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Monday, March 7, 2011

Coast to coast, Santa Cruz to Chicago, and Nicole Kidman



Ten days from now UC Santa Cruz will present my films Apparition of the Eternal Church and The Glitter Emergency, both with live musical accompaniment (Gianni Staiano accompanying Apparition on organ, me accompanying Glitter on violin). In honor of the occasion, I pull from the archive the above Q&A done in July at Santa Cruz when HisCon PhD candidate Logan Walker screened a double-header of Apparition and Glitter for his class Film 20A: The Film Experience. James had just given me an iPhone for my birthday and this is the first video I took with it, balancing it on a chair in the corner of the room. I also took these pix of Logan before and after the show, and of the class, which impressed and charmed the hell out of me.


Being chauffeured to campus, where parking is more difficult than midtown Manhattan.


After class, Logan and I decided to ford the river to get to the amusement park. It was shallow almost all the way across. That was almost the end of the iPhone.


The youth of America are both intelligent and charming, at least at UC Santa Cruz.

Coincidentally, Apparition of the Eternal Church also got some press today - this doesn't happen every day to a five-year-old film. The interview explains how I connected with the site, Biblioklept, but it doesn't tell how I came up with that screwball photograph - that's explained in this email:
Edwin you should use whatever picture you like - I've attached two you probably haven't seen - the first is a still from a home movie and is the first known documentation of me directing a film. The second I took yesterday with Photo Booth as an audition picture ("Imposing faces are a plus!") for extra work on a new Nicole Kidman picture they're shooting in Oakland. They wanted something taken with a Webcam or cell phone and rejected this one as looking too much like a professional head shot. Isn't technology marvelous?"
Regular readers of Paul Festa's Archive Fever are familiar with the first photo I mentioned:

Paul Festa, prodigy director

Today I went to the set of Hemingway and Gellhorn and did not see Nicole Kidman, but en route from getting fitted with scratchy wool pants and a Spanish Civil War gun belt to acquiring a soldier's haircut on the production's dime I saw something that made my directorial mouth water more than any starlet could: 


Green to envy

I leave you with the latest poster for Apparition and Glitter in Santa Cruz Thursday March 17th, along with a Save-The-Dave for Chicagoans: The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival will open with The Glitter Emergency before showing a Kenneth Anger double-header and then The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - all four films with live musical accompaniment.

CHICAGO
Thursday, April 14, at 7:30
Wicker Park Art Center
2215 W. North Ave.

SANTA CRUZ
Thursday, March 17, at 7:00
First Congregational Church
900 High Street



1 comment:

Alexandra said...

You are getting around. And I mean that in a good way! WE'll be your neighbors SOON, I'm so happy to say. Moving west in August!!!

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.

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