April 8-12, 2015

Wednesday I swapped the WXDU livestream over to a new all-digital signal chain. I wrote about that at the WXDU website

Thursday-Sunday was Full Frame. I watched 17 movies over a span of 4 days, and tweeted my impressions of each one. 

I enjoyed nearly everything I saw this time around, which is a pretty impressive hit-rate. I should have known better than to get a ticket for the National Lampoon hagiography (in my defense, I figured there was a chance that the director might be something other than a starry-eyed uncritical fan … but, nope). 

The handful of docs I’m still actively thinking about are IrisFrom This Day Forward, The Wolfpack, The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and What Happened, Miss Simone?

See any/all of those that you can. 

April 8-12, 2015

April 3-7, 2015

Friday night we went to the Paris 76 cabaret at Manbites Dog. It was awesome in parts, and pretty dang goofy in other parts. Everyone was puffing on those stage cigarettes that emit a little cloud of powder when you blow through them. It was a genuine cabaret in the sense that much of it seemed to be a semi-random assortment of local talent doing whatever it is they’re talented at. I found this mostly enormously endearing. 

Saturday we went to the Nasher and saw the truly excellent 60s/70s English + American screenprinting show. Over half the pieces are abstract, and a lot of those are super brightly colored geometric works. Stunning stuff. There’s also the ongoing 919 show of NC artists, and a survey show of the [impressive] collection of yet another art collecting Duke grad. 

Saturday night was Cassandra Wilson at the Carolina Theatre, doing songs from her new Billie Holiday tribute, Coming Forth By Day. It was a fun set – she seemed ultra-loose and relaxed and genuinely happy to be there. The arrangements are all pretty far away from the classic Holiday arrangements – the album was recorded by Nick Cave’s longtime producer – and it worked better than a faithful historical recreation likely would have, especially given how much lower & more powerful Cassandra’s voice is.

I could have done with a better mix, though – from where we were sitting, we were getting way too little reeds & way too much of the guitarist, who was doing a lot of little noisy textural fills that seemed intended to sit well in the background, rather than out front at screaming lead volume.

Plus I could go the whole rest of my life without hearing another solidbody electric mandolin. Seriously.

Sunday night we watched A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, the Iranian/American feminist vampire movie. It was gorgeously shot in deep rich black-and-white, and had the languorous feel of a Jarmusch movie. Now that I think about it, it was a better Jarmusch vampire movie than Jarmusch’s vampire movie.

Monday and Tuesday were mostly working, reading, and trying to rest up eyes & brains for Full Frame. I’ll provide reports from the festival when/where/however I can, probably mostly on Twitter.

April 3-7, 2015

My 2015 Full Frame picks

Two friends have asked me for Full Frame suggestions in advance of tickets going on sale this week. Here are the movies that I shortlisted for myself this year, which is as close to a list of recommendations as I can get. For those slots where there are direct conflicts, I put an asterisk next to the one I finally wound up selecting:


  • Iris
  • Monte Adentro
  • Uyghurs, Prisoners of the Absurd
  • (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies *
  • Best of Enemies
  • Meru *
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck


  • Overburden
  • Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck * 
  • Manufactured Landscapes
  • Barge
  • Being Evel * 
  • 3 ½ Minutes
  • Here Come the Videofreex
  • From This Day Forward * 
  • The Wolfpack


  • Peace Officer
  • The True Meaning of Pictures * 
  • Mavis!
  • Cartel Land
  • Harry & Snowman * 
  • The Storm Makers
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
  • The Term


  • LIsten to Me Marlon * 
  • Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation
  • Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead
  • City of Gold * 
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Sunshine Superman

My 2015 Full Frame picks