(Feature Music Documentary, Work in Progress)
The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio’s music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over. The group formed in the early ’80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo.
After being discovered by the Pretenders’ James Honeyman-Scott, the Violent Femmes signed to Slash and issued their self-titled 1983 debut, a melodic folk-punk collection which struck an obvious chord with young listeners who felt a strong connection to bitter, frustrated songs like “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” and “Add It Up.” The album remained a rite of passage for succeeding generations of teen outsiders, and after close to a decade in release, it finally achieved platinum status.
“American Music” is a warts-and-all exploration of the bands history, including all the of music and the turmoil. For instance, Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie have navigated lawsuits over the use of their iconic punk masterpiece, “Blister In the Sun”, after Gano licensed the song for use in a Wendy’s TV commercial. Other infighting has also plagued the band in recent years, including the departure of original drummer Victor DeLorenzo not once, but twice.
From idealistic youth to extended layoff, the Violent Femmes have navigated some significant obstacles along the way to alternative rock icons. “American Music” will take us through it all.
Produced by Jeremy Coon
Edited by Barry Poltermann
(Documentary Short, 2016, Big Sky Film Fest)
Anthony Marquez, a former Marine and military dog handler, has returned from Afghanistan. He lost 17 friends in the war, and has been suffering from the effects of PTSD. When he finds out that the dog that he went through the war with, Allie, is being retired from the Marine Corp, he sets out to adopt her.
Currently on the festival circuit.
Director: Manny Marquez
Editor: Matt Prekop
Executive Producer: Ryan Dembroski
Story Supervisor: Michael Vollmann
(Feature Documentary, Work in Progress)
On the murky brown river that runs from Pagsanjan Falls in the Philippines there is a particular bend. Every few minutes, boatloads of tourists paddle noisily by in plastic canoes, but no one takes any notice of this spot, and it’s not hard to see why. There is nothing here but a small tourist office, a few grimy resort villas and a stray yellow dog stretching in the sun.
You’d be excused for thinking the most exciting thing ever to happen here would be the rancor of disappointed package tourists demanding their money back. But you’d be wrong. Rewind about 30 years and this unremarkable river bend was the center of the cinematic world, engulfed in the explosive, sky-scorching finale of one of the most expensive, traumatic and spectacular film productions ever attempted.
At the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Apocalypse Now”, director Francis Coppola says “‘My film is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam. The way we made it is the way Americans were in Vietnam. We had too much money, too much equipment and little by little we went insane.” This quote is the jumping off point for the classic documentary “Hearts of Darkness”, an exploration of the making of the film from the perspective of the American crew.
But did the Filipino’s involved with the making of “Apocalypse Now” also see the making of the movie as similar to the Vietnam War? Did they feel that Coppola took an occupying force, also known as a film crew, and used the land and people for his own personal agenda?
Or was the making of “Apocalypse Now” the greatest thing that ever happened to this remote region?
Since 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the filming of “Apocalypse Now,” we decided it was the right time to go back to the Phillipines and discover through the villagers, business people, filmmakers, expats and tribe members that lived the experience, what it was like to be a Filipino on the 14 month production. And what has happened since
Humorous and offbeat, “After the Apocalypse” will be rife with local color and characters… as we learn about the rumored growth of the sex trade in Pagsanjan due to prostitutes employed by the film’s crew. The birth of the Filipino surf culture that developed out of the filming of the “Charlie’s Point,” scene. The “Apocalypse Curse,” leveled upon the filmmakers due to rumors that real dead bodies were used in certain scenes, and the crew hired grave robbers to provide these bodies.
And through all of this, we witness the birth, collapse and re-birth of the Filipino film production culture, which first grew out of ‘Apocalypse Now’, and then was nearly destroyed by it.
We have all seen “Apocalypse Now.” Now we will see what happened “After the Apocalypse”.
A September Club Production
Director: Manny Marquez
Producer: Barry Poltermann
(Documentary Feature, 2014, Premiere MIFF)
Oklahoma garbageman Victor Marquez has held a lifelong dream of creating gruesome makeup effects for Hollywood movies, but life got in the way and Victor deferred his dream to start a family with the love of his life. Twenty-five years later, husband and wife pool their life savings to purchase acreage where Victor will put together a haunted house that showcases his ghoulish talents, a risky business venture in rural Oklahoma where such celebrations of the macabre raise the ire of locals who perpetuate racial stereotypes. A documentary from Victor’s nephew, Manny, Psychopath is a portrait of a self-made entrepreneur following the American dream despite long odds.
Director: Manny Marquez
Producer: Ben Leiser
Executive Producer: Jack Turner
Editor: Barry Poltermann
(Music Video, FIELD REPORT, 2014)
When he’s not directing documentaries, Manny Marquez moonlights as a music video director. We edited this piece for “The Field Report”.
For other music videos and odds and ends, explore the Attic.