Posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2010 by David Chen
Lots of cool film-related stuff happens in Boston, Massachusetts and not that many people are here to document it, preserve it and spread the word about it. Special screenings, Q&As, panel discussions — we have them all, and frequently too. /Film Boston aims to be a bi-weekly column that will bring you audio and video content from film-related events around the Boston area. If you don’t live in Boston, I hope that this column will give you a window into some of the cool stuff that happens here regularly. If you do live here, hopefully you’ll come here to get the heads-up on what’s been going on, and what is to come. As always, every edition of /Film Boston is available at http://www.slashfilm.com/boston.
After the break, some thoughts on the powerful documentary 45365, which has been lighting up the festival circuit around America, and an interview with one of its filmmakers, Turner Ross.
All summer long, the Brattle Theater is hosting screenings by The DocYard. From the little I know of it, the DocYard is an incredibly worthwhile endeavor that brings filmmakers to Boston on a bi-weekly basis to discuss new and exciting documentaries. It will culminate with a screening of Lixin Fan’s incredible film, Last Train Home (and honestly, I can’t wait, seeing as how that’s one of my favorite documentaries of all time). Unfortunately, I missed the screening for /Film reader Joshua Ligari’s Cleanflix a few weeks ago, but I was luckily able to catch 45365 last week, which first premiered at SXSW this year.
45365 is the postal code for Sidney, Ohio, a small American town with a population of about 20,000 people. Over the course of 9 months, the filmmakers followed dozens of the town’s inhabitants as they went about their daily lives. Many of us might think we don’t have that much in common with these townspeople, but that is perhaps the film’s greatest achievement: it reminds us all of our shared humanity.
45365 works primarily as a collection of moments, brief vignettes that give us just a taste of what is happening in the day-to-day occurrences of Sidney. We see people managing their relationships with others, a family in the middle of an argument, the goings-on at a local radio station, some kids TP’ing a house. We sense the malaise of small-town living at the same time as we feel the thrills that the triumphant small moments bring. The interactions we are privy to are alternately funny, moving, heartbreaking, and revealing. While we are offered these moments in their full glory there’s not enough to know the beginning, middle and end to each story, and that’s part of the point. There’s no voiceover, no narration, no talking heads interview. 45365 is just as much about mood as it is about telling these small stories stories. I greatly enjoyed the film, but if you’re looking for a regular documentary that won’t challenge you, then you should probably look elsewhere.
The film was made by the Ross Brothers, Turner and Bill, who grew up in the town they so elegantly profiled in the film. I was able to speak with Turner during his brief stay here in Boston. We discussed what compelled him to make the film, his process for capturing the honest moments you see in 45365, and the difficulties inherent in structuring a film like this one. Feel free to check out the film’s official website.
Here’s some other cool stuff that’s happening in Boston in the near future (some info via the Boston Screening Community). Information is subject to change, so always check with the source before trekking out to the screening:
Monday, 7/5, 7:00 pm – The Brattle hosts the DocYard’s next screening: P-Star Rising, with Q&A by the director.
Friday-Sunday, 7/9-7/12 – Brattle Theater has screenings of Inglorious Basterds, plus a new 35mm print of The Evil Dead. Seems like a good weekend to be a member.
Friday and Saturday, 7/9 and 7/10, 11:59 PM – As part of their “End is Nigh” series, Coolidge Corner is hosting screenings of Mad Max.
Tuesday, 7/13, 7:00pm – Brattle Theater has a FREE screening of Winnebago Man, co-presented with IFFBoston. Check out my review of the film.
Wednesday, 7/14, 6:00pm – Brattle Theater is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird with a panel discussion about the book’s unique place in our literary landscape, plus a screening afterwards.
Monday, 7/12, 7:00pm – Coolidge Corner is hosting a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark! If I didn’t have my Inception screening this evening, I would totally be there.
Friday and Saturday, 7/16 and 7/17, 11:59 PM – Coolidge Corner is hosting screenings of 12 Monkeys.
For now, /Film Boston is an experiment, a movie travelogue of sorts. I know the camera audio/video quality can be better, but I hope you find it viewable/listenable, as well as entertaining and interesting.
Hosting an event in Boston that you want me to cover? E-mail me at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Readers should also feel free to e-mail me if you have any other feedback, or any ideas of what you’d like to see here. What do you like about the column? What don’t you like? etc.
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