From director Tim Sutton and producer John Baker comes the feature film “Memphis” – a project S&A has been tracking since it was revealed to be 1 of 3 projects that would proceed to the second phase of the Biennale College – Cinema, in February of last year, 2013, a workshop that makes it possible to actually make a mini-budget film, with funding of 150,000 euro each.
The film would go on to make its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was later picked up by Kino Lorber, and is now set to open on Friday 9/5 at the IFC Center, in New York, and on 9/12 in Los Angeles, at the Sundance Sunset Cinemas. A national rollout will follow.
The film, immersed in ethereal folklore and soul music, follows the transformation of Ezra Jack from beloved soul singer to “ecstatic contemplator,” providing a look at a man who achieves obscurity in the hope of finding salvation and rebirth.
A further description:
In MEMPHIS, a strange singer with ‘god given talent’ drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows, and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. Shown in fragments, his journey drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension. Featuring an explosive performance and score from the singular recording artist-come-wizard, Willis Earl Beal, MEMPHIS is a film steeped in folklore, music, surrealism, and the abstract search for glory.
The cast includes Chicago artist and musician Willis Earl Beal (in the poster above) Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, and Larry Dodson.
We featured the Sundance trailer for the film, last December, before it premiered at the festival. Ahead of September’s theatrical release, Kino Lober has cut and released a new trailer for the film, which is embedded below. Above is the release poster: