A Whole Day of Music Films
Date & Time
February 28, 2009, 12pm
Machine Project

Please join us this Saturday Feb 28th for a full day of great music films at Machine, curated by Emily Lacy.

We’ll have some uncomfortable plastic chairs and a few comfortable bean bag chairs for you to sit in. Feel free to bring snacks, drinks, pajamas, sleeping bags, cushions, hammocks, sofas, futons, etc. Free.

Pete Seeger – Power of Song (2007) 93 min.

Old Joy (2006) 76 min.

Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976) 103 min.

The Other side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk
Festival, 1963-65
(2007) 83 min.

Last Days (2005) 97 min.

Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965) 45 min.

Patti Smith – Dream of Life (2008) 109 min

Pink Floyd, Live at Pompeii (1972) 85 min.

Program Description:

12:00pm – Pete Seeger: Power of Song

“Pete Seeger’s ethics are pure. He believes that everyone is equal. He is an American patriot who built his own log cabin and lives simply in the woods. Pete has a complete distrust of commercial forces, pop culture, technology, greed, fame and the corporate and military influences on democracy. He hates the word career, and has no interest in personal gain, shuns publicity and works tirelessly with his wife, Toshi, because he believes we are blindly destroying the world. He might be right. There are lessons to be learned by exploring his life and music.” – Jim Brown, Director of Pete Seeger: Power of Song

1:35pm – Old Joy

The closest you can get to being tele-ported directly to the Northwest. Starring Drag City’s chameleon-hero Will Oldham, (Palace Brothers, Bonnie Prince Billy) this is a drifty, dreamy, quiet search for Oregonian hot springs tucked deep inside the forest. Accompanied by a groovy, meditative score from Yo La Tengo, this film will make you breathe easy. Directed by Kelly Reichardt, acclaimed director of Wendy and Lucy (2008).

2:45pm – Harlan County, U.S.A.

Documenting recurrent coal mining struggles at the Brookside mine in Harlan, Kentucky, this film has set a bar in film history for it’s courage alone. You will be hard pressed to find a film that comes closer physically to the dangers it seeks to challenge, and the freedoms it seeks to preserve. The music of the workers in their union songs, along with the cameras of the filmmakers, become the leading devices for survival. A truly classic film/folk text.

4:15pm – The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport
Folk Festival, 1963-65

“If you were not at the Newport Folk Festival in the ’60s — or, for that matter, if you were — ‘The Other Side of the Mirror’ places you in perfect seats, out of the sun and wind and without any extraneous
contextualization. It’s a remarkably pure and powerful documentary, partly because it’s so simple. The sound mix is crisp, the black-and-white photography is lovely, and the songs, above all, can be heard in all their earnest, enigmatic glory, performed by an artist whose gifts are at once mysterious and self-evident.” A.O. Scott ,
(New York Times)

5.45pm – Last Days

Featuring an iconic musical protagonist who never speaks, but wanders deeply through the crevices and canyons of his own (mental) mansion in the Northwest, Gus Van Sant brings this marinating rumination on Art and Artist to a remarkable peak. Hypnotizing in it’s muteness, subtle in it’s strain to find some, (any!), words,- The film works you into a slow deep tissue massage, all you have to do is relax.

7.30pm – Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen

Before Leonard Cohen released the historic ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen’ debut album in 1967, he was already an accomplished Canadian Poet. This film reveals a special window into that life before Cohen began recording music, when he was crafting solely in the land of speech. Reading to auditoriums full of people waiting upon his every utterance, he has the audience laughing one moment, and fighting back tears the next. With tremendous grace, with tremendous patience,- He opens up the gates to his world.

8.20pm – Patti Smith – Dream of Life

“Steven Sebring’s ‘Patti Smith: Dream of Life’ is a dream of a movie; gauzy, free-associative and reverberant. Shot over 11 years by a commercial photographer who befriended the poet, rock star, activist and “godmother of punk” in the mid-’90s, when Smith returned to New York following the death of her husband, it drifts and floats between footage of her as a young woman in the ’60s and ’70s and rambling home-movie-like footage of her life today…’Life isn’t some vertical or horizontal line,’ she says. ‘You have your interior world, and it’s not neat – therefore the importance and the beauty of music, sound, noise.’ Carina Chocano (LA Times)

10.30pm- Pink Floyd, Live at Pompeii

“Essentially a Pink Floyd concert without an audience, the bulk of the film shows Pink Floyd (surrounded by an unabashedly displayed crew of shirtless cameramen and roadies) playing music at the center of the crumbling Pompeii amphitheater from mid-day until late into the night. Throught the film Maben intercuts or superimposes images of the Pompeii ruins, the surrounding countryside, eroded mosaics and sculptures, and of course the members of Pink Floyd — indistinguishable from the disheveled technicians around them — as they perform songs and instrumental pieces from Meddle and their improvisational double-album Ummagumma.” Lawrence Van Gelder, (New York Times)