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Current Films and Videos, Volume 52, No. 3 (Fall 2008)
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Compiled by David Henderson (St. Lawrence University)

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

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


On the Rumba River. 2008 (2006). Directed by Jacques Sarasin (France/Democratic Republic of Congo). Distributed by First Run Features. DVD, 82 min. Follows Antoine "Wendo” Kolosoy, who released his first album in 1948, as he journeys across Congo in the late 1990s. In Lingala with English subtitles.


Aboriginality. 2008. Directed by Dominique Keller and Tom Jackson (Canada). Distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. DVD, 14 min. Five-minute-long animated film that follows an urban youth as he heads down the mystical Red Road. With a nine-minute short featuring traditional hoop dance performer and hip-hop dance performer Dallas Arcand.

And This Is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago’s Legendary Maxwell Street. 2008. Directed by Mike Shea (USA). Distributed by Shanachie Records. DVD, 100 min. Re-release of this 1964 film. Includes Shuli Eshel’s film, Maxwell Street: A Living Memory (2002), which captures the essence of the once thriving Maxwell Street Market through the children and grandchildren of the Eastern European Jewish immigrants who built it. Accompanying the DVD is a seventeen-track CD overview of blues on Maxwell Street going back to the 1920s, and a 36-page booklet of photos and anecdotes.

El corrido mexicano: Música y cuernos de chivo/The Mexican Corrido: Music and Goat Horns. 2007. Directed by Ignacio Palencia (Mexico/USA). Distributed by Films for the Humanities & Sciences. DVD, 57 min. Performances by Los Sierreños, El Palomo y el Gorrión, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Grupo Exterminador, and Los Tigres del Norte, filmed on location in Mexico and San Diego. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Compañeras. 2008. Produced and directed by Elizabeth Massie and Matthew Buzzell (USA). Distributed by Filmakers Library. DVD, 59 min. Profiles America’s first all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, which was founded in 1994.

Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo. 2008 (2006). Written and directed by Les Claypool. Distributed by National Lampoon. DVD, 91 min. Mockumentary in which a young graduate filmmaker from UCLA follows the jam band Electric Apricot to the West Coast music festival, Festeroo.

Girls Rock! 2007. Directed by Shane King and Arne Johnson (USA). Distributed by Liberation Entertainment. DVD, 89 min. Follows several campers through their week-long stay at the Portland Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

Homemade Hillbilly Jam. 2007 (2005). Directed by Rick Minnich (Germany/USA). Distributed by First Run Features. DVD, 80 min. History of music in the Ozark Mountains of southwestern Missouri, shot on Super 16 and featuring Big Smith, the Pine Ridge Singers, and the Baldknobbers.

Improvisation. 2007. Written and directed by Norman Granz (USA). Distributed by Eagle Eye Media. Two DVDs, 183 min. Re-release of this 1950 jazz film featuring Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ella Fitzgerald, and Hank Jones. Includes additional photographs taken on the set, interviews about Charlie Parker and the sessions, a gallery of David Stone Martin’s drawings, introductions by Nat Hentoff, and the complete Oscar-nominated 1944 short film, "Jammin’ the Blues.”

Marjoe. 2008 (1972). Directed by Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith (USA). Distributed by Docurama. DVD, 88 min. Exposé of Marjoe Gortner, an evangelist child prodigy who grew up to expose himself as a fraud. DVD release also includes Thoth (2002), directed by Sarah Kernochan, which focuses on a character who performs one-man operas in a strange language on the streets of New York.

Música Cubana: Live in Tokyo. 2005. Directed by Mikio Kawasaki and German Kral (Japan/Canada/USA). Distributed by Video Service Corp. DVD, 90 min. The late Pio Leiva leads an all-star collection of Cuban musicians in this film produced by Wim Wenders.

Rock the Bells. 2006. Directed by Denis Henry Hennelly and Casey Suchan (USA). Distributed by Warner Home Video. DVD, 104 min. Festival producer Chang Weisberg puts everything on the line for his impossible dream of reuniting notorious no-shows the Wu-Tang Clan. Features perfromances by Redman, Dilated Peoples, MC Supernatural, Sage Francis, Eyedea+Abilities, Chali 2na, and DJ Numark.

Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists. 2008 (2005). Produced, written, and directed by Stephen Gammond (UK). Distributed by Snapper Music. DVD, 160 min. Biopic narrated by Billy Bragg, including historical photos and footage, excerpts from over forty pieces, and contemporary interviews with friends, family, and musicians.

Young @ Heart. 2008. Directed by Stephen Walker (USA/UK). Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. DVD, 108 min. Follows the rehearsals and performances of a chorus from Northampton, Massachusetts. The average age of the singers is 81 and their repertoire includes "Purple Haze,” "Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and "Forever Young.”

Asia and Oceania

Chinese Folk Music. 2004. Directed by Li Bing (China). Distributed by Huwa Golden International, Inc. DVD, 30 min. Beginning with a survey of each instrument family, this film is equally interesting for its rhetoric as for its portrayal of the varied contexts for folk music performance in contemporary China. In English or Chinese.

Heavy Metal in Baghdad. 2007. Produced and directed by Eddy Moreety and Suroosh Alvi (Iraq/USA). Distributed by Arts Alliance America. DVD, 84 min. Documentary feature film that follows Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda from the fall of Saddam Hussein to their escape from Iraq.

Peking Opera. 2004. Directed by Li Bing (China). Distributed by Huwa Golden International, Inc. DVD, 30 min. An introduction to Peking opera with segments on facial make-up, dramatic elements, and training. Also explores the origins and history of Peking opera using both historical footage and historical reenactments. In English or Chinese.


Call of Dudy: Bohemian Bagpipes across Borders. 2005. Directed by Keith Jones and Jefe Brown (Czech Republic/Germany/USA). Distributed by Peligroso Productions. DVD, 52 min. Study of Bohemian bagpipe traditions, with particular attention to the work of bagpipe scholar and musician Josef Režný of Strakonice, and including excerpts on bagpipes and bagpipers from Communist-era Czechoslovak films. Accompanying the DVD is a CD of eight tracks by the Domažlice Bagpipe Band. In Czech, German, and English with Czech, German, or English subtitles.

Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends. 2007. Directed by Jasmine Dellal (USA). Distributed by Docurama. DVD, 111 min. Shot by renowned cinematographer of art and music Albert Maysles, this film follows a North American tour organized by the World Music Institute, featuring five groups from four countries: Fanfare Ciocarlia, Taraf de Haïdouks, Antonio El Pipa, Maharaja, and Esma Redzepova.

Notes interdites. 2008. Directed by Bruno Monsaingeon (Russia/France). Distributed by Idéale Audience International. DVD, 155 min. Includes two films by the director: The Red Baton, which focuses on classical music in the Soviet Union, and Gennadi Rozhdestivenksy: Conductor or Conjuror? In English or French with English or French subtitles.

The Pied Piper of Hützovina. 2006. Directed by Pavla Fleischer (UK/Ukraine). Distributed by Arts Alliance America. DVD, 65 min. In the summer of 2004, on a car journey in Eastern Europe, the director met and fell in love with Eugene Hütz, lead singer of New York’s gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello. This film follows Eugene and Pavla on their subsequent road trip through Eugene’s home country.

Distributor Information

Arts Alliance America
304 Hudson Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10013
212 475 2888
fax: 212 475 5487

902 Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10010
800 314 8822
fax: 212 206 9001

Eagle Eye Media
Eagle Rock Entertainment Inc.
825 8th Avenue, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10010
212 333 8000
fax: 212 445 3232

Filmakers Library
124 East 40th Street, Suite 901
New York, NY 10016
212 808 4980
fax: 212 808 4983

Films for the Humanities & Sciences
Films Media Group
200 American Metro Boulevard, Suite 124
Hamilton, NJ 08619
800 257 5126
fax: 609 275 3767

First Run Features
The Film Center Building
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213
New York, NY 10036
212 243 0600
fax: 212 989 7649

Huwa Golden International, Inc.
2275 Huntington Drive #547
San Marino, CA 91108
866 489 2383
fax: 626 796 8655

Idéale Audience International
55, rue des Petites Ecuries
75010 Paris
+33 1 4801 9590
fax: +33 1 4801 6536

Liberation Entertainment
1990 Westwood Boulevard, Penthouse
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310 474 4456
fax: 310 474 7455

National Film Board of Canada
3155 Côte de Liesse
Montreal, QC H4N 2N4

National Lampoon
8228 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
310 474 5252
fax: 310 474 1219

Peligroso Productions

Shanachie Records
37 East Clinton Street
Newton, NJ 07860
800 497 1043

Snapper Music
1 Star Street
London W2 1QD
+44 0207 563 5500
fax: +44 0207 563 5566

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90067
888 463 3767
fax: 888 443 4369

Video Service Corp.
481 University Avenue, No. 705
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E9

Warner Home Video
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91522

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