May 24, 2013
Click here for more info on these free screenings.
“Hope you all can join us this Saturday 5/25 for a FULL DAY of celebration as FREDA turns 1!” Lipsey writes on MarfaList.
May 22, 2013
“If you take the long view, you’ll see how startlingly, how unexpectedly but regularly things change. Not by magic, but by the incremental effect of countless acts of courage, love, and commitment, the small drops that wear away stones and carve new landscapes, and sometimes by torrents of popular will that change the world suddenly. To say that is not to say that it will all come out fine in the end regardless. I’m just telling you that everything is in motion, and sometimes we are ourselves that movement.”
It’s a moving piece of writing from a thinker with such a wide range of influence that she’s credited as one of the leading lights of the anti-war movement, contributed profound essays to photographic catalogs by Richard Misrach and James Evans, and is cited as possible inspiration for the christening of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter. She’s also the author of such modern-day classics as A Field Guide to Getting Lost, A Paradise Built in Hell and Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas.
Solnit was a participant in the 2012 edition of Marfa Dialogues: You can listen to an interview with her while she was visiting us out here in the Big Bend at Marfa Public Radio. Her new book, The Faraway Nearby, comes out on June 13.
May 21, 2013
Marfalogical Exploration — a group “travelling Marfa to learn how to be successful as professional artists” — stopped by Ballroom back in March to take some snapshots of New Growth, and to chat with Rosa and Erin …
“Upon arrival in Marfa at 12:30 PM, we went straight to Ballroom Marfa to see Rashid Johnson’s show, entitled New Growth. Rosa McElheny, the Exhibitions & Programs Coordinator and Erin Kimmel, the Associate Curator at Ballroom were kind enough to to meet with us.
We were really inspired by our meeting with Rosa because she was recently in the same position that we are in now, since she completed her undergraduate degree in 2011. We chatted about reasons for attending graduate school and finding residencies- she recommended searching residencyunlimited.org.
Rosa also answered questions that I had about how they organized Ballroom’s Marfa Dialogues program. I was curious about how they recruited Michael Pollan (one of my heros) and Rebecca Solnit, among others in Marfa. Hamilton Fish, published of the Washington Spectator, co-presented Marfa Dialogues. The upcoming program this fall will be held in NYC.”
May 20, 2013
Glasstire just posted the second article in a two-part series on CineMarfa, the film festival founded by Marfa residents David Hollander and Jennifer Lane in 2011. In short, Glasstire’s Peter Lucas was feeling it. From CineMarfa 2013 (Part 1: The Festival)
“Because it is relatively small, free, laid back, and has an audience heavy in artists and cultural investigators, there was little distinction between the intermingling festival organizers, official guests, and audience members – all of whom were there simply to see films and to share their thoughts and ideas. (Of course, that should be the case at all film festivals, but believe me, it’s rare.) Discussions about the films, and art and life in general, spilled out between screenings onto the front steps, and in pockets at the Lost Horse Saloon and Padre’s Bar and Grill, at the festival’s rooftop cocktail hour at Hotel Paisano and the closing party at the Chicken Coop.”
Lucas also provides an enthusiastic assessment of the festival’s programming in CineMarfa 2013 (Part 2: The Films), including a look at the work of local filmmaker (recently seen in the role of Staff Sgt. Baldy in “Devils at Play”) Joe Cashiola …
“West Texas Cloud Appreciation Society, a Texas-paced, work-in-progress documentary essay by Marfa-based filmmaker Joseph Cashiola, provided glimpses of the area’s diversity of characters and happenings—from ranching and cowboy poetry to punk rock house parties, UFO conventions, and art parades. The wilder life is brought down to earth with shots of the landscape and sky, and by scenes with folks like Marfa bar owner Ty Mitchell and Valentine, Texas artist Boyd Elder. This painted an intriguing portrait of the unique planet that is West Texas, and its screening being packed with enthusiastic locals reminded me that I was in the middle of it.”
In other film news, the Marfa Film Festival is gearing up for its return on June 26, and here at the Ballroom we’re putting the finishing touches on the New Growth film program, curated by Rashid Johnson and Josh Siegel. And, of course, we’re looking forward to the arrival of Alix Pearlstein in July as part of the Artists’ Films International program. Stay tuned for more information.
May 17, 2013
Fantastic interview with Eleanor Friedberger over at Rookie, plus they’ve got another song — “She’s a Mirror” — from her forthcoming album available for streaming. An excerpt from the Q&A:
“How does it feel to get attention for making something personal public?
Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s awkward. I like having anonymity, don’t like being the focus of attention.
The good part about attention I think is obvious, but what is the difficult part?
It’s never good to doubt yourself. I mean, for example, I like getting dressed some days, but it’s such fine line of deciding how much time you are going to spend thinking about what you are going to wear when you know people are going to be looking at you. That is something I do think about, but when you think about it a little too much it turns unhealthy. I am conscious of people looking at me, whether it’s in photos or while I’m performing. In those situations I try to be free as possible, because if you overthink it, it does your head in. That’s when people start getting a little goofy. Sometimes I think I should be more diva-ish [laughs], that maybe I am little too normal and balanced to make it in this industry.”
Personal Record is out June 4 on Merge. Can’t wait that long for new Eleanor jams? Check out the 7-inch she recorded during her Ballroom residency here in Marfa, available from the Ballroom store and iTunes.
“Devils at Play” screenwriter James DiLapo in studio at KRTS. Catch the re-broadcast of his “Talk at Ten” interview today at 6:30p (CST). RSVP for tomorrow’s two live performances of “Devils at Play” here.
May 16, 2013
A few images from the first stage rehearsal of “Devils at Play”, courtesy of Ballroom’s Jennifer Trammell. Click here to RSVP and secure a seat for one of the two free performances this Saturday at the Crowley.
May 15, 2013
“Scott: Let’s talk about your Nicholl winning script “Devils At Play.” Here’s a logline I found for it:
“In the Soviet Union, 1937, a worker of the People’s Commissariat for internal affairs finds a list of traitors, which he thinks is going to be his way out.”
What was the inspiration for this story?
James: I was cramming for a mid‑term for a Soviet history course at NYU. I was reading a book by Robert Conquest called “The Great Terror”. There is a chapter in there where Conquest breaks down what the arrest process was like. When you’re arrested, how many people could you expect to share your prison cell? What were the strip searches like? When you were interrogated, what were the sort of methods they would use?
Reading that, reading the details, I started to see flashes of the story. It was inspiring, but it was a script that I knew would take a very long time to research. I didn’t have the time to devote to this project until I graduated and received the WGAE Fellowship.
Scott: Putting on a conventional wisdom hat, right? You’ve got a period piece set in the Soviet Union in the 30′s. You got a deeply flawed protagonist. There’s a lot of violence, and torture. There’s no real love interest per say. You used flashbacks, which some people in Hollywood aren’t fond of. The conclusion, which is beautifully realized, is definitely not your typical Hollywood happy ending. Were you aware that this script was cutting against conventional wisdom on so many fronts?
James: To be honest, I didn’t think about that. I just tried to tell a story to the best of my ability. I think it becomes problematic for us as screenwriters to create only what we think is going to sell, or only what we think is going to attract attention. It’s better just to write as well as you can, and hope that it creates opportunities for you afterwards. At the end of the day, you just have to tell the stories you want to see on film. That will be your best writing.”
The Reading takes place this Saturday, 18 May 2013 at the Crowley Theater here in Marfa. Click here for more information and to RSVP for this free happening.
May 13, 2013
Doug Pullen of the El Paso Times talks with “Devils at Play” screenwriter James DiLapo. An excerpt …
“Set in 1937, “Devils at Play” revolves around Stepan, a detective with the NKVD, the Soviets’ secret police, whose discovery of a list of traitors could be his way out his morally bankrupt world.
“He struggles with whether he’s on the right track, whether he’s working for an evil faction, and in the course of that he uncovers a mystery,” Dilapo said by phone from Los Angeles.
“Devils” tells the story from the oppressor’s point of view, not the other way around. “When you look at this time period in history, the Soviets or the Nazis, it’s usually about what it’s like for the oppressed, not what it’s like to be on the other side,” the screenwriter explained.
“Devils at Play,” which Dilapo completed after graduation from New York University in 2011, looks at “how moral justification works in our heads, how we lie to ourselves to believe in what we’re doing, that capacity for good and evil,” he explained, adding that he looked to books like Robert Conquest’s “The Great Terror” for information and ideas.”
Keep reading in the El Paso Times.
More info and RSVP for this free event by clicking here.