2008 DECEMBER NEWSLETTER
FROZEN RIVER TAKES CENTER STAGE
Melissa has been receiving rave reviews and accolades for her role as an immigrant smuggler across the U.S. and Canadian boarder. She will also be receiving the Spotlight Award by the National Board of Review, to be presented January 14, 2009 and is nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards: Best Female Lead. The winners will be announced February 21, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. She has been nominated in the Best Actress category in the 14th Annual Broadcast Film Critics' Association's Critics Choice Awards
In a phone interview Melissa said regarding all the mounting accolades: "I'm really grateful for the work I have gotten. It’s been a fun year of working. The awards are inspiring, more than I've ever dreamt of."
Independent Spirit Awards nominations
Our 2008 centerpiece film Wendy and Lucy Produced by Larry Fessenden, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani is nominated for Best Feature.
Medicine for Melancholy which received an honorable mention for The Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award at WFFs 9th annual awards ceremony is nominated for the Independent Spirit Award: Best First Feature.
Prince of Broadway, which nabbed the 2008 Woodstock Film Festivals Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss, which was a part the WFF 2007 program also received a nod for the John Cassavetes Award.
Both Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River) are nominated for the Best Female Lead Award.
Other films from our 2008 program that received nominations include another 2008 WFF centerpiece film Secret of the Grain (Best Foreign Film) The Betrayal (Best Documentary), Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy producers of I’ll Come Running for the Piaget Producers Award. Director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) was nominated for the Acura Someone to Watch Award and James Laxton (Medicine for Melancholy)received a nomination for Best Cinematoraphy.
For more information, visit Spirit Awards
WENDY AND LUCY
In The New York Times' Manolha Dargis wrote “With uninflected realism, an attentive camera and no weeping strings, Ms. Reichardt makes palpably, tragically real what it means to be struggling at the very edge of the economic abyss. WENDY AND LUCY is political to the bone but without any of the usual grandstanding.”
Wendy and Lucy, which screened as centerpiece film at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, will open at the Film Forum in NY on December 10th and in Los Angeles on December 12. For more information visit Oscilloscope Pictures
THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN
Stephen Holden of The NY Times wrote, "Brilliant ... an extraordinarily rich
Featured at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, The Secret of the Grain will be released in theaters by IFC Films in New York on December 24. For more information please visit IFC Films
Glass Eye Pix & Beck Underwood are chilled to no end to invite you on a moving & unforgettable holiday journey.
This year, a horrifyingly talented group of artists will create short films inspired by images found through the squeaky doors & cracked windows of the 2008 Creepy Christmas Advent calendar.
The online Film Fest begins December 1st at Creepy Christmas
Bringing the festival to life are many upstate residents and film festival alumnae including: Larry Fessenden, Oliver Noble, Sam Falconi, JT Petty, James Felix McKenney, Mary Harron, Michael Vincent and Beck Underwood.
The first film (December 1) was created by local illustrator and children’s book author, David Goldin and features the music of Woodstock balladeer, Chase Pierson of the band Mechanical Bull. Order advent calendars today at Ghastly Greetings
With an unflinching focus on politics, pollution and human rights, FLOW: For Love of Water, a film by Irena Salina, ensures that the precarious relationship between humanity and water can no longer be ignored. While specifics of locality and issue may differ, the message is the same; water, and our future as a species, is quickly drying up. Armed with a thirst for survival, people around the world are fighting for their birthright; unless we instigate change, we face a world in which only those that can pay for their water will survive. FLOW: For Love of Water, is a catalyst for people everywhere: the time has come to turn the tide and we can't wait any longer.
MAN ON WIRE
On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire and illegally rigged between the New York's twin towers. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. This documentary compiles Petit's footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century.
"Exhilerating," says Stephen Holden of The New york Times
THE DEATH OF ODETTA HOLMES
Once described as the queen of American folk music by Martin Luther King Jr., Odetta's monumental voice rang out in August 1963 when she sang "I'm on My Way" at the historic March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. She had hoped to perform again in Washington next month when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the nation's first African American president. However the legendary folk singer, who influenced generations of musicians and was an icon in the civil rights movement, sadly passed away Tuesday at the age of 77, after battling heart disease for much of her later life.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., on New Year's Eve, 1930, and raised in Los Angeles, Odetta Holmes proved to be a true musical talent early on in her life. At the age of thirteen she was schooled in opera and began touring with the musical Finian’s Rainbow soon after. However, it was in the 1950’s that Odetta began to come into her own as a folk singer. Her classical and musical-stage training combined with her passion for story telling is what propelled Odetta into the spot light. Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, the 1956 Tradition LP with definitively blazing interpretations of "Easy Rider" and "God's Gonna Cut You Down," announced the arrival of a voice whose electrifying and emotional power shocked the world.
During the folk boom of the 50’s and 60’s, each Odetta gig was an eclectic mix of work songs, folk songs, church songs, and an eloquent tutorial in raw American history. Her character was literal, political, cultural and to many, inspirational. "The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta," Bob Dylan once said, and listening to that Tradition album helped persuade the young rocker to switch from electric to acoustic guitar. Odetta returned the favor in 1965, recording an LP of Dylan songs (Odetta Sings Dylan)
with an emphasis on the antiwar numbers rather than Dylan's sheaf of civil-rights ballads.
In later years Odetta collaborated on a dozen or more albums. She recorded a collection of Christmas spirituals, and did tribute albums to Ella Fitzgerald, Leadbelly and blues vocalists of the 1930s. Even in her 60s and 70s she still could still inspire a crowd with her moving and powerful voice. In her commanding presence, charismatic delivery and determination to sing black truth to white power, Odetta proved to be a true American inspiration.
MUSICAL GIFT IDEAS
If you missed Béla Fleckwith Sparrow Quartet at the opening night coincert of the Woodstock Film Festival or you missed him in the beautiful documentary Throw Down Your Heart, here comes Jingle All the Way by Béla Fleck and the Fleckstones just in time for the holiday season.
Béla Fleck, often considered the premiere banjo player in the world, has made a name for himself as a virtuoso instrumentalist unbounded by genre. His band The Flecktones - Victor Wooten on electric bass, Jeff Coffin on sax and flute, and Future Man on percussion - are equally talented and adventurous as Fleck himself, and together they have made a string of critically acclaimed albums that combine bluegrass, jazz, funk and world music with technical prowess, unlimited imagination and occasional zaniness. Their new holiday CD Jingle All the Way is all of that, with bells on - Christmas music as it's never been heard it before, with unique tonal textures (banjo, Tuvan throat singing, klezmer mandolin), hot solos and tight ensemble arrangements that make every measure new. Jingle All the Way is the perfect stocking stuffer for those who like their Christmas music fun and challenging at the same time.
Jazz Legend and Woodstock resident Jack DeJohnette's latest mediation CD Peace Time has been nominated for a 2008 Grammy® for Best New Age album!
Jack was also voted Best Drummer in the 2008 Downbeat Readr's Poll.
Cassandra Wilson's Loverly is something more than just her unique spin on songs from long ago. For this set, she has assembled an impressive core group of musicians to accompany her: Jason Moran on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on acoustic upright bass, and Marvin Sewell on guitar. Her low and hypnotic contralto glides so knowingly through each song that they would seem to be of her own creation--but aren't. To be sure, each of the 12 songs found on Loverly are stamped with her trademark Delta-baby, bluesy style. But Wilson and company have taken it one step further by turning tear-jerkers such as "Til There Was You" and "The Very Thought of You" into sultry bubblers that invite ballads into the bedroom. Throw in the moody "Black Orpheus" and her funky, down-to-business take on "St. James Infirmary," and it doesn't take long to realize that Loverly is a complete attempt to satisfy the soul; a sexy mesh that dares rival anything Cassandra Wilson has released before it.
Now currently living in the Hudson Valley, Wilson recently said in a BBC interview, "I wanted something quieter."
If you had a love-potion, who would you make fall madly in love with you? Timothy, prone to escaping his dismal high school reality through dazzling musical daydreams, gets to answer that question in a very real way. After his eccentric teacher casts him as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he stumbles upon a recipe hidden within the script to create the play’s magical, purple love-pansy. Armed with the pansy, Timothy’s fading spirit soars as he puckishly imposes a new reality by turning much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby-jock of his dreams.
The course of true love never did run smooth, but by the end of director Tom Gustafson’s moving musical comedy of errors, the bumpy ride comes to a heartfelt conclusion. With vibrant imagery, a first-rate ensemble cast, and innovative music rivaling the best of pop/rock and contemporary Broadway, Were the World Mine attempts to push modern gay cinema and musical film beyond expectation. After playing numerous prestigious film festivals around the world, resulting in standing ovations and unparalleled acclaim from audiences and critics alike, Were the World Mine received its theatrical release in the fall of 2008.
PS Classics’ soundtrack – featuring original music by Jessica Fogle and a score by Tim Sandusky – captures all the melody, magic and high spirits of the film the Hollywood Reporter called “a rousing, warm-hearted spectacle.”
Real Moments: Photographs of Bob Dylan 1966-1974
Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript
Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric marks a unique collaboration: With his unerring eye, Barry Feinstein captured unforgettable moments in stunning black-and-white, such as Marilyn Monroe's swimming pool on the day she died, and Frank Sinatra celebrating at John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Ball. In the provocative accompanying text, Bob Dylan's expressive lyricism redefines silver screen nostalgia.
Bob Dylan is one of the most lauded and greatest loved songwriters and performers of all time. His particular brand of music first caught the public's attention in the 1960s, when he became something of a chronicler of the American conscience and cultural unrest. His remarkable career in music and literature continues to this day.
Barry Feinstein's photography has appeared in Life, Look, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, and scores of other magazines and album covers. His photographs of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Janis Joplin, and others are considered classics of the genre. Click here to purchase online
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LOCATION OF THE MONTH
The Hudson Valley Film Commission (HVFC) is fully prepared to act as a conduit for preproduction, production, and postproduction for filmmaking in the Hudson Valley and Catskill region. HVFC attracts filmmakers from around the world to the region and provides support throughout the year to studio features, independent features, print, new media, short films, and television shows and ads.
The region also offers location, technical and talent support through top industry insiders. Feel free to email us about your projects at
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