fresh popcorn productions

observations and obsessions, in print and pictures. roadside ramblings, from the pavement to the pasture.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

3 Lives to Consider

I am a documentary film fiend, so I thought I would take a moment to recommend three that chronicle the lives of some very compelling 20th-century figures. For a heavy dose of beauty-meets-gut-wrenching-downer-ville, run to Dreaming Ant immediately to pick up "William Eggleston in the Real World," tracking the perplexing life and stunning imagery of my favorite photographer, and color photography pioneer, and "Be Here to Love Me," a fragmented story of the gifted, neglected and tortured songsmith Townes Van Zandt. Equally haunting films with interesting connections between the souls and ways and circumstances of the two artists, and worth noting that Palm Pictures picked them both up. For a more uplifting and comprehensive view of a second, too often overlooked musical giant, check out "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack." Though I saw this hybrid of historical and autobiographical filmmaking, made by a friend years ago, when it was first released, I recently returned to the flick for a second, satisfying viewing to revisit the wild and wonderful life of Ramblin' Jack Elliot, the missing link between Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

Beats a Hollywood reconstruction of the life of Johnny Cash anyday.


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