FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIRTUOSO VIOLINIST PHILIPPE QUINT TO LAUNCH SERIES OF PERFORMANCES AT OPENING EVENT ON NOV. 9
HOUSTON – Cinema Arts Festival Houston will kick off its third annual event on Nov. 9, 2011 with the regional premiere of Downtown Express, accompanied by director David Grubin and the filmʼs star, the brilliant Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint. Downtown Express is a love story set in colliding musical worlds — the classical world of Juilliard, where Russian immigrant Sasha (Quint) is training, and the experimental and raucous music scene of Ramona,played by singer-songwriter Nellie McKay. The opening night event, which embodies Cinema Arts Festival Houstonʼs unique focus on films by and about artists, will feature a live performance by Quint, the first of several live performances in this yearʼs program.
Violinist Philippe Quint has gripped the eyes and ears of audiences around the world with what The Times (London) describes as his “bravura technique and unflagging energy.” Quintʼs 2001 debut album – a recording of William Schumanʼs Violin Concerto (Naxos) – was singled out as an Editorʼs Choice by Gramophone and garnered two Grammy nominations. In 2010, Quint became the first classical musician to take a leading role in an American independent film, joining Nellie McKay and an array of accomplished New York musicians in David Grubinʼs dynamic portrait of New Yorkʼs eclectic music scene. Grubin, a multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director, brings the skills of an accomplished documentarian to his first narrative feature, produced by the legendary Michael Hausman (Brokeback Mountain, Gangs of New York, Amadeus).
Returning to the festival is the Donald Sosin Ensemble, featuring vocalist Joanna Seaton, who will perform live – joined by student players from Rice Universityʼs Shepherd School of Music –to accompany the recently rediscovered silent classic, Upstream (1927). Upstream is a backstage comedy-drama by the great John Ford focusing on an egotistical actor and a young couple who partner in a vaudeville knife-throwing act. The film was considered to be lost, but in 2009 it was discovered in the New Zealand Film Archive. Upstream was restored by Park Road Post Production in Wellington, New Zealand, under the direction of Twentieth Century Fox and the Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An acclaimed silent film accompanist for more than 40 years, Sosin regularly performs at major film festivals in America, Europe, and China. Two years ago, Sosin appeared at the inaugural Cinema Arts Festival Houston accompanying the silent classic Peter Pan, and leading a chorus of students from the MacGregor Elementary School. He is the resident pianist for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Museum of the Moving Image, and frequently accompanies silent films at other repertory houses and archives. Sosin has also premiered his orchestral scores on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and recorded numerous scores for DVD releases.
“This year, weʼre excited to be expanding not only the live performance but also the interactive media aspects of our multi-arts festival,” says Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) artistic director Richard Herskowitz. “Our CINEMA ON THE VERGE program will include video installations by four of the artists whose films are being featured in our festival—Lynn Hershman Leeson, Braden King, Miwa Matreyek, and Lech Majewski.”
Cosponsored with the Aurora Picture Show, filmmaker, video artist and documentarian Braden King will present his new feature film HERE, as well as a live hybrid film-concert HERE [THE STORY SLEEPS] at Talento Bilingue de Houston. HERE, starring Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal, premiered at the 2011 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals and will be distributed by Strand Releasing in early 2012. A live, multi-screen deconstruction of the feature, HERE [THE STORY SLEEPS] premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010 and is comprised of outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage and other media from HERE accompanied by Kingʼs long term musical collaborators, composer Michael Krassner and the Boxhead Ensemble. Initially Joining forces to create the critically acclaimed soundtrack to Braden King and Laura Moya’s film, Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks Its Back, members of the Boxhead Ensemble’s rotating lineup have participated in such notable musical groups as Wilco, Cat Power, Souled American, Califone, Gastr del Sol and Dirty Three, among others. In addition to the film screening of HERE and live performance, Houstonʼs acclaimed art space DiverseWorksʼ Flickerlounge will run an exhibition throughout November of Kingʼs music videos and short films, including collaborations with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Dirty Three.Like King, Miwa Matreyek will present her latest performance – Myth and Infrastructure – at the Talento Bilingue de Houston (TBH). Matreyek performs in a multimedia production using projected animation she has created. Her shadow becomes an integral part of a fantastical world: she traverses oceanscapes and cityscapes as she conjures magical domestic scenes with light and shadow.
Matreyek is an internationally recognized animator, designer, and multimedia artist based in Los Angeles. Her work explores how animation transforms when it is combined with body and space (and vice-versa). In her video project-based installations, animation takes on a more physical and present quality, while body and space take on a more fantastical quality. In addition to Myth and Infrastructure, Matreyek will perform her installation/performance piece, Dreaming of Lucid Living, as part of the festivalʼs CINEMA ON THE VERGE program. It was a sensation at the TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT, DESIGN (TED) global conference in2010. In addition Matreyek will present several of her animated films, including Grater City and Machine as well as a multi-screen installation, Panorama City, in the TBH Gallery.
Other confirmed works that will bring art to life at the 2011 Cinema Arts Festival Houston include the following:
!Women Art Revolution
Award-winning artist and director Lynn Hershman Leeson will present !Women Art Revolution, an entertaining and revelatory “secret history” of feminist art. Through intimate interviews, art, and rarely seen archival film and video footage, !Women Art Revolution reveals how the Feminist Art Movement fused free speech and politics into an art that radically transformed the art and culture of our times. Leeson composed this film from hundreds of hours of interviews with artists, historians, and critics she has collected over the past forty years. Among the interviewees are Judy Chicago, Miranda July, Nancy Spero, and the Guerilla Girls. !Women ArtRevolution also features an original score by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag. As part of CINEMA ON THE VERGE, Hershman will also display her RAW/WAR installation alongside her screening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. RAW/WAR takes the form of an interactive, community-curated archive that provides a forum in which users can come together,share their stories and collaboratively contribute to the history of womenʼs art. !Women Art Revolution and its accompanying installation will be among the topics of the MFAHʼs Artful Thursday series on Nov. 10 as Hershman will serve as the featured guest, interviewed by feminist art critic and University of Houston professor Jenni Sorkin.
The Mill and the Cross
CAFH will present the latest film by Polish artist Lech Majewski, The Mill and the Cross, along with his media installation, Bruegel Suite. Both were inspired by Flemish master, PeterBruegelʼs epic painting, “The Procession to Calvary” (1564). The Mill and the Cross makes use of traditional and contemporary film technologies, bringing the canvas to life and featuring Rutger Hauer as Pieter Bruegel, Sir Michael York as his patron, and the mesmerizingly beautiful Charlotte Rampling as the Virgin Mary. Featured in CINEMA ON THE VERGE, Bruegel Suite,which was recently produced at the Venice Biennale, Majewski uses video sequences inspired by Bruegelʼs masterpiece.
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow by Sophie Fiennes is a portrait of the great German artist Anselm Kiefer at work. The movie plunges its audience into the personal universe of Kiefer, who left Germany in 1993 for a swath of land outside Barjac, a town in the South of France. On this parcel of land of more than 85 acres, Kiefer and his team burrowed into the earth, dug tunnels, constructed an amphitheater, painted and threw dust on canvases, and kiln-fired lead sculptures that look like books, turning the sprawl into a massive atelier he called La Ribaute. The film offers viewers a unique, privileged access and the only chance most of us will have to see what this master artist left behind.
As previously announced, the closing night film will be the world premiere of Art Car: The Movie (2011) on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. The 2011 festival is scheduled to take place in Houston from November 9 to 13. Cinema Arts Festival Houston capitalizes on the cityʼs status as an international art city, collaborating with many of Houston’s museums, art centers, theaters, and cultural institutions. Works are shown not only in traditional theatrical venues but also via interactive video installations, live music and film performances, and outdoor projections. Past festivals have featured guests Isabella Rossellini, Tilda Swinton, John Turturro, Richard Linklater, Alex Gibney, and Shirley MacLaine. The 2010 festival drew thousands of film enthusiasts and art lovers spread among over 40screenings and events.
In addition to the films and art announced here, the festival will announce its exciting roster of international films and guests as well as more arts films in late September, culminating with an unveiling of the complete program, including major new releases and special guests, on Oct. 17.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS SOCIETY Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane. HCAS organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS sponsors include the Crane Foundation, a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Levantine Entertainment, Houston First Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Champion Energy Services, Amegy Bank of Texas, The Brown Foundation, Inc. and others. The project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The 2013 Houston Cinema Arts Festival was held Nov. 6-10. For more information, please visit HCAS at www.cinemartsociety.org.