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Springsteen's "Darkness" to Debut at Inaugural Doc NYC; Herzog & Morris Spotlights Added

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire October 19, 2010 at 6:43AM

Doc NYC unveiled its final slate of films, including the world debut of "Darkness of the Edge of Town," a new concert film with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band slated for the inaugural event on November 4th in New York City. Directed by Grammy and Emmy award-winner Thom Zimny, the film was shot at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ last year sans an audience.
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Doc NYC unveiled its final slate of films, including the world debut of "Darkness of the Edge of Town," a new concert film with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band slated for the inaugural event on November 4th in New York City. Directed by Grammy and Emmy award-winner Thom Zimny, the film was shot at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ last year sans an audience.

The film "“best captures the starkness of the original album.," noted Springsteen's manager Jon Landau in a statement. “We wanted to give fans a one night only opportunity to see this spectacular performance on the Ziegfeld’s big screen,” added Doc NYC Artistic Director Thom Powers. The film will be released on DVD as part of the box set “The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story” later in November.

Also making its world premiere at the event, taking place November 3 - 9, is Stephen Higgins' "The Road to Carnegie Hall," which follows musicians worldwide who audition on YouTube for a chance to perform at the famed New York venue.

In other plans, the festival will take part in a new promo campaign of shorts called, "Moments of Truth," which features noteworthy people who share doc moments that they considered moving. In the first spot, Alec Baldwin gives his thoughts on the Rolling Stones doc, "Gimme Shelter." David Van Taylor of Lumiere Productions, creator of the documentary history “To Tell the Truth,” will be filming other testimonials during Doc NYC.

As previously announced, Werner Herzog's new 3-D film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” will open the seven-day event November 3rd. IFC Films acquired the title at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.


Titles and other events added to Doc NYC with details provided by the festival:

Special Events

"Darkness on the Edge of Town" (Thom Zimny) World Premiere – In December 2009, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band set up at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ without an audience to perform their classic 1978 album. Grammy and Emmy award-winning director Thom Zimny captures this never before seen presentation with an intimacy that makes the audience feel like they are on stage.

"The Road To Carnegie Hall" (Stephen Higgins) World Premiere - Young musicians from the world over are plucked from obscurity when they win online auditions for a prestigious Carnegie Hall concert in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. With only two days to rehearse a complicated program under classical masters Michael Tilson Thomas and Tan Dun. This special screening will be followed by a short live performance by the cellist Joshua Roman.

Orphan Film Symposium on NYC – Curated by Dan Streible, this event uncovers forgotten footage of New York City that you may never have another chance to see, including Fox Movietone newsreel outtakes from the 1920s, an amateur city portrait from the 1930s, leftist campaign pieces from the 1940s, sixties verité, experimental Super 8 work from the 1970s, and a lost wedding film reunited with its owners forty-five years later.

The Medium Formerly Known as Radio: The Evocative Power of Sound - The radio documentary is enjoying a golden age, on the broadcast airwaves—and newly reinvented on the Internet. Longtime public radio personality Dean Olsher, creator and host of The Next Big Thing on PRI (2000-2005), curates a selection of dramatic audio documentaries. The special guest is duPont-Columbia winner Joe Richman of Radio Diaries, who will present his new award winning documentary “Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair.”

Lost Souls & Light Matter – A Conversation Lena Herzog – Acclaimed photographer Lena Herzog, whose work “Lost Souls” was recently featured as an exhibit at the International Center for Photography, shows slides from that project and previews her latest work “Light Matter” in a live interview.

DOC NYU @ DOC NYC – Discover the next generation of documentary makers in this presentation of accomplished student work from the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at New York University. Highlights include Central Park: The Park at the Center of the World by Suzannah Herbert; Hard Rock Havana by Nicholas Brennan; and Leaving the Yard by Alan Jeffries.

[Additional Doc NYC events and screenings on Page 2.]

Moments of Truth

Moments of Truth – (promo shorts) Noteworthy figures (actors, politicians, musicians, etc) talk about a documentary moment that moved him or her. The first spot features Alec Baldwin recalling a moment from the classic Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter. The team behind “Moments of Truth,” led by veteran director David Van Taylor, will be filming other testimonials for the series during DOC NYC.


Kevin Brownlow Tribute

DOC NYC celebrates the filmmaker and historian Kevin Brownlow with a selection of the titles below. Following DOC NYC, Brownlow will travel to Los Angeles to receive an honorary Academy Award.

Double feature:

"I’m King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper" (2005)
"The Tramp and the Dictator" (2002) - On November 8, Brownlow will appear at the IFC Center to present and discuss two films that he co-directed. In “I’m King Kong!,” he tracks the life of Merian C. Cooper, who pioneered documentary making with films such as “Grass” and “Chang” before creating his most famous work “King Kong.” In “The Tramp & the Dictator,” Brownlow looks at the production of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” drawing upon color film shot behind the scenes.

"Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic" (2004) - On November 9, Brownlow will appear at the IFC Center to present and discuss his two-hour documentary on one of the giants of Hollywood film history.

"It Happened Here" (1966) - Brownlow was only 18 when he and Andrew Mollo started this monumental documentary style drama in which Nazi troops occupy England.

"Winstanley" (1975) – Brownlow and Andrew Mollo set out to make an absolutely authentic historic film about an uprising in the 17th Century, based on the writings of Gerard Winstanley.

"Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces" (2000) - With film extracts from all periods of his career, this documentary goes behind Chaney’s public mask to reveal his private face.

"Garbo" (2005) - Brownlow and Christopher Bird offer an informative yet intimate look at one of the most mysterious leading ladies in history, following her from Sweden to Hollywood to becoming a famous recluse.


Doc Convergence

Doc Convergence - This day-long symposium on Fri, November 5 looks at how the documentary tradition is flourishing across different media. The event brings together filmmakers, photographers, writers, performers, radio producers and more for a unique and inspiring exchange of ideas. The panels and guests include:

This American Life – producers from the acclaimed radio show discuss the making of their favorite pieces. Panelists include Starlee Kine and Diane Cook.

Story Leads to Action –Working Films and Chicken & Egg explore how documentary works can engage with communities, focusing on two case studies of DOC NYC world premiere films "Lost Bohemia" and "To Be Heard."

Photographers Becoming Filmmakers – The Sundance Documentary Film Program presents a discussion of acclaimed still photographers who are crossing over into motion pictures. Panelists include Pulitzer Prize winner David Turnley.

Documentary Comics –This panel features two highly accomplished artists Joe Sacco ("Footnotes in Gaza") and Lynda Barry (Picture This).

Documentary in Performance – Increasingly, theatrical works are drawing upon documentary sources for innovative works. This panel brings together Lawrence Wright, the creator of "My Trip to Al-Qaeda" and "The Human Scale"; Dan Hurlin, who created the production Disfarmer featured in the DOC NYC world premiere film “Puppet” and Moises Kaufman, creator of "The Laramie Project."


State of the Art

This day-long symposium on Saturday, November 6 celebrates different crafts of documentary filmmaking, bringing together directors, cinematographers, editors, producers and archival specialists:

Art of Directing –Panelists include Josh Fox (Gasland, Sundance Special Jury Prize winner), Academy Award-nominee Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams; Street Fight), Academy Award-nominee Heidi Ewing (12th & Delaware; Jesus Camp) and others.

State of the Archives – Filmmaker Astra Taylor (Examined Life) leads a discussion with members of the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) to highlight current concerns.

Art of Cinematography – Academy Award winner Ross Kaufman ("Born Into Brothels") moderates this session with cinematographer Kirsten Johnson ("The Oath"; "Pray the Devil Back to Hell"), cinematographer/director Michael Palmieri ("October Country," winner of Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Debut) and director Janus Metz ("Armadillo").

Art of Editing – Panelists are Sam Pollard ("Gerrymandering"; "When the Levees Broke"); David Zieff ("Crazy Love"; "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster"); Jean Tsien ("Please Vote For Me"; "Shut Up & Sing"); and moderator Doug Block (director of "The Kids Grow Up"; "51 Birch Street").

Creative Producing – Panelists include Joslyn Barnes (producing partner of Danny Glover and exec prod, "The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan"; "Trouble the Water"); Lori Cheatle ("The Kids Grow Up"; "51 Birch Street"); Nekisa Cooper ("Eventual Salvation"); Amy Zierling ("Outrage"; "Derrida"); Trish Adlesic ("Gasland"); moderated by Judith Helfand. Presented by Chicken & Egg.


Spotlight: Werner Herzog

In conjunction with DOC NYC’s previously announced Gala presentation of Werner Herzog’s new film "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," the festival will feature a selection of the director’s past documentaries.

Spotlight In Conversation: Werner Herzog – The acclaimed director of "Grizzly Man," "Encounters at the End of the World," and other films sits for a live discussion of his career with New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein.

"Land of Silence and Darkness" (Werner Herzog, 1971) - The film follows Fini Straubinger, a fifty-six-year-old deaf and blind woman, who leads an inspiring life helping others with similar handicaps.

"Wings of Hope" (Werner Herzog, 1999) – In 1971, an airplane came apart over the Peruvian jungle. The only survivor was 17-year-old Juliane Kopcke who fell to the earth and escaped the jungle. Years later, Herzog takes her back to retrace her steps.

"My Best Fiend" (Werner Herzog, 1999) - In this personal essay film, Herzog reflects on his friendship with the tempestuous actor Klaus Kinski whose memorable collaborations with the director include Aguirre, Nosferatu, Woyzeck and Fitzcarraldo.


Spotlight: Errol Morris

In conjunction with DOC NYC’s previously announced Gala presentation of Errol Morris’ new film "Tabloid" and In Conversation with the director, the festival will feature a selection of his past documentaries.

"Gates of Heaven" (Errol Morris, 1978) – Morris’ debut film is an eccentric portrait of the American dream, focusing on two California pet cemeteries. One enterprise is set up by Floyd McClure at the intersection of two superhighways; the other is run by the Harbert family, who apply the latest marketing concepts to the profession.

"The Thin Blue Line" (Errol Morris, 1988) - Billed as "the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder," the film is credited with overturning the conviction of Randall Dale Adams for the murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood, a crime for which Adams was sentenced to death. With its use of expressionistic reenactments, interview material and music by Philip Glass, it pioneered a new kind of non-fiction filmmaking.

"A Brief History of Time" (Errol Morris, 1992) – Rarely screened since its original release, this film examines the life and work of Stephen Hawking, the physicist who has spent much of his life in a wheelchair, yet managed feats of the intellect often compared to Einstein’s.

"First Person" (Errol Morris) – In a rare theatrical presentation, this screening showcases three of Morris’ favorite episodes from his “First Person” television series: "The Killer Inside Me," about a woman who falls in love with serial killers; "Stairway To Heaven," about a slaughter house designer; and "One in a Million Trillion," about an obsessive game show contestant.


Midnight Rock Docs

"Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars": The Motion Picture (DA Pennebaker, 1973) – Director DA Pennebaker – known for rock classics such as "Don't Look Back" and "Monterey Pop" – captures the final concert performed by David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, resplendent in unworldly costumes, at Hammersmith Hall in London.

"U2 3D" (Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington, 2008) - "U2 3D" is a unique cinematic experience that puts viewers inside the pulsating energy of a stadium concert given by the world's most popular band. Marrying innovative digital 3D imagery and 5.1 Surround Sound with the excitement of a live U2 concert - shot at four South American stadium shows during the final leg of the band's "Vertigo" tour - it creates an immersive theatrical experience.

This article is related to: Documentary