Yesterday Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Jim & Andy was edited by September Club working with Vice Documentary Films.
“Man on the Moon” remains one of the most misunderstood great movies of the ’90s (a lot of people just saw it as Carrey doing Kaufman’s greatest hits), because it’s really about how Andy Kaufman sacrificed his identity to showbiz — and, in doing so, became a herald
for the age when entertainment would consume everything in its path, from our dreams to our identities. When Kaufman wrestled women, coming on like Bobby Riggs on steroids and taunting the redneck crowds who turned out to see him, was it a put-on or was it a deep-down reflection of “the real Andy”? Actually, it was the real Andy pretending to be what he hated, and realizing that he loved being that way, but mostly because of the reaction it provoked.
Except that he cherished that reaction more than anything, so maybe it was the real him. Or maybe there was no real him. In one of the greatest scenes in “Man on the Moon,” Carrey, as Kaufman, as Tony Clifton gets up on stage and does his unspeakable rendition of “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” It’s bottom-of-the-barrel sentimental showbiz hooey, but it’s all built around a conundrum: Who, exactly, is me? “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” shows you that the answer is a grand illusion.”
Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker. The new September Club documentary about one of the most influential acts of the 1990’s new punk scene has been in the works for ten years. The film explores the trajectory of the band’s career. In addition to interviews with the band members and Albini, it will also feature interviews with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters, Josh Caterer of Smoking Popes, chef Graham Elliot, former Pitchfork editor Jessica Hopper, and more.
The film edited by Michael Vollmann and produced by Barry Poltermann chronicles the fatal police shooting of Dontre Hamilton and the tireless efforts of his family as they seek answers. The story follows his brother, mother and Milwaukee’s police and politicians as they struggle to come to terms with the lost of a son and a brother — and attempt to overcome a legacy of racism in a city that is arguably the most segregated in America.
“Ljung’s clear-eyed film finds hope within terrible circumstances, and strength within heartbreak. Given the continued unfortunate timeliness of the subject, the doc would certainly find an audience in a wider platform beyond the fest circuit.”
In 1996 we made our first short documentary, when we were asked by John Pierson to do a piece for the pilot episode of IFC’s SPLIT SCREEN which later became a beloved series by cinephiles. Twenty years later and the entire series and all it’s glory has found a new home with The Criterion Channel on FilmStruck.
A documentary on the EDM superstar ZEDD, which we’ve been editing lately here at September Club, premiered last night at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Highlights included an acoustic performance by Zedd playing with special guests Kesha, Echosmith and Aloe Blacc. Pretty fun night!
“The documentary, directed by Susan Bonds and Alex Lieu, chronicles the making of Zedd’s latest album True Colors, as well as the series of elaborate listening parties that the artist and his team put on for a small group of loyal fans ahead of the album’s release. Taking place in a series of exotic locations—from the Grand Canyon to the Empire State Building to Alcatraz Island—each event allowed fifty lucky fans to hear one of the album’s tracks for the very first time in a meticulously designed setting, and to have a meet-and-greet with Zedd afterward. Zedd’s personal investment in engaging directly with fans became the uniting theme of the evening, which certainly had the most exuberant and vocal audience I’ve ever seen at a documentary screening. (Screams of “I love you!” and “Marry me!” were not infrequent.)”
Two of the original filmmakers—Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala—will also be hitting the road to promote the doc on the Raiders: Follow Your Dreams Tour. Starting on June 2, the guys will be doing Q&As in several cities, leading up to ad just after the film’s wide release.
A full list of tour dates is available on the Drafthouse Cinema website.
From Tulsa OK local news:
Manny Marquez directed short documentary ‘OPERATION ALLIE’ is headed to the Gi Film Festival in Washington DC. It’s a touching portrait of his brother, Anthony, and dog, Allie. Whom were inseparable while deployed in Afghanistan. .
Manny is clear that the documentary is not about PTSD or the war. “It’s just a story about a man being reunited with his dog,” explained Manny. “And I think it’s about the power of love and healing.” And those are two things more powerful than pain and suffering.
This just in — Manny reports in that the first Skype call with Henry and Don — two original “Apocalypse Now” cast members — went great. This is a screen snap from the call that ended only minutes ago. He reports that we have some cool stuff lined up!
And here’s a screen shot of Don from a scene in “Apocalypse Now”.
Manny is leaving in early April for a two week trip to the Philippines to start working on After the Apocalypse. Stay tuned.
Sad to hear about the passing of our old friend Tom Spanic. Our sympathy goes out to Ian and all of his family.
This music video was done by us (as Purple Onion) in 1991. Budget: $5,000. Chris Barry drove down from Minneapolis to be the DP. The lovely and talented Lori Minetti (whom you may know as the hostess of the WI Lottery Money Game) and her sister Lisa provide support. Shot in Chicago and Milwaukee.
And here is another deep cut… a video our friend Frank Anderson did for the Spanics a few years later.
Our friends at Smart Studios finally get their due in a new documentary by Wendy Schneider, which just appeared at SXSW to great reviews. In this clip, we see our friends Donita Sparks (L7) and the September Club’s own Frank Anderson… who worked together on the score of our film “The Life of Reilly” in 2005.
And here’s a deep cut… one of several original music videos we did for Smart Studios back in the early 90’s, for the punk band Cosmic Psychos:
Sam Beam of Iron & Wine recently announced that he and singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop are releasing an LP of duets titled Love Letter for Fire. Today, they share the video for “Valley Clouds,” which appears on the album. In the video, directed by Erin Elders, Beam and Hoop bartend while an enthusiastic couple belt karaoke to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd. Love Letter for Fire is out April 15 via Sub Pop.
Interesting. Influential ’90s bay area punk band Jawbreaker is in the news. Rolling Stone named the band’s 1995 album ‘Dear You’ the #4 emo album of all time. Why is that news at September Club? Because a feature documentary about the band — working title ‘Don’t Break Down’ — is being produced by Rocket Fuel Films and September Club, on track for a 2017 premiere.
Dan is supervising the edit on “Don’t Break Down”, working with Erin Elders (editor).
The film features Manny’s own brother Anthony, a vet of the war in Afghanistan, on a quest to find one of his best friends from his days in combat – his bomb-sniffing dog partner, Allie.
The documentary provides intimate access into the life of a returned war vet, and a heart-warming story of old friends and their unlikely reunion stateside.
At an awards lunch in Manhattan, Chris Smith (director/producer) accepted the award. There will also be a screening of the film at Hot Docs in Toronto with a special Q&A with Smith afterwards.
Previous Legacy Award honorees have been “Sherman’s March” (2010), “Grey Gardens” (2011), “Titicut Follies” (2012), “The War Room” (2013), “Harlan County, USA” (2014) and “Paris is Burning” (2015).
For more about Cinema Eye, see its website. A small excerpt follows here:
The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking were founded in late 2007 to recognize and honor exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film. Cinema Eye’s mission is to advocate for, recognize and promote the highest commitment to rigor and artistry in the nonfiction field.
See the full story in Variety, but here’s a telling excerpt on future plans:
Drafthouse plans a limited theatrical release across North America in the summer alongside a variety of VOD and digital platforms, with a Blu-ray/DVD release later in the year.
In his 22nd century-set 1979 novel, The Fountains of Paradise, noted sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke imagined an elevator connecting Earth with an orbiting satellite, eliminating the need for costly and environmentally destructive rockets. While scientists have considered such a project, they have been hampered by the lack of sufficiently advanced technology… until now. Sky Line follows a group of scientists and entrepreneurs as egos collide in an attempt to reach for the stars.
Jeremy Coon (Producer, Napoleon Dynamite) and Tim Irwin (Director, “We Jam Econo, the Story of the Minutemen”)… whom we collaborated with on RAIDERS!, were in town today and we had lunch with Mark Borchardt. RAIDERS! is the closing night film at the Milwaukee Film Festival tonight.
We are all scheming together on a new project that we hope to announce soon. In addition, September Club is editing Tim’s documentary about the legendary punk icons, JAWBREAKER.
Jeremy directed RAIDERS! with Tim Skousen (who couldn’t make the trip). Our hope is that this photo makes Tim very jealous.
Surge soda — a caffeinated drink from Coca Cola that had a cult following while it was produced between 1996 and 2003, is returning to the shelves. Why do we care? Because we (Barry Poltermann & Steve Farr) directed most of the SURGE commercials back in the late 90’s! (watch for the most inside of inside moments in “American Movie”, where Mike tells Uncle Bill “It’s a brand new soda form Coca-Cola, it’s called SURGE.”)
In 2014, Coca-Cola began selling limited supplies of the drink on Amazon. Sales were strong, but it wasn’t until three hyperfans—Evan Carr, Sean Sheridan, and Matt Winans—began a viral social media campaign that the so-called Surge Movement really got off the ground.
The campaign’s shining moment occurred when thousands of people donated to buy a billboard in 2013 about a half mile from Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters that read “Dear Coke, we couldn’t buy Surge so we bought this billboard instead.”
Some other Surge spots we directed, circa 1997:
(Documentary Short Series, Native Advertising)
WFD is a sporting event that challenges speed drummers and employs an instrument called the Drumometer that counts drum strokes. The Drumometer is accepted by both the Guinness World Records organization and the WFD Extreme Sport Drumming competition as the official device used to determine the World’s Fastest Drummer.
The primary goal of the competition is to determine who can play the most single strokes in sixty seconds. There are a variety of categories and World Records involved in WFD. After experimenting with various WFD competition formats in the United States, the event achieved international prominence as contestants began traveling from around the globe to compete at WFD World Finals.
We were hired to create this piece by Church’s Chicken, who is an official sponsor of the competition as well as this short film that tracks the lives of select WFD competitors from across the globe and their journey to the championships.
Director: Jack Davidson
Editor: Michael Vollmann
(Music Video, MARITIME, 2015)
“Satellite Love” from Maritime’s upcoming album “Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones” available now on Dangerbird Records.
Vice says: “Maritime’s sound is aging beautifully” and “all killer no filler”.
The AV Club gives the album a very strong B+.
And Paste Magazine says Maritime has a “musical identity that’s been evolving on its own for a dozen years, centered on a passionate and skillful songcraft”.
Congratulations to Dan and bandmates Davey von Bohlen, Dan Hinz, and Justin Klug.
For other music videos and odds and ends, explore the Attic.