‘70s rocker Jobriath was known as “The American Bowie”. The first openly gay rock star, he disappeared after two albums in two years. Done in by an over hyped publicity machine, shunned by the gay community and dismissed by rock critics, he retreated to the Chelsea Hotel and died as an early victim of AIDS. In the years since his death, a new generation of fans, from Morrissey to Stephin Merrit, have loudly and proudly cited Jobriath as an influence.
Q & A with director Tom Berninger to follow
In 2010, rock band The National were about to embark on the biggest tour of their career. After ten years as a band, and five critically acclaimed albums, they were finally enjoying wider recognition. Lead singer Matt Berninger invited his younger brother, Tom, to join the tour’s crew. A budding horror filmmaker, Tom – who is nine years younger than Matt and listens exclusively to heavy metal- decided to bring his camera along. Tom’s at sea in the world of indie rock, and living in his brother’s shadow brings out the younger sibling in him – he drinks, complains, and struggles to balance his ambition with his tour responsibilities. The result is a film about brothers and about making something of your own. Directed by Tom Berninger
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Full of art, music and everyday magic, Swim Little Fish Swim is a dreamlike journey from childhood to adulthood depicting three intertwined characters at turning points in their lives.
Maggie? Rainbow? Leeward and Mary cannot even agree on their 3 year old daughter’s name anymore. Mary is a hardworking nurse who dreams of only one thing: changing her life around. She resents her husband for being an irresponsible, overgrown adolescent incapable of holding down a job. Leeward is an atypical, idealistic musician who fancies himself a misunderstood artist and a New Age visionary. Enter Lilas, (co-directr Lola Bessis) a 19 year old French artist and daughter of a world famous painter, who’s trying to make it in New York and get away from her overbearing mother. When the bubbly young woman moves into the couple’s tiny Chinatown apartment, their already fragile balance is upset even further.
The filmmakers have created a ‘perfect mesh of sound and vision’ in the unique, and original soundtrack that works so perfectly with the characters personas, with most of the musicians themselves appearing in the film like Brooklyn psych pop group Toys and Tiny Instruments, 17 year old newcomer Queens based folk soul singer Candace Lee and and Last Good Tooth frontman Penn Sultan. Directed by Lola Besis and Ruben Anwar.
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