Music

True/False 2014 Fest Digest: Day Zero

Welcome to the True/False Film Fest 2014 Fest Digest! Here we’ll be gleefully taking on the impossible task of recapping the Fest, collecting stories, photos, videos along the way. Don’t forget to check back in, we’ll have a post each morning to help you relive the day that was.

It’s both marvelous and tragic that there’s just too much True/False to go around, and no way for any one consciousness to process it all. This digest, like all of you, will be plotting its own idiosyncratic course through the maze of music, art, panels, parties and cinema stretched out before us.

The theme of True/False 2014 is “Magic/Realism”. This alignment of words and symbols is perhaps a bit cryptic. One way we like to read it is as Magic sitting atop Realism, the fantastic’s victory over the mundane. Central to this conquest is the transformation of downtown Columbia, a place familiar to many of us, into somewhere very different for these four weird days. This was affected by the Herculean efforts of the T/F production team, numerous visiting and local artists and hundreds upon hundreds of T/F volunteers. Films will be playing at nine different locations, all within walking distance of one another downtown. All around and in-between you’ll find numerous art installations and surprises.

Our box office is always a central hub of True/False, where you’ll find tickets, merch and much more. This year it’s located at the corner of Hitt and Broadway. Artists Sabrina Braden and Sasha Goodnow reimagined this space as a Victorian-era parlor, cozy yet off kilter. As it opened for hustle and bustle of pass holder pick up, you could feel in the air that the T/F is finally here.

T/F 2014, Box Office, Pass Opening,

photo by Derek Jenkins

Most of our theaters are ephemeral, sliding in and out of existence with the Fest. For example, the ballroom of Columbia’s most prominent building, the Tiger Hotel, once-more became the metallic woodland of the Forrest Theater, so named for Forrest Rose, a well-loved Columbia columnist and stand-up bass player who we lost much too soon.

forrest

photo by Quint Smith

The major exception is Ragtag Cinema, downtown CoMo’s 365-day-a-year movie theater. Ragtag is our other half, a conjoined twin sharing numerous vital organs, including its dedicated staff and loyal patrons. Its two screens are located in the building now known as “Hittsville”, the home it shares with Uprise Bakery, Ninth Street Video and Hitt Records.

It was here our Neither/Nor series got underway for its second year. This program, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is an ongoing collaboration with a visiting film critic to map a history of “chimeric” cinema, films which defy classification as either fiction or documentary. This year Godfrey Cheshire is introducing four meta-cinematic Iranian films from the 1990s. He wrote an excellent limited edition monograph, available for free at the Ragtag box office, which skillfully situates these works within the broader history of Iran and its cinema.

IMG_4829

photo by Derek Jenkins

The first film in the series to screen was Close-Up, Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 masterpiece built around the true story of a man arrested for impersonating filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

T/F 2014, Big Ragtag, Neither/Nor, AMPAS

photo by Derek Jenkins

After the film, Godfrey told the incredible story of how he was instrumental in getting the Iranian government to allow Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry to screen at Cannes, where it went on to win the Palme d’Or. He also talked about his visits to Iran, where conversations with Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf led him to see Close-Up‘s reconstructed reality as a “series of bamboozlements” by Kiarostami.

Later on, our music program began with a blast of punk rock at the hip downtown hangout Eastside Tavern. The first of 13 T/F music showcases featured performances from Fliight, Bruiser Queen, Comfort Zone and New Tongues.

T/F 2014, Eastside, New Tongues

photo by Derek Jenkins

Now the real excitement begins and we can’t wait to share it all with you. See you downtown and let the Magic/Realism commence!

Posted February 27, 2014

Access All T/F Concerts with the Busker Band!

True/False may be a film festival, but we’re about more than just cinema. We’ve backed no less than 12 concerts into the four days of the Fest, plus a bonus show on True/False eve. These showcases take place a variety of Columbia’s coolest venues and feature a variety of musical styles. And if you want access to them all, we’ve created a new way to experience the Fest,   the Busker Band. For $30 you admission to all of music showcases, plus more. It works great on it’s own or as a compliment to a Simple Pass.

Among the shows you can catch is our True/Folk showcase on Thursday, the first night of T/F, at 7 at The Blue Fugue, featuring Foundry Field Recordings, Samuel James and The Flood Brothers.

Friday at 9 you swing by Cafe Berlin for Mountain Animation, Lonesome Leash, Yes Ma’am and first-time T/F performer Yva Las Vegass.

Saturday Night at 9:30 it’s Mojo’s A-Go-Go, where you can dance the night away in a synth-pop trance provided by SpaceIsThePlace, Née and MNDR.

And Sunday afternoon at 2 you can pick up a scoop Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream and watch the talented singer-songwriter Samuel James.

These are just a few of the concerts we have on offer. Be sure to check out the concerts page for the rest. And bear in mind that if you do decide on a  Busker Band, you’ll get all of the following:
  • Admission to all T/F busker showcases and concerts
  • Admission to Busker’s Last Stand at the Missouri Theatre on Sunday night
  • One, non-transferable wristband that grants you admission to the events listed above
  • One movie voucher that can be exchanged for a screening ticket at the box office (starting at noon on Thursday, Feb. 27) or for admission via the Q line at Jesse Auditorium, Missouri Theatre or The Blue Note
  • If a showcase or concert reaches capacity, admission will be on a space-available basis
  • Does not include admission to screenings, parties, special events, or pre-screening busker performances

 

Posted February 14, 2014

True/False Film Fest 2014: Magic/Realism

The histories of magic and cinema are both steeped in questions of authenticity and fantasy, and the transformation of the commonplace into the fantastic. With this year’s theme “Magic/Realism” we aim to highlight the affinities between prestidigitation and filmmaking, arts which utilize artifice on the way to discovering a new reality.

A small sample of what we have in store can be found in our 2014 commercial, itself a teaser for the short films you’ll be seeing before each of this year’s screenings. It was created by Jarred Alterman, director of Convento and co-director of Dear Valued Guests (T/F 2013). In it, magician Gary Oxenhandler proposes the idea misdirection, an important skill for magicians and filmmakers alike.

You may also have caught a glimpse of Steve Ferris, who you’ll be seeing much more of during the Fest.

“Magic/Realism” also inspired our 2014 poster, created by artist Akiko Stehrenberger under the direction of veteran T/F collaborator Erik Buckham. The poster quotes “The Marvelous Orange Tree” illusion invented by Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic. You can view more of Akiko’s work at Hittsville beginning February 23rd.

final poster

The magic is almost here and we’re ready to share the complete True/False 2014 program. The artistic talent converging in our town for four crazy days is truly humbling. Check out the schedule and explore the complete lineup of features, shorts, musicians, artists and concerts. You can also browse through trailers for this year’s films and music videos from T/F 2014 performers.

We’ve also announced the 2014 True Vision Award Honoree, Amir Bar-Lev, who’ll be presenting his new film Happy Valley. And we’ve selected Kit Gruelle and Deanna Walters of Private Violence for the True Life Fund, our annual fundraiser for the subjects of a documentary. This film courageously and intelligently takes on the hidden epidemic of domestic violence.

Finally, we’ve announced the films in our second annual Neither/Nor series, an ongoing project to map the history of “chimeric” cinema thanks to the generous support of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year’s program examines the self-reflexive Iranian cinema of the 1990s and will be presented by critic Godfrey Cheshire.

Let the transformation begin!

 

Posted February 11, 2014

Announcing Our 2014 Buskers!

We are thrilled to announce the musical acts performing before each and every screening at True/False 2014! Check out the mosaic here!

music

 

Posted January 24, 2014

T/F 2014 Buskers!

We strive to make the four days of True/False feel unlike any other. Essential to achieving this effect is the legion of buskers who fill our town with music for the entire extended weekend. They perform at our showcases, in the streets and before each and every T/F screening.

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Our 2014 lineup is coming together nicely, a mix of returning favorites and exciting rookies. Here are a few of the acts you’ll be hearing in just over 6 weeks!

First off, we’re very excited about bringing Yva Las Vegass to Columbia. Yva combines Venezuelan folk traditions and a punk rock attitude into a unique, passionate style perfect for T/F. See for yourself in this short concert below recorded at NPR.

Walt McClements was at True/False in 2012 as part of Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? He returns in 2014 as Lonesome Leash, this time playing all of the instruments himself. Check him out below performing a soulful tune.

Speaking of one-person-powerhouses, look out for Molly Gene One Whoaman Band tearing it up around town. Her no-nonsense blues is on full display in this music video for “Waitin’”, a scorching ballad about her man stumbling home at 3 AM.

The blues-based singer/songwriter Samuel James will be coming in from Portland, ME. His guitar playing prowess is on full display in this performance of his song “Camus”.

It won’t all be new faces around town this Fest. Our friends at music blog Folk to Folk will be returning to document the music of T/F. They created an outstanding collection of videos last year, so we’re looking forward to seeing what they capture this time around. And it just so happens that three of the bands they filmed in 2013 will also be returning: Yes Ma’am from the streets of New Orleans, Mountain Animation from Brooklyn and La Operación Jarocha from Veracruz, Mexico!

Check back for more T/F 2014 buskers real soon!

Posted January 13, 2014

‘Never Not Working: Shorts on Labor from True/False’ this Wednesday at DCTV in NYC

This Wednesday, August 28th True/False is partnering with the Downtown Community Television Center and Filmwax to present Never Not Working: Shorts on Labor from True/False. This free program (RSVP for tickets) will be held at DCTV on Lafayette Street in New York City.

In anticipation of Labor Day, we’ll be screening short documentaries depicting labor as an inevitable part of our lives, whether enjoyable and fulfilling, difficult and necessary, and/or both. These five selections were culled from a decade of our programming by T/F shorts programmer Karen Cirillo and T/F co-director Paul Sturtz, both of whom will be in attendance. They’ll be joined by Musa Syeed and Yoni Brook of A Son’s Sacrifice and Marcelo de Oliveira, sound designer of The Breadmakers, for a post-screening Q and A.

The films in this program are:

Tina Delivers a Goat (T/F 2013, USA, Joe Callander, 2 min)
Through taking council with a local village elder, Tina discovers the benefits of a goat, delivers the goat, says hi to mama and papa and behbeh, takes a photo, and leaves. Global generosity in all its blunt simplicity.

El Cerco (T/F 2007, Catalonia, Ricardo Íscar/Nacho Martin, 12 min)
As the fishing boats close in on the tuna, the tension escalates until the men capture their prizes.

Breadmakers (T/F 2008, UK, Yasmin Fedda, 11 min)
At a unique Edinburgh bakery, a community of workers with learning disabilities makes a variety of organic breads for daily delivery to local shops and cafés.

A Son’s Sacrifice (T/F 2007, USA, Yoni Brook, 26 min)
A young American Muslim struggles to take over his father’s halal slaughterhouse in New York City.

Il Capo (T/F 2011, Italy, Yuri Ancarani, 15 min)
A choreographed, spooky look at a marble quarry, this film features the best use of a monolith and upward pan since Kubrick’s 2001. Man, machines, nature come together in an elemental masterpiece.

To create the authentic festival atmosphere, T/F 2013 buskers Mountain Animation will be warming up the house before the lights go down. Below you’ll find a sample of the Brooklyn-based power duo performing in Union Square. They were also recently named among the seven best busking acts in NYC by the Gothamist.

New Yorkers, we hope to see you there. Remember, tickets are free, but going fast. RSVP soon if you want to join us.

 

Posted August 24, 2013

CoMo Girls Rock! Showcase Tonight at Mojo’s!

CoMo Girls Rock! is a summer camp dedicated to empowering girls ages 12-18 through creative expression, musical exploration and performance. Camp founders Luci Cook, Leola Davis and Amanda Rainey were inspired by the documentary Girls Rock! (T/F 2008) to create a local chapter of the nationwide alliance. CoMo Girls Rock!’s first ever week-long session just wrapped up yesterday, and now the campers get to show off what they’ve learned. The Girls Rock! showcase begins at 7 tonight at Mojo’s. All proceeds from the show will go towards next year’s camp, so come on out and show your support!

Posted June 15, 2013

‘Yes, Ma’am’ Music Headliners at the 2013 Boone Dawdle

The rollicking roots band Yes Ma’am took T/F 2013 by storm with their commanding performances before films and on Ninth Street.  Led by guitarist/singer Matthew Brecken, these buskers from the streets of New Orleans are clearly going places. While Brecken’s voice may be the first thing you notice, this knockabout combo of banjo, washboard, standup bass and gypsy fiddle are as thick as thieves and as tight as a tick: the perfect band to accompany the sun going down over the river at the Boone Dawdle on August 17.

See for yourself in the video below, part of Folk to Folk’s coverage of music at T/F 2013.

Tickets to the 2013 Boone Dawdle are on sale now.

 

 

Posted June 14, 2013

La Operación Jarocha Performs at Sparky’s in a Video by Folk to Folk

La Operación Jarocha hail from Veracruz, Mexico and appeared at T/F 2013 alongside the film Who is Dayani Cristal? which features their music. These energetic performers were also a part of our first ever at music showcase at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream, a long time sponsor of the fest. Thankfully our friends from Folk to Folk were there to capture a stirring performance. See for yourself!

Posted April 29, 2013

Mountain Animation Video by Folk to Folk

The multi-media music project Folk to Folk shot a series of videos at True/False 2013, capturing stirring performances from the T/F busking army. In the second entry, the Brooklyn-based duo Mountain Animation jam on the banjo and violin during a showcase at Cafe Berlin.

If you want to hear more, check out Mountain Animation‘s new album, Lava Letter, in it’s entirety on the group’s bandcamp page. And don’t miss the first Folk to Folk video featuring a boisterous street performance by Yes, Ma’am.

Posted March 29, 2013
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