Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seeing Sound Film Series @ Pleasant Street Theater

Amherst Cinema and Pleasant Street Cinema celebrate the best in American music on film. The SEEING SOUND SERIES : AMERICAN MUSICAL CULTURE THROUGH FILM runs every Tuesday at 7:00pm from October 18th to November 8th at Pleasant Street Theater.

This series is brimming with raw emotion, powerful storytelling, and rare performances that traverse the beautiful and rugged terrain of American musical culture - including films on Gospel, Blues, New Orleans Second Line Parades, No-Wave, and Jazz.

Tuesday October 25th 7:00

With his documentary My Name Is Albert Ayler, Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin pays unbridled homage to the titular musician, one of the most innovative and electric but least-known figures in contemporary jazz. Ayler's obscurity is at least as attributable to his short lifespan as it is to his musical iconoclasm -- he died under bizarre and inexplicable circumstances in late 1970; on November 5 of that year, Manhattan police found his 34-year-old body floating in the city's East River, possibly (though not definitively) a victim of suicide. Collin approaches Ayler's life as a straightforward narrative, segueing smoothly from touchstone to touchstone. Byron Coley will introduce the film.

(Les Blank Masterworks Night)

Tuesday November 1st 7:00

THE BLUES ACCORDING TO LIGHTNING HOPKINS: The great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins is captured brilliantly in this deeply moving film. Les Blank reveals Lightnin's inspiration, and features a generous helping of classic blues. Includes performances at an outdoor barbeque and a black rodeo; and a visit to his boyhood town of Centerville, Texas. This powerful portrait is among Blank's special masterworks.
ALWAYS FOR PLEASURE is an intense insider's portrait of New Orleans' street celebrations and unique cultural gumbo: Second-line parades, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest. Features live music from Professor Longhair, the Wild Tchoupitoulas, the Neville Brothers and more. Amherst Cinema Education Director Jake Meginsky will introduce the films.

Tuesday November 8th 7:00

Rejoice and Shout traces the evolution of Gospel through its many musical styles - the spirituals and early hymns, the four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing into Gospel, the emergence of Soul, and the blending of Rap and Hip Hop elements. Gospel music also walked in step with the story of African-American culture - slavery, hardscrabble rural existence and plantation work, the exodus to major cities, the Depression, World War II, civil rights and empowerment. Rejoice and Shout connects the history of African-American culture with Gospel as it first impacted popular culture at large. Years in the making, Rejoice and Shout captures so much of what is special about this music and African-American Christianity - the sermonizing, the heartfelt testimonials, getting slain in the spirit, the hard hollering, and of course the inspiring music.

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