Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day in Russia

Man With a Movie Camera will play Sunday night at 8pm. The avant-garde, silent film by Dziga Vertov is a 1929 montage of images of every-day life.

But while the film is great, the soundtrack is even better.

The Alloy Orchestra, a nationally-renowned trio who accompanies silent film, will play their original score to the movie.

The best part about this orchestra is their rack-o-junk, a collection of, er...things that make music, which may include any or all of the following:

2 or 3 gongs
4 horseshoes
2 truck springs
random bells
metal pipes used as chimes
a metal bedpan
a real drumset torn apart and spread out
cakepans used as untuned steel drums
a giant xylophone made of 2x4's

Alloy never fails to put on a good show, so come and show your love, because it is, after all, Valentine's Day.

Visual Pleasure: An Interview with Archivist Rick Prelinger

What makes Rick Prelinger such an interesting filmmaker is his dislike for production and his affinity for editing. His goal is simple: to share with the world years of unseen archival footage that deals with everything from agriculture to advertising, conservation to California, and probes to plastics. What he's brought to the festival are three films, two of which he made especially for Big Sky.

Prelinger's interest lies in taking films apart as well as the collection of original elements--elements like home movies that get the viewer back to the first generation of production where one can look through the eyes of the so-called "naïve maker." Prelinger says that home movies leave "room for the unconscious" and thinks it fantastic "when you find an uninhibited filmmaker" like those who shoot the films.

Besides making collections to show on screen, Prelinger's company not only sells stock footage through Getty images, but they also run a library out of San Francisco where the public is free to capture their collection of print images by way of camera, copy machine or scan.

"It's counter-intuitive to give things away," says Prelinger, "but it's life-changing; it creates great collaborations."

Archives Meet the People (Saturday 13th at 1.15pm) and America: From Capitalist Realism to Consumer Republic (Monday 15th 11.15am). His third, Panorama Ephemera, was made five years ago, and shows on Tuesday the 16th at 2pm.

Friday, February 12, 2010

We need Volunteers! Can you help?

The list below has the dates and times of shifts with vacancies. The final column is the number of volunteers needed to fully staff the shift. Any help you can lend would be appreciated. E-mail if you are available.

13-Feb 12:30p-3:45p BoxOffice 1
13-Feb 10:15p-close Operations 2
14-Feb 6:15p-9:30p Operations 5
14-Feb 9p-close Operations 2
15-Feb noon-3:30p Operations 1
17-Feb 9a-1p Lounge 1
18-Feb 1:30p-3:45p Operations 1
19-Feb 1:30p-5p BoxOffice 1
21-Feb 9:30a-12:30p Operations 1
22-Feb noon-4p Lounge 4

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BSDFF Education Outreach

We believe documentaries are so awesome that we bring directors of our films right to the kids. We show the flick then do a discussion after, presenting students with topics and ideas they may not have been exposed to otherwise. Here's a list of the films and their directors that are being featured at schools around the area. Nice work to our Education Director, Nicole Payton, and thanks to the directors for taking time to chat with young Missoulians.

Andrew Wainrib of Cohen on the Bridge at Hellgate HS
Jan Shelby, Stewart Copeland and Mike Workman at Big Sky HS
Briar March of There Once Was an Island at Big Sky HS
Chico Colvard of Family Affair to UM *
Briar March of There Once Was an Island at Sentinel HS
Tracy Rector of Unreserved at BSHS
Tracy Rector of Unreserved at Willard HS
Andrew James of Cleanflix at Big Sky
Tracy Rector of Unreserved at Arlee HS & MS
Richard Boehm of Sold American at UM
Steward Copeland of Let Your Feet Do the Talkin' at Sentinel HS
Patrick Norman of Pinned at Big Sky HS
Tracy Rector of Unreserved at UM
Rainer Komers of Milltown, Montana at Sentinel HS *
Stewart Copeland of Let Your Feet Do the Talkin' and Maria Foritz Morse at Hellgate HS
Talal Jabari of Full Signal at Big Sky HS *
Patrick Norman of Pinned at Sentinel

*Still tentative

Uke-can Do It!

We interview Tony Coleman, co-director of Mighty Uke, playing opening night (Friday the 12th) at the fest.

BS: What made you interested in making this film? Do you have a musical background? Did you simply find it an engaging story you wanted to tell?

TC: I was a professional musician in my salad days, but got in film-making so I wouldn't starve. My big sister was a nursery school teacher and played ukulele for her kids. She passed away about a decade ago and I inherited her ukulele. The music coming out the darn thing was so joyful, I couldn't put it down. When I started searching the net for more info about it, I discovered this secret world of players and fans that just kept growing and growing. My partner Marg and I had been looking for a project to work on together and voila, MIGHTY UKE presented itself to us.

BS: Any interesting tidbits about the film?

TC: We originally intended to make a short film about the revival of the instrument. Then one day we were in a coffee shop in our hometown Toronto having our morning espresso when documentarian Ron Mann walks in. Jacked up on caffeine I shamelessly introduced myself and started blabbing on about this uke film we were making. Ron was intrigued and asked us to send him what we had. He liked it and suggested that he could get some broadcasters interested. Not long after, we had two broadcast deals and real money to make the first definitive doc about the ukulele.

When we started this film a couple of years ago, one of the first things we did was set up a google news alert for the word "ukulele". At first, we would get one or two notices a week, telling us that the word had appeared in a newspaper or magazine. Today we get between 10 and twenty a day.

Marg and I shot, recorded, edited, animated, and produced the film in our living room in HD and surround sound. I still marvel that this is all possible with a Mac and a couple of very affordable HD cameras.

BS: Where else is the film showing this year?

TC: Toronto, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York, Melbourne Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and many more.

BS: Do you, in fact, play the uke?

TC: I do play and have had the opportunity to lift the tricks of some of the greats of the instrument in our film. I would edit with the uke within arms reach. Marg had no musical background but started playing because of the film. Now she is a wonderful player with her own rhythm and style.

BS: Why documentary?

TC: I have edited feature films, tv shows, music video and documentaries for the CBC in Canada. I find docs to be the most creative and interesting of all of these types of media. The magic happens in the edit suite to a much greater degree.

Mighty Uke, a film about the resurgence of ukulele playing, will screen this Friday at 10pm.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Festival Passes Available

Pick up All Access & All Screening Passes online HERE