On New Year’s Eve, 1969, a flamboyant ragtag troupe of genderbending hippies took the stage of San Francisco’s Palace Theater and The Cockettes were born. For the next 2 1/2 years, these outrageous drag performers created 20 shows with titles like “A Crab on Uranus Means You’re Loved” and “Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma,” and were featured in four underground films.
State of Mind is an eye-opener: In documenting the daily grind of 13-year-old Pak Hyon Sun and 11-year-old Kim Song Yun as they prepare for the yearly Games, Gordon reveals what it’s like to live in North Korea today.
On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it’s making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish “Covan,” a short horror film.
Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands / Fassbinder: at elske uden at kræve (2015) Christian Braad Thomsen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Irm Hermann, Harry Baer, Documentary
Thomsen presents previously unseen interview footage recorded with Fassbinder throughout their fifteen-year friendship, which spans exactly the length of his career – their first encounter was at the Berlinale in 1969 where Fassbinder’s debut was famously booed (you can hear the cries of “Awful!” and “Shame!” on the archive footage), and their last was just three weeks before his untimely death.
This Is Cinerama (1952) Merian C. Cooper, Gunther von Fritsch, Lowell Thomas, Kathy Darlyn, Documentary
A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind has attempted to create the illusion of depth & movement by artistic, mechanical and photographic means.
Documentary look at doomed male prostitutes in Prague, ages 15 to 18, who troll at the public swimming pool, the train station, a video arcade, and a disco. After the boys talk about how they got in the game, the camera follows them to the home of Pavel Rousek. Under the name Hans Miller, he makes gay porno videos, primarily for German distribution. Intercut with a movie shoot chez Rousek is an interview that follows him to his day job at a morgue, where he performs an autopsy as he talks about his work. The sex is without protection; the boys are without family. They talk about their bodies and souls, money, their sexual orientation, AIDS, their dreams, and death.
Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He’s born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it’s tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies’ narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others.
Blue Note – A Story of Modern Jazz (1997) Julian Benedikt, Andreas Morell, Freddie Hubbard, Gil Melle, Herbie Hancock, Documentary, Music
“It must ‘schwing!'” was the motto of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two German Jewish immigrants who in 1939 set up Blue Note Records, the jazz label that was home to such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. Blue Note, the most successful movie ever made about jazz, is a testimony to the passion and vision of these two men and certainly swings like the propulsive sounds that made their label so famous. The only documentary about the legendary Jazz record label includes original footage from concert recordings by Blue Note label artists, original footage of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and interviews with Carlos Santana, Rudy Van Gelder, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock among others.Grammy nominated for “Best Long Form Music Video” in 1997, Blue Note also went on to earn a Peabody Award (1998), Vision Award (1998) and a Rocky Award nomination.