This past weekend I watched seven documentary films. Seven. And no, I wasn’t laying on my couch all weekend. I made the relatively short drive from St. Louis to Columbia, MO for the True/False Film Festival. It was awesome.
Background: I first attended True/False two years ago, as an official “busker” of the festival. Basically, Cassie Morgan and I played a short set before each of a handful of films while people were finding seats, getting drinks, etc. One evening, we were part of an official True/False show at one of the music venues in town. I’d never heard of music being integrated in a film festival like this before, and thought it was genius. Being able to play music all weekend AND partake in some truly amazing films was an absolute dream. I couldn’t wait to get back there. Luckily, this year was my chance, and I also got to take Kit along for the ride. This time, I wasn’t working so we were able to take in even more films!
I’ll quickly highlight my two favorites of the weekend (this is hard because they were all GREAT). The first is
‘Secret Screening Burgundy’– So a neat thing about True/False is that they have secret screenings. It’s kind of like a premiere, but you can’t talk about it, and the name and director has to stay secret, and it’s not publicized. You don’t even really know what the movie is about before buying a ticket. If you see one of these, you are in for a great experience. Here’s the extremely general summary from the festival website- “A man sits in a cluttered apartment. He is utterly focused. The TV is on. He is working. Later, his efforts will be heralded and hated in equal measure. They will be seen as an attack on institutions and an affront to established mores. His character will be questioned. This adroitly sculpted character study is sure to leave you debating motive and perspective for weeks (if not months) to come. But what’s not up for debate is the empathy and strong sense of narrative the filmmaker brings to the subject.” This story is amazing on multiple levels, and manages to be both touching, yet hilarious. All the seats in the theater were taken, so we stood for 90 minutes to watch the film. It was worth it.
**’20,000 Days On Earth’**- “Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, the film examines what makes us who we are, and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit.” I really appreciated the way this music documentary was reimagined, mixing in drama with real footage. Watching this film from my own perspective as a musician, I was completely and utterly inspired.