Dispatch From Beyond
Ahoy Courters, this is MG coming at you on the precipice of the summer, from the other New city I occasionally toil in, that of York not Y’Orleans.
It’d been a while since I wrote much of anything on the blog — in fact our fair ginger leader Casey is posting this on my behalf, because apparently WordPress is too complex for my brain — so I thought I’d just give a little dispatch from yonder about C13 things here, there, everywhere.
I’m in NYC for a hot second as we do work on the next Ross Brothers picture. In case you hadn’t heard, it’s a film in collaboration with and oriented around a show that David Byrne is putting on in Toronto and at the Barclays Center called Contemporary Color. (Yes, that David Byrne. We’ve been working out of his Todomundo office and the people are lovely, the library colorful and immense, and the elevator perplexing). Here’s the recipe: DB discovers the somewhat-unknown world of Color Guard (specifically Winter Guard). He matches 10 of the best teams in the country with 10 really cool eclectic musicians that he knows (you probably know some of them too), who each will write a piece for their respective team. Each musician performs said piece live as their team does their routine to it, at the Toronto and Barclays shows. Ross Brothers make bizarre concert-art-film around and involving said spectacle. They’ve assembled a dream team of documentary filmmakers to shoot the shows with as part of the film and it’s a line-up that would make any doc festival programmer from the last 5 years quiver with excitement. We’re even taking some of what we’ve filmed and turning it into videos to be seen at the show itself, with the help of the masterful John Wilson.
When I’m not working on that picture, I’m trying to see as many films in the theater as possible with nearest dearest C13 pal Crockett Doob, of the infamous Crockett Reviews, which tend to take up half of what goes on our blog. But so be it – the experience of watching a film in the theater with Crockett is unlike any other. You see the film through his eyes and your response is more immediate and honest because of it. Also you have never seen a man go through as much popcorn in one sitting, or think so strategically about a refill strategy.
Side note: The worlds of these two prior paragraphs collided recently when Crockett had to turn away a kind white-haired man interested in the seat next to him at a film screening, because he was saving it for me and a friend. That man turned out to be David Byrne. He liked “White God” more than Crockett did. That’s okay: Crockett liked “Unfriended” more than the rest of the world did. (In his defense: it’s definitely worth seeing).
Back in Louisiana, Court 13 casting has reached new territories and eclipsed new landmarks as we have seen and interviewed and played games with, yet again, an unfathomable number of young humans. Rewarding as always. I have this to report: kids love Minecraft and SpongeBob. Toby Lou (aka the Nasty One) and I pioneered new terrain, both actual and time-of-night-while-driving-
wise, during our Acura expedition to Little Rock Film Festival to support “Western.” We got to see dear friends Davey and Grace Ramsey, whose downright fantastic paintings are on display at a gallery there (and here, her site). This excursion was documented a little too much over at the Court 13 instagram, which you can catch @court13films (same deal as our twitter).
Speaking of “Western,” it continues to rack up love on the festival circuit, having now scooped awards at Sundance, SXSW, Ashland, IndieGrits, and San Francisco International Film Festival. We’re hoping to bring it home to Eagle Pass in mid-summer and premiere it in New Orleans late summer / early fall… then intend to take it to as many places across the country as we can! International festival and digital waters TBD. Simultaneously, Gabe Spitzer’s short film “Every Day” about silver-haired stunner / marathon marathon runner Joy Johnson (that’s not a typo – homegirl ran buku marathons in a row in old age) has been dominating many of the same fests, playing Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca.
And speaking of the festival circuit, the latest film with Court 13’s name on it is our big time fam member Jonas Carpignano’s “Mediterranea,” which just premiered at Cannes!!!! We could not be more proud of Ol Jones, or many of his crew who first worked together on “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Check out one of many glowing reviews here.
That’s what the world of C13 looks like on this end. As far as institutional traditions, we’ve always got Toby Lou and the Weekly Revue. We’ll have another Always for Pleasure. And, thrillingly, we’re doing another live orchestra score performance and screening of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” with Wordless Music — this time at home in New Orleans with the Lost Bayou Ramblers!!! (Get you some tickets here).
There are other exciting projects percolating you may or may not have heard some tell of: one assembling a handful of great Louisiana filmmakers to tell a handful of great Louisiana stories this summer, one about fireworks and the Universe, one about a heavyset white female rapper who changes the game, to name a few. But we’ll let said cats out of said bags when their meowing becomes more than we can handle.
Till then, jam on.