A one-time-only event that mixes short stories, delivered live and on film, traversing a colorful land inhabited by a quack doctor, a mobile hotel, a persistent landlady, a pilfering Winona Ryder, and a hapless series of foster homes. It starts with a how-to delivered by know-it-all David Rees (Going Deep with David Rees).
Then, Penny Lane (Our Nixon) delivers the formula “Storytelling =Swindling,” a guided tour of a nonfiction hall of mirrors. A clip from her forthcoming “NUTS!” instigates an ethical/epistemological show & tell, meticulously revealing Penny’s cinematic trickery…
In “One Year Lease” (dir. Brian Bolster; 11 min.) we live through the hilarious chronicles of the landlady from hell. In “Hotel 22” (dir. Elizabeth Lo; 8 min.) a late-night bus route is turned into a traveling homeless shelter. Then we hear from guitarist and storyteller Samuel James, whose improbable life has yielded many chapters. “Object” (dir. Paulina Skibińska; 13 min.) offers entrancing abstract images of an underseas dive, leading to an unexpected conclusion. The beautifully constructed essay film “The Blazing World” (dir. Jessica Bardsley,19 min.) reflects on where kleptomania, depression and Winona Ryder meet.
Pre-show music by Sandy & Sandy, they are the meaning of the Berkshire Highlands sound, harmonizing on guitar and washboard.
1. Scott Carrier: (30 years in my life as a radio man) After quitting his job, Scott Carrier bottomed out, interviewing schizophrenics for some medical researchers and wondering if he was a schizophrenic himself. Then he was discovered by This American Life and became a stalwart of the show including some of its most celebrated segments including “The Friendly Man” about working for a radio legend. Three decades later, Scott is still as curious as ever and has started a podcast called Home of the Brave. He will be giving us a guided tour through his unlikely career.
2. Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass Two Things That No One Wanted Combined — Dance and Radio This American Life host Ira Glass collaborated with Monica Bill Barnes & Anna Bass to invent a show that combines two art forms that – as Glass puts it – “have no business being together – dance and radio.” Now Barnes and Bass break free at Wind-Up, with Glass’ contribution beamed in through the miracle of audio recording.
3. Love + Radio (October episode premiere with Nick van der Kolk)
In the last year, the free-wheeling, sometimes explicit Love + Radio podcast has had a popular breakthrough, with its listener base skyrocketing. The show’s director Nick van der Kolk, will unveil the L+R October episode at Wind-Up and then take questions. In the episode, as German bomber planes flew over Timothy Willey’s childhood London home, Willey embarked on a freewheeling and sometimes dangerous life testing the limits of reality and spirituality.
The intensely intimate Love + Radio has been called “a cosmic pollen cloud of audio awesomeness.” ~ Jad Abumrad, Radiolab
Pre-show music by Monica McIntyre, a cellist and vocalist who seamlessly blends blues, soul, folk and classical.
UNCERTAIN (dir. Anna Sandilands & Ewan McNicol, 82 min.)
@ ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
In the haunted, southern gothic town of Uncertain, Texas, hunched on the Louisiana border, desperate men battle their demons. “May I defeat my greatest enemy, myself,” one intones in prayer. The demons take many outward forms: marauding wild boars that ravage the countryside, noxious weeds (salvinia molesta) that choke Caddo Lake at the center of the region’s economy, drug and alcohol problems that torment them and those around them, and fits of violence that burst forth and ricochet through their lives. This masterful debut feature is highlighted by memorable images—such as a search party on the water using flashlights—that reveal bit by bit, an archaeology of the human spirit. While southern noir is nothing new, this kaleidoscopic portrait of a town feels like a fresh kind of nonfiction.
Afterwards, Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) speaks with the directors about nature out of balance.
SONG FROM THE FOREST (dir. Michael Obert, 96 min.)
@ ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
Western civilization has its discontents, including Louis Sarno, an American who three decades ago went to live with the Bayaka Pygmy clan. Sarno became deeply embedded before recording the celestial yet earthy music of his dreams. First-time director Michael Obert locates Sarno in a remote jungle, then follows him fulfilling a pledge to his son to escort him to New York City. Song from the Forest accentuates the vast gulf between cultures, as we get immersed equally in the strange and exotic ways of the dancing, chanting, hunting Bayaka and the more domesticated Americans, living like caged birds in skyscrapers. This impeccable portrait is gorgeously shot, slyly scored, and sharply edited – showing an engrossing protagonist at a crossroads.
Afterwards, join musicologist and philosopher David Rothenberg, Song from the Forest’s music supervisor. In a show & tell ”Bird Whale Bug: Music With the More-Than-Human World,” David will interact with the soundscape created for the film.
When African American kids just entering adolescence form the band Unlocking the Truth, their YouTube videos go viral, and they appear to be fulfilling a classic dream. Malcolm Brickhouse (guitar, vocals), Jarad Dawkins (drums), and Alec Atkins (bass) appear at Coachella and the Colbert Report, with their novelty leading to a mega-deal with Sony. Along for the ride is filmmaker Luke Meyer and his team, who chart the astonishing push-pull between the neophytes and the tone-deaf music industry. Most of the film’s satirical punch comes from witnessing candid, unfiltered interactions between the skateboard-riding teenagers and their outlandishly old-school manager Alan Sacks, who brought the world “Welcome Back Kotter” and the Jonas Brothers.
Post-film conversation with the filmmaker Luke Meyer and Frank Black.
Pre-show music by Taina Asili & Gaetano Vaccaro who perform Spanish flamenco and some of Latin America’s best loved folkloric classics. Experience some here.
Luke Meyer is a filmmaker from western Massachusetts, known for his films Darkon and New World Order. He is part of the filmmaking collective SeeThink Films along with Tom Davis, Andrew Neel, and Ethan Palmer. He originally majored in writing and got into filmmaking as an extension of his interest in storytelling. He has edited, written, and produced several other films, such as King Kelly, Alice Neel, and The Feature. Breaking A Monster premiered in March at SXSW.
Frank Black is known as the leader of the electrifying, loud-quiet-loud Pixies, credited for inspiring Nirvana, Radiohead and thousands of other bands that came in their wake. For almost 30 years, Frank (also known as Black Francis) has been entangled with record labels including 4AD and Elektra, and has a few choice things to say about the music industry.
PARTY: WISHBONE ZOË + SERATONES + JAVELIN'S GEORGE LANGFORD
@ North Adams Elks Lodge #487
The swaggering garage rockers Seratones (Shreveport, Louisiana) have just signed a three-record deal with Fat Possum, the label that launched The Black Keys. “A mesmeric mix of Dick Dale guitars and early White Stripes intensity, headed up by tiny, Afro’d frontwoman AJ. She’ll get endless comparisons to Mavis Staples due to her voice when she really belts it out, Sister Rosetta Tharpe because of the way she holds and plays her guitar. It’s probably the best off-the-cuff performance I’ve ever seen at SXSW.” (Matt Wilkinson, New Musical Express)
Wishbone Zoe makes what she calls “junkyard rock,” supplementing banjo, guitar and pedal looper with found sound including appliances, pots, bottles, and gas cans.
Javelin’s George Langford, one-half of the the cut-and-paste party starters Javelin, will hijack the turntables for a late-night dj set.