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Current Films and Videos, Volume 51, no. 1 (Winter 2007)
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Compiled by David Henderson (St. Lawrence University)

Acknowledgements: St. Lawrence University Libraries for financial and technical support.

General | Africa | Americas | Asia and Oceania | Europe | Distributor Information

General

Moog. 2005. Directed by Hans Fjellestad (USA/UK/Japan). Distributed by Plexifilm. DVD, 70 mins. In the liner notes, the director writes, "The film does not track the history of electronic music. It is not a chronological history of the synthesizer. No archive still photos, no narration. Moog is focused on the man today, in his own words.” With additional interviews and performances by Stereolab, Keith Emerson, Gershon Kingsley, DJ Spooky, Herb Deutsch, Pamelia Kurstin, DJ Logic, Tino Corp., and others.

OHM+: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music. 2006. Produced by Thomas Ziegler, Jason Gross, and Russell Charno (USA). Distributed by Ellipsis Arts. DVD, 125 mins. Rare archival performances, interviews, animations, and experimental video works by the pioneers of electronic music, including Clara Rockmore, John Cage, Morton Subotnick, Bebe Barron, Iannis Xenakis, Laurie Spiegel, Robert Ashley, and Alvin Lucier.

Africa

Le festival au désert/Festival in the Desert. 2004. Directed by Lionel Brouet (Mali/France). Distributed by World Village. DVD, 52 mins. Atmospheric documentary about the 2003 Festival in the Desert in Essakane, Mali. Featuring performances by Tartit, Oumou Sangaré, Lo’Jo, Tinariwen, Robert Plant and Justin Adams, Blackfire, Django, and Ali Farka Touré. In French and various African languages with English subtitles.

Americas

Casino cubano. n.d. Directed by Philip Ross (Cuba/USA). Distributed by Boogalu Productions. DVD, 46 mins. In this video, dancer Lázaro Noriega Aguire offers instruction in the casino cubano. Also includes a segment on dance exercises, and concludes with a performance of several dances. In Spanish with no English subtitles, but a printed English-language translation is provided.

Danza charanguero. 2006. Directed by Philip Ross (Cuba/USA). Distributed by Boogalu Productions. DVD, 73 mins. Party-performance with music by Orquesta Estrellas Cubanas and demonstrations of the danzón, bolero, mambo, chachachá, and salsa-casino by acclaimed dancers. Also includes interviews with a dance aficionado, Carlos Pérez Estrada; a singer, Ernesto Oviedo La Portilla; and the former director of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, Juan Garcia Fernández.[danzon carlos perez estrada folklorico juan garcia fernandez chachacha]

Dark Planet: Visions of America. 2005. Directed by Jason Mitchell (USA). Distributed by Illuminati Pictures. DVD, 109 mins. Exploration of four underground youth subcultures: skinhead, straightedge, black metal, and zealot. With performances by Already Dead, Averse Sefira, Brass Knuckle Choir, Intelligentzia, Living Sacrifice, Mat Kearney, Noctuary, Strife, Urban Sophisticates, and others.

Friends Forever. 2003. Directed by Ben Wolfinsohn (USA). Distributed by Plexifilm. DVD, 80 mins. Film made on the 2000 U.S., tour of Friends Forever, a drum-and-guitar duo who played shows from the back of their van. As the band claims in the liner notes, "If there’s anything we’re good at, we’re good at making the worst music ever made.”

God’s Rock. 2005. Directed by Bertrand Deveaud (USA). Distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences. VHS and DVD, 50 mins. Originally produced in 1999, this documentary examines the role of Christian rock in the spiritual and worldly lives of contemporary Christians in the United States.

Heavy Metal: Louder than Life. 2005. Directed by Dick Carruthers (UK). Distributed by FremantleMedia. DVD, 240 mins. Extensive history of metal, featuring Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Motorhead, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Metallica, Napalm Death, Korn, Mastodon, Slipknot, and Shadow Falls.

Spend an Evening with Saddle Creek. 2005. Directed by Jason Kulbel and Rob Walters (USA). Distributed by Plexifilm. DVD, 90 mins. Oral and visual history of the first ten years of independent Omaha label, Saddle Creek Records. Based on interviews done in December, 2003, and January, 2004, and featuring the groups Azure Ray, Cursive, Desaparecidos, Now it’s Overhead, Rilo Kiley, Sorry about Dresden, and others.

Under the Radar. 2005. Directed by J. Plunky Branch (USA). Distributed by Black Fire Music/N.A.M.E. Brand Records. DVD, 86 mins. Survey of Afro-Cuban musical genres, including rumba, changui, son, descarga, jazz, and hip-hop, shot primarily in Havana, Guantanamo, and Santiago de Cuba. Labelled an "African-American documentary on Afro-Cuban music,” this documentary was written, produced, edited, and directed by jazz saxophonist J. Plunky Branch, and shot by his son, hip-hop producer Jamiah Fire Branch.

Asia and Oceania

Beijing Opera Masks: The Face of Chinese Tradition. 2005. Directed by Dong-ha Lee (China). Distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences. DVD, 17 mins. Exploration of Beijing opera through the art of mask-making, focusing on the 76-year-old mask-maker Xiang Qi Shang. One of six videos in the series Asian Masters: Cultural Traditions, Esoteric Arts.

Hindustani Slide. 2005 (1995). Directed by Abhjit Dasgupta (India). Distributed by Rounder Records. DVD, 80 mins. Profile of the slide-guitar work of Debashish Bhattacharya, who is accompanied on the tabla by Kumar Bose in this 1994 performance from the Max Müller Bhawan in Calcutta.

The Lau of Malaita. 2003 (1987). Directed by Leslie Woodhead (Solomon Islands/UK). Distributed by Shanachie Entertainment. DVD, 51 mins. Part of the Disappearing World series, this ethnographic film includes performances of Lau song and dance, not to mention a brief excerpt of Lau watching a videotape of Grease. Made with the assistance of anthropologist Pierre Maranda.

Europe

Rock ‘n’ Roll London. 2006. Directed by Paul Keenan (UK). Distributed by Artsmagic Ltd. DVD, 70 mins. Tour of historic 1960s rock sites in London, from Shepherd’s Bush to Soho and beyond. Led by Art Wood, older brother of Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.

Distributor Information

Artsmagic Ltd.
Unit 11 Rassau Industrial Estate
Ebbw Vale, Gwent NP3 5SD
United Kingdom
fax: 01495.307343
http://www.artsmagicdvd.com

Black Fire Music/N.A.M.E. Brand Records
2218 Rosewood Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
804.355.3586
http://www.undertheradarfilms.org

Boogalu Productions
707.823.0369
http://www.boogalu.com

Ellipsis Arts
http://www.ellipsisarts.com

Films for the Humanities and Sciences
P.O. Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
800.257.5126
fax: 609.671.0266
http://www.films.com

FremantleMedia
http://www.fremantlehomeentertainment.com

Illuminati Pictures
http://www.darkplanetfilms.com

Plexifilm
45 Main Street, Suite 504
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718.643.7300
fax: 718.643.7320
http://www.plexifilm.com

Rounder Records
1 Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
800.768.6337
http://www.rounder.com

Shanachie Entertainment
37 East Clinton Street
Newton, NJ 07860
800.497.1043
http://www.shanachie.com

World Village
http://www.worldvillagemusic.com
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