Filtering by: Film

EC-CHAP Presents: "A Concert & A Movie" - Blues Artist Eric  Sommer & Film Screening - "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

EC-CHAP Presents: "A Concert & A Movie" - Blues Artist Eric Sommer & Film Screening - "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"

EC-CHAP End-of Season Event - "A Concert and A Movie" - Blues Artist Eric  Sommer in Concert followed by Free Film Screening - "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"

TICKETS $12.00 IN ADVANCE (ONLINE) / $15.00 AT THE DOOR

Special Note: EC-CHAP Acoustic Artist Series" meets "EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series" to bring you this Special Event: "A Concert and A Movie" as a close to our 2017-2018 Performance Season!  We are honored to have Boston-based blues artist Eric Sommer join us for this extraordinary evening of music and film. Eric's 2-set concert will be followed by a free screening of the film documentary, "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor", narrated by Michael Keaton. We expect an overwhelming response to this event - please arrive early as doors will close to the public at 8:00pm.

Very Special Note:

TALK ABOUT SERENDIPITY ERIC SOMMERS!  BY PURE CHANCE - OUR FEATURED ARTIST'S UNCLE JACK SOMMERS AND AUNT CICI SOMMERS INITIATED THE RELATIONSHIP AND FIRST PROGRAM WITH FRED ROGERS AT WQED TV IN PITTSBURGH. 
The program began as a local and live television visit with children called The Children’s Corner in 1954 with host Josie Carey and Fred Rogers behind the scenes as puppeteer. In 1968, Fred Rogers’ company, Family Communications, Inc., produced Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for airing nationally on what was to become PBS.  The program aired for more than 30 years until its last episode in 2001.(WQED).

 

"Engage the senses!" EC-CHAP Board

 

Blues Artist Eric Sommer

breathing-room.jpg

Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences and experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog and a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points.

Sommer emerged from the Boston music scene in the ’80s with a vengeance, a Folk guitarist with a percussive, open-tuning style adapted from the likes of David Bromberg, Steve Howe, Townes Van Zandt and Brit Folk legend Davy Graham. But Boston was also a hotbed of New Wave, Power Pop and Punk at that point, and Sommer absorbed those influences as well, creating a Byrdsian jangle sound that earned him opening slots for national touring acts and regular bookings at the renowned Paradise Theatre.

Sommer eventually relocated to Europe where he scored tours with Bram Tchaikovsky,
Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe, calling Denmark and the Netherlands home for awhile. After honing his personal songwriting style and playing every conceivable club on the European circuit, Sommer returned to Boston homeless and broke.

Living on the streets and in abandoned squats, Sommer played every available open mic and picked up guitar tips from David Landau and Gary Burton/Steve Howe sideman Mick
Goodrick, which led to the formation of a trio called The Atomics, which offered up an
American version of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Nick Lowe during its run. While The Atomics opened for the Dead Kennedys and Gang of Four and became one of Boston’s best local New Wave outfits, Sommer was finding constant inspiration in the works of Jeff Beck, Pat Martino, Joe Pass and Charlie Christian.

PRESSantelope-twist-BLUE.jpg

With The Atomics’ dissolution, Sommer’s wanderlust took him to New York, Atlanta and
finally the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he founded the Georgetown Film Festival and embarked on a phase of independent film scoring. Since then, Sommer has been a troubadour with no fixed address, playing well over 250 gigs a year and slowing down just long enough to record a handful of brilliant albums, including Rainy Day Karma with his band, Solar Flares, and his latest solo effort, Brooklyn Bolero.

If there’s any lingering doubt about Sommer’s supernatural versatility, consider that he’s opened for Old 97’s, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Bluegrass icon Jerry Douglas, Mates of State, Dr. John, Leon Redbone and Built to Spill, to name a few - and Dead Kennedy’s, Mission to Burma, Gang of Four, and Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric and Brahm Tchaikovsky...

Whether in band or one-man form (which nakedly showcases his amazing acoustic Blues guitar stylings), Sommer is a living history of contemporary music and a musical force of nature.


Free Film Screening: "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"

  A Surprise Film - Take a risk! 

Fred Rogers has been America's favorite neighbor for more than 30 years on PBS... delighting, enlightening, and reassuring children with his unique television programs. Now, his life and legacy are celebrated in this commemorative program full of treasured memories, rare vintage clips and behind-the-scenes footage from his 50 years in television. Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor is hosted by actor (and former Mister Rogers' Neighborhood crew member) Michael Keaton. 

This 3 minute opening to the documentary, "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor", includes a small introduction by James E. Rohr and Michael Keaton. Originally published by Ryan Yang

 

"A Concert and A Movie" represents a Special End-Of-Season Event combining the EC-CHAP Acoustic Artist Series with the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series. This event is presented by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Doors 6:30pm / Show 7:00pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required). You can also bring your paid ticket to Willington Pizza House (or WP Too) for eat-in or take-out the night of the show and receive 15% off your meal purchase. Ask for "The Packing House" pizza! Click here for secret recipe. 

For information and table reservations, please call 518-791-9474.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Just Like Being There" (NR)
Apr
20
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Just Like Being There" (NR)

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Just Like Being There" (NR)

SUGGESTED DONATION $5.00

 Image by Jakob Frank and "Just Like Being There" DVD cover, artwork by Dan Black of Landland

Image by Jakob Frank and "Just Like Being There" DVD cover, artwork by Dan Black of Landland

Special Note: EC-CHAP recognizes the artistic talent and value of the gig poster and is pleased to provide a showing of this outstanding documentary produced by Avalanche Films. We wish to thank Johanna Goldstein, the producer who generously supports EC-CHAP screening of this film.

 

Just Like Being There (2013). A documentary about gig posters. Directed by Scout Shannon and produced by Johanna Goldstein.

"In the gig poster community, creating artwork is more than just a career - it is a way of life. These artists are at the forefront of an expansion of the gig poster genre. In a community with strong roots, dating back to the 1960s, this expansion is controversial - refreshing to some, sacrilegious to others." - IMDb

"Scout Shannon’s documentary on the rise of gig posters, Just Like Being There, offers a glimpse into the art of poster making, as well as the commercial recognition and benefits now being reaped by many of the artists. Their success may not be necessarily skyrocketing – it is an indie endeavor, after all – but the medium is certainly getting more attention and their work is being championed by bands, galleries and websites.

Indie bands are highlighted because they go hand-in-hand with independently produced posters, and in turn, they are usually limited works for a limited audience, albeit a growing one." - popMATTERS

In the gig poster community, artists such as Daniel Danger and Jay Ryan prove that creating this artwork is a way of life, more than just a career. These artists are at the forefront of an expansion of the gig poster genre.

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required). You can also bring your paid ticket to Willington Pizza House (or WP Too) for eat-in or take-out the night of the show and receive 15% off your meal purchase. Ask for "The Packing House" pizza! Click here for secret recipe. 

For information and table reservations, please call 518-791-9474.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records" (NR)
Mar
9
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records" (NR)

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records" (NR)

SUGGESTED DONATION $5.00

 PHOTO: Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

PHOTO: Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image
U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

"’All Things Must Pass' (NR), 2015, is a documentary (written by Steven Leckart and directed by Colin Hanks) that explores the rise and fall of Tower Records, and its legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon." - IMDb

Remember spending hours in the local record store... listening to recordings, reading cover notes, and focusing on album art? What happened to those good old days? Explore the journey of this leading national company, Tower Records, and the rise and fall of this industry through testimonials of major artists; but more importantly, through your own memories and experiences. 

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Doors 7:00pm / Dance 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required). You can also bring your paid ticket to Willington Pizza House (or WP Too) for eat-in or take-out the night of the show and receive 15% off your meal purchase. Ask for "The Packing House" pizza! Click here for secret recipe. 

For information and table reservations, please call 518-791-9474.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon" (G)
Feb
9
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon" (G)

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon" (G)

SUGGESTED DONATION $5.00

 PHOTO: Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

PHOTO: Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image
U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

It is likely that most everyone  from teens to nineties has heard of Pink Floyd's Classic 1973 Album, "Dark Side of the Moon". Here is an opportunity to see how this creative band made this historic album!

"Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon is a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the classic 1973  album Dark Side of the Moon. Features individual interviews with bandmembers Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright about the writing and recording process.

 PHOTO:  The band prepares to board a DC-8 jet airliner for a 12-day tour in Japan, on March 3, 1972. They had all of the plane’s 114 seats to themeslves . - Newsweek

PHOTO: The band prepares to board a DC-8 jet airliner for a 12-day tour in Japan, on March 3, 1972. They had all of the plane’s 114 seats to themeslves. - Newsweek

Also features concert and studio footage, video clips, and original demo recording sessions. Engineer Alan Parsons and cover artist Storm Thorgerson offer up commentary, while several music journalists and record label executives reveal some brief insight.

  PHOTO: The "Dark Side of the Moon" prism is one of rock’s most recognizable album covers. But it was almost a picture of a superhero instead. To create the cover, Pink Floyd turned to Storm Thorgerson (above), a longtime friend and graphic designer who, through his company Hipgnosis, had created much of the band’s artwork. He came back to them with a photographic representation of Marvel’s Silver Surfer character, which was instantly rejected . -  Newsweek

PHOTO: The "Dark Side of the Moon" prism is one of rock’s most recognizable album covers. But it was almost a picture of a superhero instead. To create the cover, Pink Floyd turned to Storm Thorgerson (above), a longtime friend and graphic designer who, through his company Hipgnosis, had created much of the band’s artwork. He came back to them with a photographic representation of Marvel’s Silver Surfer character, which was instantly rejected. - Newsweek

Discussions involve the studio-specific techniques used to create the clock loops on "Time," the cash register sounds on "Money," and the vocal chorus on "The Great Gig in the Sky." - Rotten Tomatoes

"If there are a handful of albums in the rock universe that deserve a bells-and-whistles DVD treatment, Dark Side of the Moon is clearly among them. In the '70s and '80s, the classic 1973 album by Pink Floyd remained on the Billboard 200 for a staggering 741 consecutive weeks, a record that will likely stand forever. Echoing themes of alienation, paranoia, and death, it is a dreamy, often trancelike tour through the subconscious of Floyd lyricist Roger Waters.

This 84-minute DVD offers a track-by-track look at the making of Dark Side of the Moon, featuring interviews with band members Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright, plus rare acoustic versions of "Breathe" and "Brain Damage."

For those fans interested in the story behind the crafting of one of rock's true landmark records, this is the equivalent of ambrosia. Discussions involve the studio-specific techniques used to create the clock loops on "Time," the cash register sounds on "Money," and the vocal chorus on "The Great Gig in the Sky." Special features include alternate versions of "Brain Damage," "Breathe," and "Time." - Top Documentary Films

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Calle 54" (G)
Jan
19
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Calle 54" (G)

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Calle 54" (G)

SUGGESTED DONATION $5.00

"Calle 54" (G). Music documentary released 2000 by Miramax Films.

This documentary, directed by Fernando Trueba, features a behind-the-scenes look into the music of many of the premier contemporary Latin musicians.

"Calle 54" stands with the "Buena Vista Social Club" as a landmark musical tribute" - Rolling Stone

"A Magnificent Film! Dazzling performances! It will open you to a thrilling new world." - The Wall Street Journal

"Fernando Trueba's wonderful documentary tribute to Latin jazz, is even better on a second viewing because the film is such a pure expression of the director's love for the music, a love so infectious it should leave you elated.

'I wrote this piece to be like a movie,' says the saxophonist Gato Barbieri before he
begins to play. One of the best-known performers in the film and renowned in the United
States for the weary machismo of his forlorn wails on the 'Last Tango in Paris'
soundtrack, he still wears his big-brimmed slouch hat and, wrapped in dramatic shawls,
resembles a South American widow from an Isabel Allende novel.

Mr. Barbieri mentions the names of filmmakers with whom he felt a kinship -- Jean-Luc
Godard, Luchino Visconti and the director of ''Last Tango,'' Bernardo Bertolucci -- men
who represent wildly different styles but who embraced danger and passion, as Mr.
Barbieri does. He talks about dropping out of recording for an extended period, alluding
to his unhappiness with the albums he released on A&M in the late 1970's. But this grand
old tiger can still blow a hole in the ozone layer. His magnificence remains unabated.
So does that of the pianist Bebo Valdes, who plays duets with his son, Chucho. (Bebo is
tickled by his son's avoirdupois, and Chucho's large hands span the keyboard like those of
another Atlas of the keyboards, the Canadian giant Oscar Peterson, although Chucho
plays with a much livelier attack.) Father and son reach into themselves for a
performance that's fiery and heart-rending." - Elvis Mitchell, NY Times

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (R)
Jan
1
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (R)

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (R)

SUGGESTED DONATION $5.00

 Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

Coral Gables Art Cinema1280 × 800Search by image
U.K., 1982, 95 min, 35mm, Dir. Alan Parker, Rated R, Warner Bros.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982). This indie film directed by Alan Parker and written by Roger Waters, stars Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson.

"A confined but troubled rock star descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from
everyone."

"The movie tells the story of rock singer "Pink" who is sitting in his hotel room in Los Angeles, burnt out from the music business and only able to perform on stage with the help of drugs. Based on the 1979 double album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, the film begins in Pink's youth where he is crushed by the love of his mother. Several years later, he is punished by the teachers in school because he is starting to write poems. He slowly begins to build a wall around himself to be protected from the world outside. The film shows all this in massive and epic pictures until the very end where he tears down the wall and breaks free." Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de> - IMDb

"The rock opera "Pink Floyd: The Wall," first performed in 1978, came at a time when some rock artists were taking themselves very seriously indeed. While the Beatles and Stones had recorded stand-alone songs or themed albums at the most, The Who produced "Tommy" in 1969 and "Quadrophenia" in 1973. David Bowie and Genesis followed, and "Pink Floyd: The Wall" essentially brought a close to that chapter.

This isn't the most fun to listen to and some viewers don't find it to much fun to watch, but the 1982 film is without question the best of all serious fiction films devoted to rock. Seeing it now in more timid times, it looks more daring than in did in 1982, when I saw it at Cannes. Alan Parker, a director who seemed to deliberately choose widely varied projects, here collaborates with Gerald Scarfe, a biting British political caricaturist, to make what is
essentially an experimental indie. It combines wickedly powerful animation with a surrealistic trip through the memory and hallucinations of an overdosing rock star. It touches on sex, nuclear disarmament, the agony of warfare, childhood feelings of abandonment, the hero's deep unease about women, and the life style of a rock star at the end of his rope.
" - Roger Ebert

"Unlike ''Tommy,'' ''The Wall'' doesn't have the jokey, selfdeflating side that might have been helpful. It's serious through and through. Mr. Parker occasionally reprises some of his handsomest images, as if these were coming attractions for an equally attentiongetting but less overbearing film. Alas, that isn't true."  - JANET MASLIN - NY Times

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
EC-CHAP Film Series: "Woodstock - 3-Days of Peace and Music" [The Director's Cut] (R)
Nov
16
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Film Series: "Woodstock - 3-Days of Peace and Music" [The Director's Cut] (R)

EC-CHAP Film Series: "Woodstock - 3-Days of Peace and Music" [The Director's Cut] (R)

Suggested Donation $5.00

PLEASE NOTE: This is a long duration film (255-minutes). A 15 minute intermission will be added.

"Not just a great slice-of-time documentary but the ultimate rock concert movie" -Chris Williams, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"A great piece of filmmaking" - Jack Mathews, NEWSDAY

Over four days in August 1969, 400,000 young Americans (‘half a million’ by the time Joni Mitchell penned the theme song) traveled to farmland in NY State for a music festival. Facilities could not cope. (The ticketing was an early casualty.) But The Who, Janis, Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi were on fire. It rained. There was mud. There were sex and drugs galore. No violence was reported. 

A year later Warner Bros released an epic 70mm multi-screen documentary, brilliantly edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, assisted by Martin Scorsese. ‘Three days of peace and music’ became the tagline for an epoch. As much as studio commodification of Woodstock was called out at the time, ‘peace’, meaning opposition to the draft, was fundamental to the film’s drawing power worldwide and to its heady influence on a generation.

Almost 50 years later, there could be no better way of exploring the mythology than a giant screen experience of this newly mastered director’s cut of the movie that did everything to cement it. As pure documentation, it’s surprisingly clear-sighted, beautifully shot, richly textured, informative and often funny. For all the lyrical coverage of skinny dipping, mud slides, yoga workouts or, famously, a young couple undressing and making love in the long grass, there are scenes of drug-induced paranoia, portaloo logistics, car parking mayhem or the line-ups for the payphones to call Mom.

So many of these musicians are long gone, and these beautiful young men and women, so avid for love not war, are all old enough now to be Donald Trump. Yet when the crowds are leaving and Hendrix lets 'Star Spangled Banner' loose as a wailing siren, 1969 can connect us still to the here and now.

“Director Michael Wadleigh and his team flood the screen with images, using double and triple split screens, irresistible music and almost hallucinogenic crowd scenes to limn a convincing portrait of ecstatic chaos… It is hard to come away not overwhelmed by both the events it pictures and the titanic filmmaking that brings it to the screen.” — Bill Wyman, Salon (NZIFF)

This film is a part of the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

 

View Event →
EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "A Great Day in Harlem / The Spitball Story" (NR)
Oct
20
7:30 PM19:30

EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series: "A Great Day in Harlem / The Spitball Story" (NR)

EC-CHAP - Friday Night Film Series: "A Great Day in Harlem / The Spitball Story" (NR)

Suggested Donation $5.00

We are pleased to have Mr. Arthur Rovozzo provide an introduction to this important documentary film showing. Arthur, has served as DJ of the Saturday afternoon jazz program, "Musical Myriad", on WECS 90.1FM radio for nearly three decades. Mr. Rovozzo possesses significant expertise in the evolution of jazz and blues, specifically during the period spanning 1944 to present day.

team_photograph.jpg

A Great Day in Harlem

A documentary by Jean Bach, Co-produced with Matthew Seig, Editied by Susan Peehl. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature  in 1995. 

"Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time showed up for the photo shoot which took place in front of a brownstone near the 125th street station. The documentary compiles interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph to talk about the day of the photograph, and it shows film footage taken
that day by Milt Hinton and his wife." - Written by Daren Gill (IMDB)

This is a radio interview I conducted in 1995 with Jean Bach who directed the 1994 film, A Great Day in Harlem, nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature. In this interview, Ms. Bach discusses the background behind the documentary and some insights about the
photo.

The Synopsis
Back in 1958 New York City clubs boasted nightly performances by the greatest players in jazz. Their music and their lives spanned four decades and linked styles and origins from across the country. This is the story of a moment from that era that brought dozens of these giants to a single frame.

A Great Day in Harlem is an hour-long documentary film that brings to life a remarkable moment in the history of jazz - a moment in which dozens of America's jazz legends unexpectedly gathered together for a photograph that would become emblematic of the golden age of jazz. By illuminating this single, historic event, A GREAT DAY IN HARLEM is a window to an unprecedented era in music history which addresses broader issues of
creativity and community in our own time.

It was a Summer day in New York City, 1958. A young photographer paced nervously in front of a Harlem brownstone. He had spread word that he hoped to take a picture for a special edition of Esquire magazine commemorating the golden age of jazz. Yet it was ten in the morning, long before most jazz players were up, and a meager turnout was feared. To everyone's surprise, scores of musicians assembled to create what is now a world-famous, "class photograph" of America's jazz legends.

A Great Day in Harlem zooms in and out of this astonishing photograph, interweaving archival performance footage, remarkable never-before-seen home-movie footage of the photograph being taken, and rare interviews with jazz masters present that day such as Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey. Other interviewees include the photographer, Art Kane, who had never before taken a picture as a
professional but who would quickly rise to the top of the field, and the Esquire graphics editor, Robert Benton, who speaks of what he learned that day that he would later use as a three-time Academy Award winning filmmaker. Finally, we hear the stories of some of the neighborhood kids who snuck into the frame to be photographed alongside their musical heroes.

Through this photograph, viewers will come to know some of the century's most influential musicians. We meet such luminaries as Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Marian McPartland, Gerry Mulligan, Mary Lou Williams, Maxine Sullivan, and Thelonious Monk. The result is a richly textured recreation of the event and the presentation of a cross-section of people and musical styles that comprised the evolution of jazz in the 20th century - and beyond.

As important, A Great Day in Harlem captures the spirit of an era when New York City was the center of the jazz world, when music history was constantly being made, and when creativity was fostered by an intense and nurturing community of musicians and fans. 

It was indeed a great day when musicians met and joked with friends, family, and community residents - in one instance even blowing a few jazz riffs - on a side street in Harlem in 1958. Like the photograph it documents, A Great Day in Harlem is a vivid portrait of a unique community. (http://www.a-great-day-in- harlem.com/synopsis.html)

GDIH.jpg

Here's the full list of musicians in the photo:  Hilton Jefferson, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Wilbur Ware, Art Blakey, Chubby Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Dickie Wells, Buck Clayton, Taft Jordan, Zutty Singleton, Red Allen, Tyree Glenn, Miff Molo, Sonny Greer, Jay C. Higginbotham, Jimmy Jones, Charles Mingus, Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Max Kaminsky,
George Wettling, Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, Ernie Wilkins, Buster Bailey, Osie Johnson, Gigi Gryce, Hank Jones, Eddie Locke, Horace Silver, Luckey Roberts, Maxine Sullivan, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Thomas, Scoville Browne, Stuff Smith, Bill Crump, Coleman Hawkins, Rudy Powell, Oscar Pettiford, Sahib Shihab , Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins, Lawrence Brown, Mary Lou Williams, Emmett Berry, Thelonious Monk, Vic Dickenson, Milt Hinton, Lester Young, Rex Stewart, J.C. Heard, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie (https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/amazing-photograph-jazz-history/). Click here for more info about each of these artists.

As of August 2017, only two of the 57 musicians who participated are still living (Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins).


The Spitball Story

Jean Bach, director of the remarkable A Great Day in Harlem, utilizes the same techniques of oral history and thumbnail jazz portraiture to tell the story of why Dizzy Gillespie was fired from the Cab Calloway band and how this transformed his career. This isn’t on the same level as Bach’s previous film, but it’s still a precious document, especially for its footage of Gillespie shortly before his death. 21 min. (Jonathan Rosenbaum)

And it all went down during the summer of 1939 when the band had gone up to do three Sunday shows at the State Theater in Hartford. Complete details can be found here.


This film is a part of The Packing House Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

 

View Event →
Film Showing: "The Doors" (R)
Sep
22
7:30 PM19:30

Film Showing: "The Doors" (R)

Film Showing: "The Doors" (R)

Suggested Donation $5.00

The Doors (1991), directed by Oliver Stone, staring Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan and Kyle MacLachlan. Duration: 140-minutes.

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. (IMDb)

Oliver Stone's homage to 1960s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group's late singer, the "Electric Poet" Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. The movie features a tour-de-force performance by Val Kilmer, who not only looks like Jim Morrison's long-lost twin brother, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing. It has been written that even the surviving Doors had trouble distinguishing Kilmer's vocals from Morrison's originals. (Summary Written by Denise P. Meyer <dpm1@cornell.edu>)

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the problem with American lives is that they have no second act. The problem with Jim Morrison’s life was that it had no first and third. His childhood was lost in a mist of denial - he never quite forgave his father for being an admiral - and his maturity was interrupted by an early death, caused by his relentless campaign against his own mind and body. What he left behind was a protracted adolescence, during which he recorded some great rock ‘n’ roll. (Roger Ebert)

This film is a part of The Packing House Friday Night Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. We are pleased to offer our exclusive "BYOB&F" model - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

 

View Event →
Film Showing: "The Artist" (PG-13)
May
19
7:30 PM19:30

Film Showing: "The Artist" (PG-13)

FILM SHOWING: "The Artist" (PG-13)

Suggested Donation $5.00

The Artist (2011), is a french film directed by Michel Hazanavicius staring french actors Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. The film also stars John Goodman, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller.

The film's setting is Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar, and the advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. THE ARTIST tells the story of their interlinked destinies. (The Weinstein Company)

The Artist won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best  Costume Design, and Best Original Score. It was also the first French film to win Best Picture, and the first mainly silent film to win since 1927's Wings won at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929.

"Here is one of the most entertaining films in many a moon, a film that charms because of its story, its performances and because of the sly way it plays with being silent and black and white." (Roger Ebert)

For you film trivia buffs, check here for interesting facts about this movie (IMDb).

This film is a part of The Packing House Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit www.ec-chap.org.

Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

 

View Event →
Film Showing: “Round Midnight” (R)
Jan
20
7:30 PM19:30

Film Showing: “Round Midnight” (R)

FILM SHOWING: "ROUND MIDNIGHT" (R)

Suggested Donation $5.00

Inside the Blue Note nightclub one night in 1959 Paris, an aged, ailing jazzman coaxes an eloquent wail from his tenor sax. Outside, a young Parisian too broke to buy a glass of wine strains to hear those notes. Soon they will form a friendship that sparks a final burst of genius in the fading musician. Round Midnight, set to Herbie Hancock’s Academy-Award winning Best Original Score, is an elegant ode to bebop – the technically demanding jazz that blossomed during the post war era.

“In 'Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950's New York jazz world.” – IMDb

“Gordon plays the central role with an eerie magnetism. He is a musician, not an actor, and yet no actor could have given this performance, with its dignity, wisdom and pain. He speaks slowly, carefully considering, really making his words mean something, so even commonplace sentences ("Francois, this is a lovely town you have here") are really meant. He calls everyone "Lady" in the movie, and doesn't explain it, and doesn't need to.

The music was recorded live. The director, Bertrand Tavernier, has said that in earlier jazz films, the audience could sense that the actors were not really playing; that you could see in their eyes that they were not listening to the other musicians onstage with them. In "Round Midnight," the music happens as we hear it, played by Gordon, Herbie Hancock on piano and others such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter and Billy Higgins, with Lonette McKee on vocals.” – Roger Ebert

This classic film is a part of The Packing House Film Series hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP). Cabaret and group seating. Doors 7:00pm / Show 7:30pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required).

 Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
FILM SCREENING: "BLUES LEGEND" (NR) - AN EVENING WITH FILM MAKER DAN MCGINLEY
Oct
28
7:30 PM19:30

FILM SCREENING: "BLUES LEGEND" (NR) - AN EVENING WITH FILM MAKER DAN MCGINLEY

INDEPENDENT FILM SERIES: "BLUES LEGEND" (NR) - AN EVENING WITH FILM MAKER DAN MCGINLEY

TICKETS $8.00 IN ADVANCE (ONLINE) / $10.00 AT THE DOOR

Join Ashford, CT film maker Dan McGinley for a premiere screening of his independent film Blues Legend exclusively at The Packing House! You may have been following the development of this film from Dan's bi-monthly articles in the Neighbors Paper. Having been submitted to the Rhode Island and New Orleans film festivals, this film is now ready to be unveiled locally.

"By night, Dan McGinley is a janitor for the Putnam school district. By day and on weekends though, he’s as indie as a moviemaker can get. McGinley spent four years making a feature-length movie — with no money and no professional actors." -  Francesca Kefalas, Norwich Bulletin

Blues Legend concerns a desperate guitar player down on his luck in New Orleans.  A foolish attempt to sell his soul for fame and fortune invokes the wrath of a powerful Voodoo Queen, related to his wife’s Cajun side. Inspired by a passion for blues guitar and a dream, McGinley put it all together. Dan McGinley’s efforts nearly made cinematic history by being selected for the Cannes Film Festival (Le Festival de Cannes).

Read the entire Norwich Bulletin interview with Francesca Kefalas here.

Join us for this special screening and Q&A with local film maker Dan McGinley in our intimate historic setting. This film screening is a part of The Packing House Film Series hosted by the Friends of The Mill Works. Cabaret and theater seating available. Snacks and soft drinks available. "BYOB" - Beer and Wine ONLY (I.D. Required).

Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.


The Film:

With a volunteer cast doubling as crew, and equipment resold at face value, the entire cost of Blues Legend was no more than a few hundred dollars, including beer and pizza.  The achievement sets a new precedent, and competed against works by Steven Spielberg and Jodie Foster, who worked with budgets of several million dollars.  Blues Legend was rejected by Cannes after over a month of review, and with less than a week until final selections were made.  

Considering that none of the thirty-two cast members had ever been in a film before, this makes the achievement even more outstanding.

Encouraged by Rhode Island documentary filmmaker David Bettencourt, McGinley obtained used cameras, a microphone, and an Apple editing program to begin production on the screenplay he had written in 2011.  He called his group of unknowns Quiet Corner Films, and began a marathon work schedule.

Good fortune and networking seemed to provide miraculous breaks and opportunities as filming progressed.  When the daughter of a cast member (fellow janitor Ken Theroux) approached Tavana McMoore, an established singer-songwriter-musician in Hawaii who shared the stage with Pearl Jam, Tavana volunteered all of his work.  When McGinley spotted a phenomenal English blues guitarist on YouTube named Danny James, a quick e-mail message secured his talents as well, and a large part of the soundtrack was set to the mysterious Delta legend.

Need a Cajun actress from New Orleans?  Lenora Grunko from E.O. Smith’s Drama Department suggested Mellissa Robichaux, a talented drama student from New Orleans, and McGinley had his leading actress.  How about a tattooed, muscular Voodoo Slave assassin?  When a perfect likeness was spotted in a local store, McGinley approached him and posed the tricky question.  That night, he got a call and the role was filled.  Need a 1931 Model A police car?  It was parked at Dunkin’ Donuts in Ashford, and the owner was one of the nicest people McGinley ever met.

There were some tough times, too.  McGinley’s father became ill and passed away before the film was completed, after contributing a song he had written with Gospel singer Bill Gaither.  The tragedy also served to push the filmmaker, and remind him of how tenuous and precious life can be, to try and seize every opportunity and pursue your passion.   

With his cast and used equipment, McGinley studied the methods of director Robert Rodriquez, who had filmed El Mariachi in Mexico for less than eight-thousand dollars.  He also read the challenge set forth by legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who pledged to eat a shoe if his friend Errol Morris ever made a movie.  Morris completed Gates of Heaven in 1978, and Herzog made good on his word, consuming an entire shoe (except for the rubber sole) in front of a live audience in Berkeley, California.  

Cast Members:
Steve Aukerman (appliance repair, Ashford) as Officer Steve Bouchet
Sammi Balkus (student, Mansfield) as Young Desiree La Rose
Joe Corbin (prison guard) as Victor (Voodoo Slave assassin)
Dan’l Dunnegan (aka Dan McGinley, custodian, Putnam) as Paul La Rose
Alfonso Discepolo (farmer, Ashford) as The Chicken Farmer
Lisa Freeman (last minute double for Desiree and friend of Jim Stearns, West Townsend, MA) as Desiree La Rose
Todd Hayes (custodian, Putnam) as Psychiatric Doctor
Kevin Johnson (mechanic, Ashford) as Drunk on Couch
Levi Jules (Bronx, NY) as Ike
Amber Lawrence (daughter of Sunday, Hartford) as Young Benin Voodoo Queen
Sundai Lawrence (Voodoo Queen, Somers) as The Voodoo Queen
Bill Lopes (self-employed, West Townsend, MA) as Smoking Cajun
Lucy Love (self-employed, Middletown) as Dominatrix with Whip
Gwen McGinley (student, Ashford) as Camille La Rose
Dan Pannekeet (custodian, Putnam) as CT Police Officer #1
Devon Pannekeet (custodian, Putnam) as CT Police Officer #2
Austin Parke (student, Woodstock) as Demon Bartender
Tony Pena (extra, West Townsend, MA) as Sitting Cajun
EJ Prochowski (student, Putnam) as Demon Child
Mellissa Robichaux (Army, Willimantic) as Desiree La Rose
Linda Roto (school nurse, Putnam) as Hospital Manager
Jeanne Russo (USPS, Ashford) as Mary La Rose
Ed Saint Jermaine (real estate, Danielson) as Tourist in Bar
Bill Stearns (machinist, West Townsend, MA) as Curious Cajun in Bar
Jim Stearns (machinist, West Townsend, MA) as Harmonica Cajun
Jordon Tetrealt (student, Putnam) as Mortal Bartender
Ken Theroux (custodian, Putnam) as The Devil
Tiger (dog in bar, West Townsend, MA) as Dog in Bar
Joe Waggenbrenner (retired engineer, Ashford) as God the Father
Jim York (retired fireman, now full-time actor.  Ashford) as Officer La Beau
Lauri Lynn Wilbur (business, Ashford) as Police Dispatcher

Soundtrack:
The Ashford School Singers (“Going Home” by William Arms Fisher – 1922)
Danny James – Blues guitar
Tod McGinley and Bill Gaither – “The Hurtin’ Days Are Over”
Tavana McMoore – “Tumble Down” (title song), “Desert Rain”, “Drink the Wine”, and “Slip into a Coma”
The Salvation Alley String Band – “Christian Soul”

SOURCE: May 10, 2016 Press Release, Dan McGinley

 

View Event →
FILM SHOWING: "NO DIRECTION HOME - BOB DYLAN" (Unrated)
Apr
1
7:00 PM19:00

FILM SHOWING: "NO DIRECTION HOME - BOB DYLAN" (Unrated)

$5.00 Suggested Donation

Join us at The Packing House for "No Direction Home - Bob-Dylan". A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protestsinger to "voice of a generation" to rock star. (Imdb)

"Renowned director Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan chronicles the career of the singer and songwriter during the tumultuous years between 1961 and 1966. Dylan allowed Scorsese to have access to hours of footage that had never before been made public, including a number of live performances, and footage of Dylan in the recording studio creating some of his landmark albums from the period. Dylan sits for an extensive interview, as does a variety of people who worked with him during this time period, including Joan Baez and fellow songwriter Pete Seeger. The film debuted on PBS stations around the country on September 26, 2005." (Rotten Tomatoes)

This film showing is hosted by the Friends of The Mill Works. The documentary will be shown in two parts with a brief intermission following Part-1. The total run time is approximately 3.5 hours. Suggested donation $5.00. Snacks and soft drinks available. "BYOB" - Beer and Wine ONLY with $5.00 corkage/bottle fee.

Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
FILM SHOWING: "BIRD" (Rated-R)
Mar
4
7:00 PM19:00

FILM SHOWING: "BIRD" (Rated-R)

$5.00 Suggested Donation

Experience "Bird", a thoughtful portrayal of jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker in an historic creative setting at The Packing House.

"Directed by Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood, a well-known, long-standing jazz aficionado, delivers a compassionate portrait of jazz visionary Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Eastwood, who won a Golden Globe for Best Director for this film, also paints a vivid portrait of the jazz world in all its complexity. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, as Parker, provides a multifaceted performance that helps provide an understanding of the man's genius, and tragedy." (Rotten Tomatoes)

"What the film does best is capture a general sense of the tight, self-protective and in some ways dangerously insular jazz world. It deals soberingly with Parker's drug habit (he was an addict from his middle teens until his death, in 1955, as a 34-year-old so dissipated that the coroner estimated his age at 50 or 60) and with the ulcers and liver trouble that sometimes made Scotch and milk his drink of choice. Parker's role as, in Nat Hentoff's words, ''the paradigm of the jazzman-as-victim'' is well-established here, better so than the underlying pressures that led him in that direction." (Maslin, The New York Times, 9/26/1988)

"Be-bop, the music forged by Charlie Parker and the handful of musicians who could keep up with him in the early 1940's, pushed jazz into a modern era of high speed, fragmentation, and grace under pressure. It ushered in faster tempos and more angular melodies; above the tunes, improvisers like Parker moved to the outer reaches of harmony, revamping established notions of consonance and dissonance. His groups tossed off asymmetrical pieces with an offhand precision that camouflaged their complexity. But Parker's own brilliance as an improviser matched his structural innovations; his solos sprinted and zigzagged across the beat in long, twisting lines, but they could also ease into sultry, heartfelt blues." (Harmetz, The New York Times, 1/17/1988)

“'Bird' wisely does not attempt to “explain” Parker’s music by connecting experiences with musical discoveries. This is a film of music, not about it, and one of the most extraordinary things about it is that we are really, literally, hearing Parker on the soundtrack." (Roger Ebert, 10/14/1988)

This film showing is hosted by the Friends of The Mill Works. Suggested donation $5.00. Snacks and soft drinks available. "BYOB" - Beer and Wine ONLY with $5.00 corkage/bottle fee.

Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →
FILM SHOWING: "THE LAST WALTZ" (Rated-PG)
Jan
15
7:30 PM19:30

FILM SHOWING: "THE LAST WALTZ" (Rated-PG)

$5.00 Suggested Donation

Join us in an intimate setting at The Packing House for "The Last Waltz", a classic music documentary that some consider one of the most legendary rock films of all time.

"Martin Scorsese chronicles the most legendary night in rock history, as an unparalleled lineup of rock superstars -- including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison -- take the stage for "The Band's" 1976 farewell concert." (Rotten Tomatoes)

This film showing is hosted by the Friends of The Mill Works. $5.00 Suggested donation. Snacks and soft drinks available. "BYOB" - Beer and Wine ONLY with $5.00 corkage/bottle fee.

Call 518-791-9474 for information and table reservations.

View Event →

The Packing House  |  156 River Road, Suite 1301Willington, Connecticut 06279  |  (518)791-9474