Filmwax screening Zachary Levy’s STRONGMAN

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I don’t often champion a film with such vigor but I love me some STRONGMAN! A couple of years ago when I was screening films under the auspices of The Filmwax Film Series, I opened my second season with Zachary Levy’s documentary. Zachary was also the very first guest I ever had on Filmwax Radio! It’s been a couple of years since the film came out and finally the film is receiving a much deserved broad digital distribution on such platforms as iTunes, Amazon, as well as becoming available on DVD.

This Wednesday, October 23rd at 7PM, you’re invited to join in celebrating this great development with friends of STRONGMAN and Filmwax. We’ll start with a screening of the lauded film at Theater 80 on St. Marks Place. The Strongman himself, Stan “Stanless Steel” will be present, as will girlfriend Barbara. Stan’s band, Ajammination will make their world debut playing a live set after the screening. That will be followed by a cocktail hour in theater’s bar where Stan will be signing DVDs (and other Stan-aphenalia) and hanging out. We ask that you either purchase tickets ahead of time or to make a donation at the door (suggested $10). That admission gets you to a nice break if you purchase a DVD.

So, don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet Stan & Barbara, meet the filmmaker, and most of all: to see STRONGMAN on the big screen! Jeanette Catsoulis of the NY Times said, “Zachary Levy’s lump-in-the-throat portrait of an aging muscleman, is an outsider tale of unforced rawness and lilting poignancy.” I think I referred to Stan and his story as “near Shakespearean”. As lofty as that might sound, you have an opportunity to judge for your self. (MORE PRESS)

INTERVIEW: Matt Porterfield

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Matt Porterfield’s latest feature, I Used To Be Darker, opens theatrically in New York City on Friday, October 4 at the IFC Center and a week later in L.A. at the Sundance Sunset 5. It’s already screening in Baltimore, MD at The Charles Theater. Filmmaker Onur Tukel recently spoke to Porterfield.

I loved Matt Porterfield’s I Used To Be Darker.  It’s easy to say that.  It’s poetic and understated, features beautiful photography by Jeremy Saulnier and incredible performances by its lead actors, Kim Taylor, Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross and Ned Oldham.  The sound design is rich but economical.  The editing is tight.  It’s flawless.  But well-made movies don’t impress me anymore.  I need to connect with what I’m watching.  I very much connected with I Used To Be Darker.   On the surface, the film is about divorce.  Kim, a singer/songwriter, has just left her husband Bill, and their daughter Abby is not happy about it.  Bill isn’t happy either, but he’s also bitter because he abandoned his own musical ambitions to provide for the family.  When Abby’s cousin Taryn arrives to their home unexpectedly, we’re allowed to observe their lives for a few days.  I’ve never gone through a divorce.  My parents stayed together and I’ve never been married.  Still, the idea of getting hitched terrifies me. I make films, I paint, I draw and write stories.  I don’t know if I do these things well, but they keep me going.  And I’ve always feared that being a husband or father would take time away from doing these things.  Art takes commitment.  Marriage takes commitment.  I imagine doing both is exceedingly difficult.  And that’s the main reason I found I Used to be Darker so intriguing.

Onur Tukel: Were your parents artists, musicians?

Matthew Porterfield: Both of my parents were teachers and my dad is a novelist and playwright, also a poet — largely unpublished — but he’s been writing his whole life. He taught English at a junior high school in Baltimore and he’d wake up every morning at 3am and type on his Royal typewriter for several hours before he had to go into work. In the 70s, he staged some work and was a big part of the avant-garde scene in Baltimore. He had a couple of plays staged in London and New York. He’s never had any of his work published but he’s still going. Every day. Read more