About to premiere next week @ Austin’s Film Festival Dan Forrer‘s “Sample this” focuses around Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band and their very own 1973 version of Jerry Lordan’s Apache, one of the most influential albums in the 80s hip-hop, rap and dance scenes.
Narrated by Gene Simmons the film brings some of the most influential pioneers in the hip-hop world… Afrika Bambaataa, Melle Mel, Questlove… and while it wont make it to your local theater anytime soon, the Propinquity Films-produced film will surely become a classic in no time. As said before, first screening next week @ the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Austin, TX)… next screening for when?
Documentaries about gaming culture? Mmmmm…. Level up, Get Lamp, Chasing Ghosts… or the latest Indie Game: The Movie, those are just a few examples and yet… we get new initiatives pretty much every month. “In search of lost time” is our latest discovery… and maybe a documentary many arcade purists will appreciate.
“Beginning with Space Invaders in 1978, arcade games began to appear everywhere. In 1982, 13,000 dedicated arcade locations existed across North America, generating $3.2 billion dollars in 1983 alone, the hard way: one quarter at a time. By 1985, revenue had fallen 97%. Atari declared bankruptcy. Arcades began to disappear. Most of the old games were converted or destroyed. A few, packed into warehouses, largely forgotten for another decade.
Yup, that’s the true and sad story about one medium and a distribution model that came to an end, today is all about your “live” stores and digital copies paid with digital tokens, and yet those who came from the analog generation still want to defend them. Seems like “The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time” more than another story of “classic obsession” is a real statement with a big nostalgic compound, but who can blame them…
Prolific? You can describe him like that we guess. A winner… and certainly a sinner, a defying composer, the son of a famous musician, maybe also a pioneer and above all.. an enigma. R. Stevie Moore, few know him well, we tried to get to know him last july when he was about to release Lo Fi High Fives, and we knew this documentary of eccentricities and “situations” was coming… and here it is!
Thousands of songs after, French transdisciplinary artist Arnaud Maguet (& Hifiklub) decides to film “I am a genius (and there’s nothing I can do about it)” doc as a homage to this lo-fi legend. 52 minutes of DIY confessions, music… and exhausting fun. A must-see piece which has just been released under Disques en Rotin with a limited 300-copy 7″ EP containing four tracks of the doc soundtrack and that can be ordered this way.
And for those who can’t wait… the doc can be seen this way.
LCD Soundsystem is one of the best bands from the last decade. A way of conceiving and making music… the essence of DFA, the group that has influenced an entire generation (Y) and a refreshing dance concept set to shape the sounds of many bands to come.
It’s no surprise then that after their disbandment announcement in 2010 and the official post on their website more or less a year ago, a film, documentary or something in between was being made, shaped, prepared… for our joy…. Revealed last month via Pitchfork, we got to know that a full-on LCD Soundsystem concert movie centered around the band’s final show at Madison Square Garden would have a debut at this year’s Sundance Fest. as part of the out-of-competition “Spotlight” series.
They really hope they’ll keep being the most semi-professional music group in the world, so do we. Phoenix may easily be the best well-known rock-pop French group of the history. The four Versailles kids (Thomas Mars, Deck d’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz) who’ve always stick together as a band and above all as a group of friends… not allowing the Sofia Coppola soundtrack wave (they truly became massive after her LIT) or the Grammy award for their newest album mar their big heads.
So even if I admit having tinily criticized their latest album when it came out, the Philippe Zdar production and whole French Touch heritage is something Phoenix can be proud of (I didn’t even know they toured along with Daft Punk, but hey… money making machines aren’t common these days so… better conquer the Americas this way).
Our beloved friends @ ARTE just aired a documentary directed by Antoine Wagner & entitled “Sur Les Traces De Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” (following the steps of…) last Thursday night. 52 minutes that follow the rise (will there be a fall with their upcoming 5th album?) of the most iconic French band from this new century. And pay careful attention to the last couple of minutes (51 to be more precise)… and you may well hear some of the new sounds they’ve been “experimenting with” for their new record.
With the ambition to give more visibility to this non-fictional film category Open City is born as a festival to place a purely documentary date in our busy summer calendar. We have set up Open City because we believe there needs to be a place to hear the stories that matter: stories that, all too often, remain untold: lives unrecognised, abuses ignored, follies forgotten, connections unrealised, joys uncelebrated. We need an occasion to celebrate the meeting of art and journalism that defines great documentary.
In this first edition Open City will pay special attention to the “world of strangers”, how we live surrounded by people we don’t know always capable of great or miserable things. Are we alienating ourselves in such modern world from the most basic social patterns? The divisive conflict between solidarity and diversity: we are happy to support those we feel to be like ourselves, but what about newcomers, strangers, peoples who make very different life choices than ours?
With a great (and long) list of recent documentaries Open city will try to “mitigate this conflict by asking that age old question: who is my brother, with whom do I share mutual obligations?”
The Program & calendar hasn’t yet been unveiled (nor the winners of course) but we already have the list of all the documentaries that will be shown during those 3 days (along with the venues & times).
Along with the festival there are many other events taking place that complement (and enrich) the festival itself bringing a lot of material to watch next month like a focus on Polish or Czech films, the Ethnographic Film festival of the Royal Anthropological Institute or a particular date to talk about Guantanamo.
One more thing! There’s this other competition which finishes this month but you may have time to participate… “My Street”, a UK nationwide competition for you to make a short documentary film about your “street” and it is a new website where your film will be seen, telling the nation’s stories, street by street … by you. www.mystreetfilms.com.
As you may have seen from the trailers above the subjects & topics cover are as varied & complex as the human being itself, so we really (if you happen to be in London during those days of course) encourage you to go & pick one, two or 20 documentaries for those 3 days … 5£ each (if you can manage).
Then tell us which one you liked the most. More details, program, ticket links etc on their page.
A documentary remix competition? You may know 200 different types, but this is the first time we’ve personally heard of the “Remix” series. And because it doesn’t seem that crazy (and also it’s part of the Euroean Culture Congress), oh and because it’s a creative contest (one of those with prizes) we thought you could be interested…
First, let’s give you the contest of why it’s called “Dock’s Docs”, even though you may have already guessed…
For those of you who’ve never been to Poland, there’s this northern coastal city called “Gdańsk” (part of the triple city) who became really famous in 1980 for the strikes and social protest against the communist regime. At that time the “Solidarity” movement was born – the symbol of freedom recognized all over the world. Those events influenced directly the European transformation of ’89: the first free election in Poland, and three months later – the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Dock’s Docs Gdańsk Remix is the follow-up in the project initiated by the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA). This French institution is the largest TV&radio archive in the world. Since being formed in 1974 it collected 4 million hours of recordings; the number increases every day as INA records all the programs broadcast by French radio and TV channels. Three years ago INA enabled ordinary people to use small fraction of its collection: archives of everyday Paris from the turn of the 20th century up to modern times (“Paris Remix”). The following year “Berlin Remix” competition was held. Its subject: the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Basically you’ll be able to use all the videos provided by the Polish & French Audiovisual Institutes to create a 5-min video, reusing, transforming, remaking.. doing whatever the —- you want with the provided videos (which are here) and audio material. Anyone is eligible basically, so now, your move. You have until April 30th.