2011 was the 82nd year in the extraordinary life of arguably the greatest saxophone player in the world, Sonny Rollins. Four decades ago, as a young filmmaker and aspiring musician, Dick Fontaine followed Rollins up onto the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan during one of his legendary escapes from the perils of 'the jazz life'. Today, still resisting stereotype and compromise, and revered by a new generation of young musicians, Rollins continues his single-minded search for meaning in his music and his life.
Poet-filmmaker Jørgen Leth taps his own earliest inspirational veins by free-floating through a camera/microscope-enhanced set of poems with love as their first and final subject. For example, how a tropical island woman prepares for a meeting with her lover. The film was shot partly in the South Pacific with more than a nod to social anthropoliogist B. Malinowski's historical work The Sexual Life of Savages.
A behind-the-scenes music documentary that reveals the messy, all-too human face of the low-budget music scene in stark contrast to the perceived glamour of an internationally touring rock band. Raised on a chicken farm in rural Nambour, on Australia's northeast coast, front men Geoff and Ben Corbett sought their artistic beginnings in the 80s, dabbling in punk and performance art. They milked their North Queensland roots relentlessly for its inbred, bigoted imagery, filtered through wicked wit and self-deprecation. Touring for 15 years, the band has become an underground institution. One reviewer described their show as "an indistinguishable pulverising barrage of screams, sweat, spit and blood flowing over a fierce, raw pulsing din." Their shows engender an atmosphere of trance and possession as the duo lurch around the stage, barrel into the crowd, hang upside-down from lighting rigs, drink beer from boots, eat the contents of ashtrays, and blood let. Their mild-mannered alter egos.
What a brilliant idea to create a "film diary!" Jonas Mekas, a leading figure in experimental films, has painted the perfect picture of 1960s New York using his influential avant-garde filmmaking style. Watching his flickering, 16mm footage is so moving that it will inspire one to create there own personal film diary. If you want to take a glimpse in the day of the life of Jonas Mekas, P. Adams Sitney, Tony Conrad, Stan Brakhage, Carl Th. Dreyer, Timothy Leary, Baba Ram Dass, Gregory Markopoulos, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Jerome Hill, Barbet Schroeder, Jack Smith, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Velvet Underground, Ken Jacobs, Hans Richter, Standish D. Lawder, Adolfas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Jud Yalkut, Peter Kubelka, Michael Snow, Richard Foreman, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono, I suggest watching this moving poetry on screen.