtain closes: “You only have a split second of a pose to multiply your transgression.” This first statement introducing the opening sequence sounds like provocative instructions. The game of five figures ensnared in erotic innuendos is more appearance than reality: the pornographic poses can be interpreted as sexual simply by the shadows they cast. In the glowing light, they are actually five protagonists warming up for a night in the Burning Palace Hotel.

The body as an eternally burning palace: Mara Mattuschka’s fourth collaboration with choreographer Chris Haring is sometimes evocative of David Lynch, while mostly remaining a blurred play of deceit. A dance performance in a hotel as a cinematic spectacle.

Cast: Stephanie Cumming, Alexander Gottfarb, Katharina Meves, Anna Maria Nowak, Luke Baio.

Mara Matuschka: Born in Bulgaria, resident of Vienna since 1976, Mattuschka is one of the most important experimental filmmakers in Europe; a link between Valie Export and the younger generation of avant-garde film artists in Austria today. A prolific filmmaker since the mid-80s, she has amassed a body of work comprising more than two-dozen films, which are among the most physical and tactile works in experimental cinema. Distinguished by their preoccupation with sexuality, their aggressive materiality, and their focus on the female body – usually Mattuschka’s own (she appears in many of her films under the guise of Mimi Minus) – which is aggressively manipulated, transformed, and attacked, by means of paint, ink, and other substances, as well as by various photographic effects. At once erotic and grotesque, transgressive and playful, her work is unmistakable and unforgettable.

Chris Haring (1970, Austria) studied psychology and attended music and dance courses in New York and London. He teaches dance in Austria and Germany. One of the main influences for his performances, such as Fremdkörper (nominated as best performance at Biennale de la Danse in Lyon 2004) is science fiction films and the human body as a cybernetic landscape. Recent works are the Lovely Liquid Lounge, focusing on the topic of transgression, and Das China Projekt in collaboration with Chinese choreographer Jin Xing.

6:30 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Art Elimination ProjectWorld Premiere, Adam Bork, 2010, USA, 13 min.

Introduction by Tim Johnson, Marfa Book Co.

Marfa artist Adam Bork revisits twenty years of his visual art and destroys much of it in the process.

Adam Bork is a photographer, musician and filmmaker from Austin, Texas. He studied studio art at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas from 1988-1991 and photography at School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2000-2001. He currently resides in Marfa, Texas.

His still photographs have exhibited widely in solo shows and on award-winning album covers. His short films have screened in Austin, San Francisco, as well as at The Wichita Falls Museum of Art’s “Cherry Picked: A Survey of Texas Art and Artists.” His music videos for his own music and other bands, including Medeski,Martin and Wood have aired internationally. He was art director and cinematographer for the award-winning documentary Searching for Tony Joe and cinematographer for the feature-length documentary Wax, currently in post-production.

Adam has performed his music at numerous venues nationwide, incorporating slide shows of his own images alongside found images acquired at estate sales, thrift stores, eBay, etc. He’s currently working on multi-media projects and color field video installations that blend his original imagery and musical compositions with his growing archive of found stills and film footage.

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ObselidiaDiane Bell, 2010, USA, 96 min.

“An utterly eccentric, movie-loving quasi-romance between two intellectual misfits living vastly out of their proper eras is so far off the grid of what is expected from a modern independent movie that it can truly be said to “rebel. It is a gorgeous work in which every frame has the appearance of having been handcrafted in an art studio. It centers on a man whose mindset is much older than his years, a fellow who, convinced the world is going to end sooner rather than later, devotes himself to collecting obsolete things and writing a compendium about them. Although he’ll use a computer in the library where he works, he won’t own one; he prefers a manual typewriter, uses a rotary phone, doesn’t drive (although he lives in Los Angeles, albeit a wonderfully unrecognizable and car-deprived version of it) and fills his home with all manner of faded or useless objects. A beautiful drifter working as cinema projectionist at a silent movie theater, more of this world than he, approves of his sympathies and takes him on an eventful road trip to Death Valley, a place that potentially resembles what the rest of the world will look like in future.” – Todd McCarthy, Variety

“The journey of George and Sophie is one in which two people come together to confront mortality – not just their own, but also the world’s. And in doing so, they perhaps each find a new and better way of being in the world, even though it is not together. There is no “happy ever after” – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I started out wanting to make a film about change and how we deal with it. The rate of change is ever-faster, new things become old in months not years. When I was a kid, a TV was a big investment, and you expected to have it for twenty years. Now you buy a laptop, knowing it will be a dinosaur in two. I can’t help feeling that this rapacious pace of consumption is linked to the climate change challenge we all now face.” – Diane Bell

Cast: Michael Piccirilli, Gaynor Howe, Frank Hoyt Taylor, Chris Byrne

Diane Bell is a writer and director currently residing in Santa Monica, CA. Originally from Scotland, she grew up in Japan, Australia and Germany. She later earned a Masters degree in Mental Philosophy from Edinburgh University. In 2006, she optioned her first solo effort screenplay, and relocated to Los Angeles from Barcelona, Spain. Since then, she has written four more original screenplays, including one with director John McTiernan (Die Hard). She is a long-time practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga and Buddhist meditation, which undoubtedly influence her work. She opened the first Ashtanga-dedicated yoga studio in Barcelona in 2000, and studied yoga in India with the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Obselidia is her first film.

9:30 PM AT El Cosmico

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CloudsWorld Premiere, Jennifer Lane, 2010. USA, 7 min.

A lyrical meditation on earth’s resources set to a layered electronic soundtrack. Vivid images of the unique and varied cloud formations of far West Texas are accompanied by voice-over narration describing the life cycles of our planet in the manner of an educational film.Jennifer Lane was born in August of 1968 in Dallas and currently lives and works in Marfa. She studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her films, videos, and drawings have been exhibited at the Castillo Di Rivoli in Turin, the ZKM Center for Experimental Media and Technology in Karlsruhe, the Royal College of Art in London, the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Miami International Film Festival, the Austin Film Society, and on Japanese television.

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The Sun Ship GameTexas Premiere, Robert Drew, 1969, USA, 83 min.

Introduction by Burt Compton, Marfa Gliders
“The definitive “soaring film” Robert Drew’s long-lost masterpiece features George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky, master pilots in competition for the 1969 U.S. National Soaring Championship in Marfa, Texas. With breathtaking photography and uncommon intimacy the film voyages with both pilots into the sky at a regional contest in Vermont and into wild weather with eighty-three other competitors in Marfa, Texas. Through eight days of hard flying in skies alternately filled with brilliant beauty and black violence, their two approaches arrive at a dramatic conclusion and one of them is named the U.S. Champion. Unavailable in any form until now.” – Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2010

Before entering the film industry, Drew was a WWII-era fighter pilot and then spent many years as a correspondent, photographer, and editor at Life magazine. He began his signature candid filmmaking style with PRIMARY in 1960. A breakthrough in documentary filmmaking, it is the first film in which the sync-sound motion picture camera was utilized to move around freely with its subject – in this case, a young senator John F. Kennedy. After PRIMARY, Drew continued utilizing the same candid style to capture frank and honest portraits, such as those of a U.S. President making tough decisions (CRISIS), a jazz legend composing quietly at his piano (ON THE ROAD WITH DUKE ELLINGTON), NASA scientists as they guide spacecraft to Mars and astronauts in space (NASA), and many others. Drew has received numerous awards including an Emmy and a Peabody, and recognition at major film festivals such as Venice and Cannes. Drew was honored with the IDA Career Achievement Award in 1993 for his contribution to documentary filmmaking.

FRIDAY MAY 7

10:00 AM At the Crowley Theater

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A Hard Road to TravelChris Browne, 2001, Jamaica, 48 min.

An engrossing, behind-the-scenes story of the making of The Harder They Come, charting Perry Henzell’s journey from the initial concept for the film to the years of selling his vision (and film) to the world. From his first conversation in Treasure Beach with financier Frank Pringle through two years of on and off production (principals would disappear, sometimes to jail), tales of improvisation (shooting shoot outs with one gun, the only one they had), to the successful release in Jamaica, the precarious opening in London and the great reviews at film festivals, A Hard Road to Travel tells it all. It is the story of Perry’s drive, commitment and belief that the world would embrace his Jamaican story.

With: Dicky Jobson, Carl Bradshaw, Trevor Rhone, Pat Rousseou, Frank Pringle, Chris Blackwell, Chappie St.Juste, Sally Henzell, Barbara Blake Hanna

In the summer holiday of 1982, Chris Browne worked as assistant to his uncle, Perry Henzell, on No Place Like Home, deciding then on a career in film and switching from The Atlanta College of Art in the states Film and went to The Art Institute of Chicago, then on to Columbia College in Chicago. Upon finishing his studies, he returned to Jamaica to work for various foreign film companies that used Jamaica as a location. In between, Browne utilized his time, money and talents to write, produce and direct his own short films. Browne co-wrote and directed for Palm Pictures of Island Jamaica his first feature film, THIRD WORLD COP (1999), the highest grossing film ever released in Jamaica. Browne won the Harltey-Merrill International Screenwriting Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 for his screenplay Ghett’a Life, which he is currently producing and directing in Kingston, Jamaica

11:30 AM At the Crowley Theater

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The Dry LandRyan Piers Williams, 2010, USA, 92 min.

Introduction by Austin Film Festival representative
A young American soldier, James, returns home from a tour of duty in Iraq. Having not found the direction and purpose he sought from the service, James hurls himself back into his old life and finds it no longer fits. He tries to reconcile his experiences abroad with his life in rural Texas, but despite the support of his wife, his mother and friend he is unable to settle in. James turns to an Army buddy for help and together they travel the country in search of redemption. Thinking that the war was behind him, James comes to realize that the fight for his life has only begun.

Cast: Ryan O’nan, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Jason Ritter, Melissa Leo, June Diane Raphael, Diego Klattenhoff, Evan Jones, Benito Martinez, Ana Claudia Talancón, Ethan Suplee, Barry Shabaka Henley

Ryan Piers Williams was born and raised in El Paso, TX. He graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Upon graduation, he worked for Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney on several of their productions including Ocean’s 12 & 13, Goodnight, and Good Luck and The Good German. Williams has written and directed over 10 short films. In 2004, he was awarded a grant from the Austin Film Society’s Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund and a grant from Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program, both of which were used to make his short film, Muertas, which played over fourteen festivals. Williams wrote and directed his first feature, The Dry Land, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition.

2:00 PM At the Crowley Theater

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The UnreturnedTexas Premiere, Nathan Fisher, 2010, USA/Canada, 74 min.

Iraq’s continuing middle-class refugee disaster is a crucial but unacknowledged reason why peace in Iraq remains so elusive. Forty percent of Iraq’s professional class is now displaced in neighboring countries. This is an unmitigated disaster for Iraq, a shattered nation that desperately needs its native professional class to help rebuild.

The Unreturned, filmed in Syria and Jordan, lets the displaced Iraqi middle class speak for itself. Shot in verité style, the film vividly portrays the lives of five displaced Iraqis from different ethnicities and religions. Caught in an absurdist purgatory of endless bureaucracy, dwindling life savings, and forced idleness, these refugees nevertheless radiate vitality and warmth. With an unflinching eye, candid dialogue, and a subtle touch of humor, The Unreturned captures scenes of daily life that are both personal and illustrative of the larger issues facing Iraq.

With: Abu Abbas, a Sunni chef who once owned a restaurant in Baghdad and now runs an underground catering business in Amman. Majid, an Assyrian Christian and former translator for the US Army whose application for asylum in the United States has been denied. Maher, a Sunni mechanical engineer who was threatened by insurgents for accepting American rebuilding contracts. Najlaa, a Mandean health-care worker who splits her time between a community center for Iraqis and monitoring the refugee population in a village outside Amman on behalf of a Japanese NGO. Battling exhaustion, Najlaa just wants her old career back. Haithem, a 10-year-old Shiite boy who fled Iraq after his father disappeared. Instead of attending school, he supports his mother and sisters by selling food on the street.

Nathan Fisher received an MA in documentary film from the New School in New York. He previously was a producer and assistant editor for Gimme Delta! (2008), a documentary on suburban development and urban sprawl in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Unreturned is his first major feature documentary.

4:30 PM At the Crowley Theater

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EchotoneWorld Premiere, Nathan Christ, 2010, USA, 88 min.

Austin is known worldwide as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” But what exactly does this mean? As nearly two dozen high-rises pop up throughout the city amidst an economic downfall, how does the working musician get along? This lyrical documentary provides a telescopic view in the lives of Austin’s vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city. Echotone is a cultural portrait of the modern American city examined through the lyrics and lens of its creative class.

There is rising star soul revivalist Black Joe Lewis selling out concert halls by night and delivering fish by day. There’s Cari Palazzolo of synth pop sensation Belaire, poised for commercial success, but conflicted over the thought of her music turning into a commodity. Then there is experimental troubadour Bill Baird, whose band Sound Team enjoyed a major label deal with Capitol Records and was subsequently dropped after one album. Interweaving the tales of these young artists to form a mosaic illustrating the universal struggle many contemporary fringe cultures are experiencing.

With Penelope Spheeris’ The Decline of Western Civilization as a primary influence, Echotone explores the world of Austin’s vibrant music culture as it struggles to balance notions of artistic integrity and sustainability amidst an economic, cultural, and political paradigm shift.

With: Black Joe Lewis, Cari Palazzolo, Bill Baird

Nathan Christ’s work casts a lens on the struggles for expression and freedom among independent cultures. Whether his subjects are exonerated death row inmates, independent working musicians, or young, broke American travelers adrift in the Muslim world, Nathan thrives on the fringe. One of his current projects features a novel-length memoir called Migrations and an accompanying film based on his bohemian travels from Holland to West Africa in a Volkswagen van. The project has generated much interest among New York-based literary agencies and is awaiting the next stage of editing. Echotone is Nathan’s first feature film.

6:30 At the Crowley Theater

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Just a Meaning That You Attribute to ItNorth American Premiere, Bernadette Anzengruber, 2009, Austria, 10 min.

The title addresses the viewer, and indeed, everyone must deal with their own ideas and suspicions from the very beginning. The young woman’s breasts appear shapely at first; the artist then deforms them with increasingly wild hopping and jumping around. At some point it turns out that the reason for this obviously strenuous activity, rather than to display her charms, is to shake off or otherwise get rid of her breasts. But before she succeeds, the viewer is forced to spend ten long minutes with her and entertain any number of personal ideas. The artist struggles with her body, literally destroying dreams of a physical ideal as presented by the mass media.Bernadette Anzengruber, born 1980 in Grieskirchen, Austria. 2005/2006 department of Art History at the University of Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Since 2006 Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. 2007 and 2009 scholarships to the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg. Numerous performances and exhibitions, Just a Meaning… is her first film.

 

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The Year of the CarnivoreInternational Premiere, Sook-Yin Lee, 2009, Canada, 88 min.

A romantic-comedy-drama about a girl with an unrequited crush on a boy who thinks she’s bad in bed, so she goes out to get more ‘experience’. Sammy Smalls is a 21-year-old tomboy who works as a store detective at Big Apple Food Town. Her job is to deliver shoplifters to her boss who beats them up so they never re-offend. Sammy feels guilty over her part in the dodgy scheme and wants to quit, but she doesn’t have many options. She certainly isn’t moving back home to live with her unhappy and over-protective parents. Meanwhile, Sammy is head over heels for a scruffy street musician. He’s perfect for her, funny, irreverent and sensitive, but the problem is, he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. After a disastrous one-night stand that goes beyond the boundaries of their friendship, he suggests they play the field to get more experience. Following his advice, Sammy hatches a plan catapulting her on a quest that takes her through her neighbors’ bedroom, the public swimming pool, and finally to blackmailing shoplifters into giving her sex lessons. “The title refers to the year Sammy takes a bite of life and has her heart bitten. I like the interplay between the words “carnal” and “carnivore”, the multiple meanings of what it means to devour and be devoured in the human food chain. Year of the Carnivore is a decidedly anti-romantic love story, and homage to clumsy, young lovers.” – Sook-Yin LeeCast: Cristin Milioti, Mark Rendall, Will Sasso, Sheila McCarty, Kevin McDonald, Ali Liebert

Born and raised in Vancouver, Sook-Yin Lee is a Toronto-based musician, actor, filmmaker and media personality. She fronted the art-rock band, Bob’s Your Uncle before embarking on a solo career. The former MuchMusic VJ hosts the irreverent arts and culture radio show Definitely Not the Opera on CBC Radio 1. Her award winning short films have screened internationally. Sook-Yin stars in Shortbus, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, which premiered at Cannes 2006. Recently, she wrote, directed and acted in The Brazilian, a chapter in the movie Toronto Stories. Year of the Carnivore is her feature film screenplay and directorial debut.

9:30 PM At EL Cosmico

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THE ATHLETETexas Premiere, Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew, 2009, USA/Germany/Ethiopia, 89 min.

Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a legend. A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first African to win a gold medal and, four years later in Tokyo, the first person to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the marathon. This solider and quiet son of a shepherd is considered by many the greatest long-distance runner in history.

But his life story only began with Olympic medals. One evening while returning to his home in Addis Ababa after training in the Ethiopian countryside, fate would present this remarkable champion with his greatest challenge; to dig deep within, not just to run the next mile, but to find the will to live. The race of his life had a new beginning and would lead him to places he could never have imagined.

Shot in 35mm from the Arctic Circle to the Equator by a crew representing ten nations, the film is an extraordinary narrative feature that seamlessly blends autobiography, biopic, drama and documentary. Made jointly by American and Ethiopian filmmakers, Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew, this unique collaboration beautifully captures the essence of the main character and his world of ancient serenity and majestic landscapes. After the film’s sold-out premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2009, where it won “Best of Fest”, the film has traveled to a number of top international film festivals.

Davey Frankel is a New York aural-visual artist, now based in Berlin. His CV reads like a who’s who of downtown NYC culture, from working with filmmaker Jem Cohen and editing indie films under Ang Lee’s Good Machine banner to creating the visual accompaniments to Tan Dun’s The Crouching Tiger Concerto, with Yo-Yo Ma and Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings symphony. A subsequent documentary about water resource management in Kenya made for the United Nations brought Frankel back to his first love and what would become Atletu. Rasselas Lakew was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His early life was that of an athlete. He studied in the USA where he played Division 1 NCAA tennis. Interested in filmmaking, he did his post-grad studies at the University of Montana where the seed for the Abebe Bikila story was planted. After years of research, development, writing and shooting, Atletu is Lakew’s debut feature film.

SATURDAY MAY 8

9:00 AM At the Crowley Theater

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Not Just For Kidscombined program, approx. 45 min., programmed by David Hollander and Jennifer Lane

Not Just For Kids features the films of local Marfa children, whose SITES (Studio In The Elementary School) art curriculum includes a workshop on the technique of direct animation. The sixth graders’ handmade films will be shown alongside the films of Al Jarnow, whose innovative animated shorts will be recognizable to adults raised on Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact in the 70s and 80s. Jarnow’s work comes to the MFF courtesy of a new compilation on DVD by The Numero Group. Complimentary milk and cereal will be served. This program is FREE and open to the public.

10:30 AM At the Crowley Theater

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All AnimalsTexas Premiere, Robert Arnold, Cynthia Mitchell, 2009, 16 min.

A man, a young woman and a Chevy pick-up truck in a vast desert landscape. Perched on the tailgate two extremely sympathetic actors make mysterious, elliptical use of sign language to say something about movies. Pure, simple and powerful.

Cast: Sheena McFeely, Sonny Smith.

Robert Arnold, Producer/Co-Director, has worked as an editor, director and director of photography. His documentary, The Key of G, aired nationally on PBS in 2007 and is now in educational distribution. All Animals is his first narrative film. Cynthia Mitchell, Writer/CoDirector, has written for both stage and film. In 2009 her play The Exchange was translated into French and ran for a month to great reviews in Paris. Arnold and Mitchell are currently wrapping up production on a new short narrative they are co-directing entitled Annabelle.

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A Lone Star StateUSA Premiere, Joseph Saito, 2009, USA, 22 min.

Wyatt Kinney, who — with the death of his older brother Gus — is the last surviving Kinney. Finding himself alone, he takes to the road in search of a family connection long left fallow: Gus’s illegitimate daughter Jolene. However, Wyatt finds that introductions are tricky business as Jolene turns out to be more than he expected. A Texas road film and gender satire about the things we do to settle the past…in order to move on.Cast: Jon Gries, Abigail Savage, Rebecca Henderson, Amy Jackson-Lewis, Melinda DeKay, Frank Matthews, Karen Jager, Lewis SarkoziJoseph Toshihide Saito was raised on a cactus nursery in rural Southern California, and was born to a Japanese father and a Korean mother, both of whom were post WWII immigrants looking for a better life. After receiving a BA in Art and Media Studies from Pitzer College, Joseph worked as a UCLA research assistant traveling the United States conducting video field interviews of Vietnam-era vets suffering from PTSD. This furthered his interest in communication through media — such that he entered into the IFP/West Project: Involve Program where mentors included writer/director Christopher Nolan and editor Dody Dorn. He then enrolled in the graduate film program at New York University. A Lone Star State is his MFA thesis film. He currently resides in Brooklyn.

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The Big BendsJason William Marlow, 2010, USA, 14 min.

After being diagnosed with a terminal disease, Warren chooses to pass his remaining days isolated in the Badlands of Big Bend. Within the vast landscape he locks himself inside of a small camper trailer and waits for death. The hush is broken as he is faced with a troubled Mexican couple crossing the border.Cast: Jimmy Lee Jr., Giovanni Antonello, Rocio Garza, Dr. James D. Lueke, Berta Martinez, Mario A. MartinezJason Marlow is making his debut as a writer and director with The Big Bends, but is no stranger to narrative film. His first work in narrative was as Creative Generalist on the award-winning feature Ballast. Since then he has worked on various films and animations but most importantly has been developing his voice as a storyteller. His stories are collections of questions that often involve geography, borders, identity and intersecting cultures. Jason lives and works in his hometown, Austin, Texas. Currently he is revising his first feature that takes place between Mississippi and Paris.

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AirWorld Premiere, Luke Davies, 2010, USA, 19 min.

While traversing the plains outside Marfa, Tom, a British graduate student, encounters Shane, a laconic boy that desperately needs a ride to town. The boy’s sudden disappearance unlocks a mystery seemingly playing out in a timeless space, and brings Tom one-step closer to understanding his own fate. “I wanted to make a simple, haunted poem of a film.” – Luke Davies

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Felix Benton, S.A. Griffin

Luke Davies is an internationally celebrated writer, the author of three novels, four volumes of poetry and a co-writer, with Neil Armfield, of the feature film Candy. Davies’ most recent poetry collection, Totem, won numerous prestigious awards. Davies’ novels are the cult best-seller Candy, Isabelle the Navigator and God of Speed. Candy has been published internationally. Davies co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of Candy with director Neil Armfield. It starred Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush and premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival. In addition to the adaptation, Davies had a one-line role in the film, as a milkman. Davies is currently writing other screenplays, working as a film critic, and occasional book critic and essayist for magazines and newspapers. In 2010 a new volume of poetry will be published by Allen & Unwin, and a children’s book by ABC Books. Davies’ directorial debut in feature documentary is Diary of a Milkman.

1:30 PM At the Crowley Theater

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QuadrangleAmy Grappell, USA, 2010, 18 min.

Introduction by Rob Weiner, Associate Director, Chinati Foundation
An older couple on Long Island remember their long-term communal marriage with another family in the 60s. They are confessing this on camera to their children. “In 1969, my family moved from Flatbush, Brooklyn to the suburbs of Long Island, in pursuit of the American Dream. When I was seven, my unhappily married, middle class parents met another couple at the beach club and began a four-way love affair.” – Amy Grappell. From Sundance to Rotterdam, SXSW to New Directors/New Films, Quadrangle has become one of the most highly praised independent films of the year, deservedly so.

Amy Grappell holds a BA in film from New York University and is a graduate of the acting program at The North Carolina School of the Arts. She has produced written, directed and acted in feature-length documentaries, narratives and shorts. In 1997 she produced, co-wrote and acted in Shady Grove, an independent feature film that and won the audience award at the Karlovy Vary film festival in the Czech Republic and Best First Feature in Portugal. Amy worked as a producer and casting director with Richard Linklater’s production company Detour Films and on the critically acclaimed MTV television series Austin Stories. Her first feature-length documentary (Fire in the East, 2006) explores the transition from communism to democracy in Eastern Europe.

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Fanny, Annie & DannyTexas Premiere, Chris Brown, 2010, USA, 82 min.

Fanny is a mentally disabled 39-year-old living in a home for dependent adults. Her world starts to implode when the candy factory where she works goes bankrupt. The oldest of three children, Fanny has long been a source of strain and resentment within her family. Her jittery sister Annie has spent her life taking care of her, while their successful but elusive brother Danny has thus far escaped responsibility. When the three siblings are forced by their powerful mother to reunite for a holiday dinner, everyone’s worst fears are realized. As with a tsunami building strength silently offshore, we sense the impending climax without knowing exactly when it will hit – or how hard. The film is about the volatile, sometimes sweet, sometimes toxic ecosystem of family life. “…Filmmaker Chris Brown has been compared to director John Cassavetes for his ability to peel back the skin of his characters in a way that feels both disturbingly intimate and deeply real. In Brown’s latest, finely-crafted feature, Fanny, Annie & Danny are troubled adult siblings brought together by their horrific mother for the Christmas holiday. Like just about everything in Brown’s work, what seems commonplace on the surface becomes riveting in the details.”– B. MarshlandCast: Jill Pixley, Carlye Pollack, Jonathan Leveck, Colette Keen, George Killingsworth, Nick Frangione

Chris Brown is an independent filmmaker based in San Francisco. His work has screened on television and in festivals around the world, winning such honors as Best Narrative, Best Comedy, Best of Fest, Best Adaptation and Most Promising Filmmaker. Of his most recent film, Scared New World, audiencemag.com wrote, “…it goes to prove what genius can do when pressed.” VARIETY added that the film rests “solidly in the tradition of pioneer indie pics like Cassavetes’ Shadows…fests looking to showcase new Amerindie talent should take note.” Chris’s previous films include Daughters, Lost Cat, Office Furniture, And Another Thing, and Battleship Contempkin. By night, Chris is a singer/songwriter. His debut album Now That You’re Fed was voted “One of the Top 10 albums of 2006” by a dozen music critics.

4:00 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Cosmic ClockAl Jarnow, 1979, USA, 2 min.

One billion years boils down to two minutes as cities rise and fall, continents erode and an ice age passes.

Al Jarnow is a painter, filmmaker, software developer, exhibit designer, educator and tinkerer. Studied pre-med, architecture and fine arts at Dartmouth College and at Brooklyn Musuem of Art School. His filmworks are in the collections of MoMA (NY), the Met and the Pompidou Center and have shown in theaters, schools and festivals around the world. He’s received production grants from NEA, NYSCA and NYFA. Jarnow produced and directed hundreds of animations for PBS science specials and CTW”s Sesame Street & 3-2-1 Contact.

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GaslandTexas Premiere, Josh Fox, 2010, USA, 107 min.

Introduction by Don Young, FWCANDO, Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Operations
When Josh Fox discovers that Natural Gas drilling is coming to his area—the Catskillls/Poconos region of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, he sets off on a 24-state journey to uncover the deep consequences of the United States’ natural gas drilling boom. When Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 it freed Halliburton to implement an way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called “fracking, an unregulated process that involves pumping 241+ toxins deep into the earth. What comes out of the ground with that “natural” gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water?What Fox uncovers is truly shocking —water that can be lit on fire from kitchen faucets, chronically ill residents of drilling areas from disparate locations in the US all with the same mysterious symptoms, huge pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation and well blowouts and huge gas explosions consistently unregulated by state and federal regulatory agencies. Fox encounters EPA whistleblowers, congressmen, world recognized scientists, and some of the most incredibly inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of ordinary Americans fighting against fossil fuel giants for environmental justice. Part verité travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown, Gasland confronts a pressing issue (five years ago there were no wells in Fort Worth, for example, now there are over 10,000) with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor.

Josh Fox’s first feature film, Memorial Day (2008), an examination of American culture and the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, was hailed as “unforgettable” by Variety and “uniquely fascinating” by Indiewire. Josh is the founder and Artistic Director of International WOW Company, a film and theater company that works with actors and non actors from diverse cultural backgrounds, including members of the US Military and activist communities in sustainable energy and design, to create work addressing social and political crises. Josh’s work is known for its mix of gripping narrative, heightened imagery and its commitment to socially conscious themes and subjects. Founded in 1996, WOW Company has received a Drama Desk Nomination, an Otto Award, five grants from the NEA, five prestigious MAP Fund Grants and an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship among many other awards and honors. With WOW, Josh has established himself as a significant force in NYC theatre. In 2004, the NY Times hailed him as “one of the most adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde,” and Time Out NY called him “one of downtown’s most audacious auteurs,”

6:45 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Voice on the LineKelly Sears, 2010, USA, 7 min.

Enchanting operators, covert government plots, Cold War paranoia and ordinary telephones forever changed how we got in touch with one another. A collage animation made from figures cut out of archival ephemeral films from the late 1950s, the film mixes the history of these films with events of this era. The result is a large-scale secret operation that veers bizarrely off course. The film also reflects on current and troubled relationships between the areas of national security, civil liberties and telephone companies, exploring how technology shapes our fears and desires.

Kelly Sears is an animator and filmmaker living in Houston, TX. She is a 2009-2010 fellow at the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She received a B.A. from Hampshire College and a M.FA. from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has been shown at LACMA, the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Anthology Film Archives, RedCat Theater, Sundance Film Festival, American Film Institute Festival, Cinevegas and in galleries and film festivals internationally. She often is found at thrift store and flea markets looking for images for animations.

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The Sentimental Engine SlayerTexas Premiere, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, 2010, USA, 97 min.

Introduction by J.D. Garcia, SPIC (Satanic Punk International Conspiracy) (sometimes)A compelling, confounding tale of the overdue coming of age of a twenty-something misfit named Barlam. Barlam’s awkward transition from boy to man is as much the story of struggling to find one’s essence in a world of stereotypes as it is an indictment of the distorted reality of family life in the disengaged 21st century. A bottom-rung grocery bagger whose neo-incestuous relationship with his addict sister, Natalia, causes him no small amount of grief and disillusionment, Barlam seeks solace in the convoluted wisdom of what few male peers are available, namely his androgynous, alcoholic boss, Oscar, and the sister’s simple-minded boyfriend, Zack. Seeking an explanation as to the strange circumstances of his apparent lack of family structure, as well as the respect from others fundamentally absent in his mundane model-building existence, Barlam is soon led astray amid a seedy underworld of prostitutes, hustlers and addicts. The labyrinthine plot soon begs questioning as to where reality ends and fantasy begins, Barlam shifting effortlessly between hapless punching bag, assertive surrogate father figure, and rage-prone psychopath.Beautifully photographed amidst the sleepy yesteryear pastiche of this most archetypal of border towns, the film is an homage to El Paso and its microcosmic hybrid of Latino and American culture, an inadvertent time capsule of a city literally straddling the first and the third worlds, the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries; a city as contradictory and befuddling as the film’s prime antagonist. At once urban and rural, docile and convulsive, the city’s personality comes to the fore in the film, whereas prior films have made-do simply with caricature.

Cast: Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Tatiana Velazquez, Nomar Rizo, Kim Stodel, Rikardo Rodriguez Lopez, Angel Marcelo Rodriguez Chevrez, Ramon Villa, John Frusciante, Juan Alderete, Hinojos, Sara Christina Gross, Sonny Kay, Lars Stalfors Omar Rodriguez Lopez is an intensely prolific Grammy-winning recording artist whose genre-defying, fifteen-year career has resulted in some 35 albums. His seminal and critically acclaimed band, At the Drive-In, redefined popular rock music at the end of the last decade. Since that time, in addition to being both a solo artist and leader/composer/producer of the The Mars Volta, Rodriguez Lopez has produced groundbreaking recordings for the likes of Juliette Lewis and collaborated with Hans Zimmer, John Frusciante, and Erykah Badu, to name a few. In the early years of the new millennium, Rodriguez Lopez began filmmaking, familiarizing himself with the process by way of producing two unreleased films (2001’s A Manual Dexterity and 2003’s Letters from Dystopia) in lieu of any formal training. His third film, The Sentimental Engine Slayer, is the director’s debut feature release. Despite a virtually continuous commitment to the process of recording and touring with his various bands, Rodriguez Lopez has managed to complete two more films since principal production on The Sentimental Engine Slayer wrapped in 2007; El Divino Influjo De Los Secretos (2008) and Boiling Death Request (2009) are both currently in post-production.

9:30 PM At El Cosmico

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The Harder They ComePerry Henzell, Jamaica, 1972, 104 min, recently restored print

Introduction by Carolyn Pfeiffer, she’s produced more Jamaican films than anyone else
“Few cult films have enjoyed the continued impact of Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come. Since it’s release it’s gained a following that is nothing less than legendary. It tipped off Americans to the existence of reggae and almost forty years later acts as a visual textbook for Reggae 101. Much more than a movie for neophyte reggae fans, it’s an ambiguous movie in the spirit of Cassevettes and Fuller and even Godard. Famous for it’s groovy soundtrack, The Harder They Come is certainly no musical. It’s an unvarnished snapshot of life in Jamaica.

Jimmy Cliff plays Ivan, a character inspired by a legendary 1950s Jamaican outlaw. Like many real-life Jamaican youths, Ivan decides that life on a farm is not for him and heads to the big city with dreams of making it as a reggae star. Once he arrives in the noisy chaos of Kingston, it’s clear that he’s a fish out of water. Within ten minutes of getting off the bus, he’s bamboozled, robbed, and left to fend for himself on the mean streets. Part neo-realist, part blaxploitation, part spaghetti western, viewers are usually unprepared for the dazzling and fearsome world Henzell plunges us into. Indeed, anyone expecting a breezy musical drama about a young singer making it big will be sent reeling at the gritty story that unfolds.

The Harder They Come is a unique cult film in the sense that its soundtrack is probably better known than the film itself. A reggae best seller, it contains many hits by star Jimmy Cliff as well as other Jamaican stalwarts such as Toots & The Maytals and Desmond Dekker. However, to say that music is the driving force of the movie is an overstatement, but music does provide a crucial backdrop to the story. “I’d rather be a free man in my grave / than living as a puppet or a slave / so as sure as the sun will shine / I’m gonna get my share of what’s mine,” Ivan sings in the film’s title track. If there is a raison d’etre for Ivan, those lines nicely sum it up. Penzell’s use of reggae throughout the film is so striking because it acts as more than just a soundtrack. It can be more properly described as a score, as the director perfectly matches the music to his visuals. Easily the greatest example is the use of Toots & The Maytals’ scorching “Pressure Drop.” As we see Jose storming his way through the narrow, dirty streets of Trenchtown looking to gun down Ivan, the song is heard simmering in the background as Jose broods in a voiceover: “Who is this asshole? Where did he come from? I gave him money, gave him a bike, a place to live… When I find him, he’s dead. Dead! I’ve controlled this place since birth…” Ivan then gets the drop on Jose, who turns chicken and runs. As Ivan races after him, guns blazing, the music suddenly boils over, moving to the foreground. “Now when it drops / You’re gonna feel it / All that you are doing is wrong…” Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino must wish they had created a scene like this. – Mick Sleeper, imagesjournal.com

Cast: Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley, Carl Bradshaw, Winston Stona,

Perry Henzell, born to a Trinidadian father and an Antiguan mother in Port Maria, Jamaica, on March 7, 1936 and spent his child hood on a sugar plantation; boarding school in England then studied at McGill University in Montréal. Worked as scene-shifter for BBC TV in London and soon graduated to the drama department. In 1959, learning that television was about to start up in Jamaica, he returned to the island where he set up Vista Productions, which over the next decade made hundreds of commercials, honing his directing skills and working frequently with top ad director Ridley Scott. By 1969 Henzell was ready to begin filming his first feature. Funded by relatives, as well as by Chris Blackwell, The Harder They Come took years to complete. Despite the film’s success Henzell didn’t profit but began the second feature of his proposed trilogy, No Place Like Home. A lost negative held up the movie’s release for almost thirty years while Henzell retreated from the film business, to Itopia, his Jamaican country home. Working at night by oil-lamp Henzell wrote The Power Game, a dystopian vision of an unnamed Caribbean island. Published in 1982, it is as riveting to read as The Harder They Come is to watch. More recently he wrote Cane, a novel about the 18th-century Jamaican sugar-trade. In 2006 No Place Like Home film finally premiered in Jamaica — one day after Henzell’s death.

Henzell’s family is committed to ensuring that his legacy lives on. His wife Sally was his art director and the only member of crew he never had to direct or correct. She designed the family-owned boutique hotel Jake’s (www.islandoutpost.com/jakes) run by their son Jason on the south coast of Jamaica. Daughter Justine produces The Calabash International Literary Festival (www.calabashfestival.org), the only annual literary festival in the Caribbean. Sally and Justine made this screening possible and will be watching from Jamaica for the Marfa lights to be flashing like crazy whilst the film screens.

SUNDAY MAY 9

1:00 PM At the Crowley Theater

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A Young CoupleWorld Premiere, Barry Jenkins, 2010, USA, 13 min.

Introduction by Joseph Cashiola, filmmaker (A Thing as Big as the Ocean)
Filmed in two-hours on a winter afternoon between trips to festivals for Medicine For Melancholy, this short explores the dynamics of a young couple sharing a flat in San Francisco. A documentary-centric piece that teases a compelling narrative from a blend of music, spoken testimony and expressive imagery.With: John and Jenny Barry Jenkins is an award-winning writer/director whose feature film debut Medicine For Melancholy was released in theaters by IFC Films and hailed as one of the best films of 2009 by A.O. Scott of the NY Times. The picture earned Barry a slot on Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 Faces of Independent Film” list before embarking on an international festival tour highlighted by screenings at the Vienna and Toronto International Film Festivals, among others. Recent projects include the shorts Tall Enough and A Young Couple. He is currently developing a feature film with Focus Features.

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Summer PastureTexas Premiere, Lynn True and Nelson Walker, 2010, USA, 98 min.

Opening with a Tibetan rodeo, Summer Pasture evolves as an intimate exploration of the personalities, relationship and the complicated circumstances that surround a young nomadic couple living with their infant daughter in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet. Over its course, we witness their travails with illness, infidelity, and the dissolution of their community. With rare access to an area seldom visited by outsiders, the film offers an unprecedented window into a highly insular community. Locho and his wife Yama live in Dzachukha, eastern Tibet – nicknamed “five-most” by the Chinese for being the highest, coldest, poorest, largest, and most remote area in Sichuan Province, China. They depend on their herd of yaks for survival, just as their ancestors have for generations. In recent years however, Dzachukha has undergone rapid development, which poses unprecedented challenges to nomadic life. In the face of mounting obstacles, Locho and Yama gradually reveal the personal sacrifice they will make to ensure their daughter’s future.Summer Pasture is a collaborative project, initiated by American filmmakers Lynn True and Nelson Walker who partnered with emerging Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Perlo. A lifelong resident of Kham, Perlo grew up in the nomadic areas depicted in the film and granted the team rare access to film in a community seldom visited by outsiders. The aim was to create a film that honestly and intimately shares the everyday challenges and experiences of nomadic life, and in doing so, offer a unique alternative to the abundance of purely religious or politicized films about Tibetans.With: Lozon Chopel “Locho”: 30 years old. Father, husband, and herder, Locho is the cousin of co-filmmaker Tsering Perlo. He is a friendly, well-known member of the nomadic community. Sangchip Wangmo “Yama”: 27 years old. Locho’s wife, Yama, is the primary producer of the tent-hold, and works tirelessly to process yak milk into the family’s chief commodities of butter and cheese. She battles a chronic illness that may jeopardize her ability to have children in the future. “Jiatomah” (Pale Chubby Baby): 5 months old. Locho and Yama’s infant daughter, who is still awaiting a name from the local lama.

Lynn True (Director/Producer/Editor) is a New York based filmmaker and editor with a particular interest in nonfiction storytelling. Rasied in South Korea, India, Chicago, Washington D.C., Arizona’s Hopi reservation and suburban Oregon, Ture received a joint degree in Urban Studies & Architecture from Brown University and began her film career as an assistant editor at NBC News and PBS. She has gone on to produce, edit and/or direct numerous independent films including iThemba|Hope (Sundance Channel, 2005) and LUMO (PBS’s P.O.V. series, 2007). Most recently, Lynn has served as a film programmer at New York’s Maysles Cinema in Harlem.

Nelson Walker (Director/Producer/Cinematographer) began his career working on documentaries for Discovery Channel, History Channel, and PBS’s NOVA. His directorial debut, iThemba|Hope – a documentary about an HIV+ choir from South Africa – aired on Sundance Channel in 2005. Nelson has worked extensively in Tibet, as a visiting instructor at Tibet University in Lhasa and contributor to the Tibetan & Himalayan Library. His most recent film, Lumo won a Student Academy Award for Best Documentary, the President’s Award at the Full Frame Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS’s P.O.V. series in 2007.

Tsering Perlo (Co-Producer/Co-Director) founded Rabsal, a Tibetan NGO that engages Tibetans in filmmaking to preserve and regenerate Tibetan culture and customs. He lives in Dzachukha and graduated from the Sichuan Province Tibetan School. Perlo has worked with the Tibet Fund, The Bridge Fund and the Tibetan & Himalayan Library at the University of Virginia. Perlo is the first recipient of the Machik Fellowship, a program designed to support dynamic Tibetan change-makers. Summer Pasture is his first film.

4:00 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Live ProjectionsWorld Premiere, Live Projections: Volume One, Ethan Vogt, 2010, USA, 6 min. excerpt

One chapter from a live audio / visual performance that remixes films about “growing up” shown in schools during the 1970’s and 1980’s to a soundtrack by the band Summer Lawns. The time and space of these long-ago childhoods is slowed down, interrupted, and repeated to create a lyrical, visual score. Stories that at first appear unrelated come together and resolve in a final cosmic epiphany in the full-length DVD, seen here in an excerpt that stands quite well alone.Ethan Vogt is filmmaker and visual artist based in New York City. He is the frequent collaborator of writer / director Andrew Bujalski, and producer of the feature films Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, and most recently Beeswax which premiered in the 2009 Berlin Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States. In 2005, Ethan wrote and directed Game: On a live-action / animated short that was selected as Best Picture in the Machinima Film Festival and recognized for Distinctive Merit in the 84th Annual Art Directors Club Awards. As a music visualist (VJ) he has performed real-time, audio / visual events with notable musicians and bands including: Andrew Bird, Franz Ferdinand, The Fiery Furnaces, Guster, and The Lovely Sparrows.

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Vital SignsSophie Deraspe, 2009, Canada, 87 min.

Simone has been drifting through life as if missing something important, cut from her roots. Triggered by the death of a family member she embarks on a singular journey of helping people who are about to die. The dying have nothing to lose and need lasting moments of intimacy that Simone finds herself willing to give at no cost.Her boyfriend Boris won’t let her get away with it quite that easily. He realizes how well she hides behind those intense but short-lived relationships with the soon to be dead. He doesn’t hesitate to provoke her in a violent burst; a defeat of self-sufficiency that opens to forgiveness and the need of others. Sophie Deraspe explores our relationship to the body, a map of our lifelong scabs, scars and beauty. She offers up an experience for the senses through fine yet unsettlingly realistic photography, and through an extraordinary minimalist score (found sound recorded in the empty hull of tanker ships). The inner quest of Simone, beautifully performed with poise by the singularly graceful, non-professional actress Marie-Helène Bellavance, and played against the wintry light of year-end Montréal, wrestles with the question “What do we need in the last moments of our lives?”Cast: Marie-Helene Bellavance, Francis Ducharme, Marie Brassard, Danielle Ouimet, Suzanne St-Michel, Alan Fawcett, Marc Marans, Bernard Arne

Sophie Deraspe fell into cinema through visual arts and literature. As both a director and a cinematographer, she has worked mostly in documentary before directing her realism-bending first feature length film Missing Victor Pellerin (2006). Followed by critical acclaim and projections throughout the world, Sophie’s realistic work continues with her second feature film Vital Signs.

6:30 PM At the Crowley Theater

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Conversations in VermontRobert Frank, 1969, 26 min.

Robert Frank’s relationship with his children Pablo and Andrea was his first overtly autobiographical film. He follows his children to school in Vermont and interviews them about their feelings, their upbringing and what it was like to grow up in a bohemian world with artists as parents. In searching for answers about his children’s lives, Frank is questioning his own world. Photographed by Ralph Gibson.With: Robert Frank, Pablo Frank, Andrea Frank, Mary FrankRobert Frank, a Swiss-born American artist, first gained critical acclaim in 1958 with his book The Americans, for which he traveled the United States photographing people and landscapes. In 1959 Frank turned to filmmaking as a method of capturing the narratives that he could not express in still images. Of this transition, Frank said, “I think I became more occupied with my own life, with my own situation, instead of traveling and looking at the cities and landscape. And I think that brought me to move away from the single image, and begin to film, where I had to tell a story.” His first film, Pull My Daisy (co-directed with Alfred Leslie), is cited as one of the most influential works of independent film and as the beginning of the New American Cinema.

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Red ShirleyNorth American Premiere, Lou Reed and Ralph Gibson, 2010, USA, 28 min.

Lou Reed sat down with his cousin Shirley, on the eve of her 100th birthday…With: Lou Reed, Shirley NovickLou Reed is an American Master, a playwright, a poet, and a photographer whose photos have been exhibited worldwide. His third photography book, Romanticism, was published in 2009. He is a recipient of the Chevalier Commander of Arts and Letters from the French government and numerous other awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and is a founding member of the legendary Velvet Underground. In December of 2006 Lou Reed premiered the live staging of his masterwork Berlin at St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York. The performance was filmed by Academy Award nominated director and artist Julian Schnabel.

Reed released his first suite of electronic meditation music, Hudson River Wind Meditations, on the Sounds True label in 2007. In late 2008 Reed released a new album of live electronic music called Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of The Universe, which inspired two extremely well received performances by the MM3 Trio in New York in April of 2009. The CD is available for sale through his website www.loureed.com. Currently Reed is working on several projects including a collaboration with artist Lorenzo Mattioti, who created a graphic novel based on Lou’s album, The Raven. He is also completing a book of essays on Chen Tai Chi called The Art Of The Straight Line. Lou Reed co-hosts a weekly radio show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio with friend and distinguished producer Hal Willner called The New York Shuffle. Reed has acted in and composed music for films and currently lives in the city of his heart, New York.

Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of The Somnambulist his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date he has produced over 40 monographs, his most recent being State of the Axe, Yale University Press. His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions. Gibson’s awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence and the Silver Plumb Award from the Landmarks Preservation Committee. He is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University. In 2007 he received The Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography. He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years.