Presented by New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC), the annual Sync Up Music and Sync Up Cinema conferences begin on Friday, April 28 and run through Friday, May 5. The conferences offer panel discussions, workshops, screenings and networking events designed to help independent artists navigate the entertainment industries. This year's program highlights include panel discussions "How Much Should You Spend on Your Indie Record?" and "Oh No You Didn’t — Use My Song Without Permission." Film screenings include Nos Amis, an HBO documentary about Eagles of Death Metal's return to the Bataclan concert hall a year after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Admission to the conferences is free and open to the public but registration is required and available here. More information including the full schedule of events is here. All events take place at the The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street).
Ghost stories and French art films don’t typically co-exist in the mind of the modern moviegoer. But that doesn’t stop award-winning writer/director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours) from orchestrating just that unlikely mash-up with Personal Shopper. Assayas seems unconcerned with catering to the expectations of even his most ardent admirers, as illustrated by this audacious yet frequently trying film.
That fearlessness and strength of vision may constitute the English-language Personal Shopper’s finest qualities. It begins in full horror genre-mode as a young woman named Maureen (Kristen Stewart) prepares to spend the night in a big, empty, creaky house in the French countryside, apparently hoping to make contact with a ghost. Very little is explained until later, long after the film takes its time establishing a supernatural vibe.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.) presents a free screening of National Bird at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 21. Executive produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris and directed by Sonia Kennebeck, the film follows three military veterans turned whistleblowers who dare to reveal details on the secret drone wars the U.S. has conducted in foreign countries over the last ten years. A talk-back will follow the film. More information is here.
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived on Friday to the unbridled joy of the internet, so far earning 17 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. This is the second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (after 2015's The Force Awakens), which makes it episode eight in the grand scheme of the main Star Wars saga, which is not to be confused with the Star Wars anthology series, which is set before the original Star Wars series and began with last year's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Got that?
All the stars of The Force Awakens are returning for The Last Jedi, including Carrie Fisher in her final screen role. New additions to the cast reportedly include Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern. The film opens everywhere on Dec. 15, 2017. See the trailer below.
Who says they don’t make movies like they used to? Writer-director James Gray’s The Lost City of Z not only recalls the grand historical epics of eras gone by, but also revives a once-beloved film genre that celebrates explorers who mapped the world’s last uncharted territories at the start of the 20th century.
Based on the award-winning book of the same name by David Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker, The Lost City of Z tells the fictionalized story of real-world explorer Percy Fawcett, a British army officer who led several expeditions through the border regions of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru over a period of 20 years. Fawcett initially was sent to map the region and prevent a border war from erupting over the lucrative Amazon rubber boom, but he gradually became obsessed with finding an ancient lost city he called “Z.”
The Prytania Theatre (5339 Prytania St.) will present "The Works of David Lynch" over four weeks starting May 19. Films will screen at midnight on Friday and Saturday nights and at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Here's the schedule:
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me — May 19, 20, 21
Blue Velvet — May 26, 27, 28
Mulholland Drive — June 2, 3, 4
Eraserhead — June 9, 10, 11
More info is here.
The 12th annual edition of Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival, starts tonight, April 13 at the Broad Theater (636 N. Broad St.). Highlights include Whose Streets?, a documentary about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri; director Elise Conklin's From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City; and the short documentary Ten Years after Katrina: "Resilience," "Recovery" & REALITY. Discussions with filmmakers and featured activists follow most of the festival's screenings. See the full schedule of films and events here.
Jazz musicians with extraordinary natural talent often rise rapidly to the top of their field. Then there are artists like trumpet player and composer Lee Morgan, who was so gifted he began near the pinnacle of modern jazz, joining Dizzy Gillespie’s legendary big band in 1956 while still a teenager. A year later he became an integral part of the John Coltrane masterpiece Blue Train. Despite his successes, Morgan’s life has been overshadowed by his sordid death at the hands of his common-law wife Helen More, who shot him in a jealous rage inside a Manhattan nightclub where he had just performed. Morgan was 33 years old when he died.
While the circumstances surrounding Morgan’s death are well known, the pathway to that winter night has remained a mystery. How did More — Morgan’s companion of a decade, a woman who saved him from drug addiction and helped restore his career — wind up responsible for his death? Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin was drawn to make his documentary, I Called Him Morgan, by the musician’s artistry, but soon found that any film about Morgan would necessarily require a parallel focus on More.
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Great opening line and your article is excellent as usual Kat!