DJ Spooky Brings His Musical Magic To Poland

DJ Spooky

The Movie/Music Extravaganza REBIRTH OF A NATION Launches The Inaugural Edition of the American Film Festival

After touring the globe for the past two years, DJ Spooky finally arrives in Eastern Europe. His visual/music extravaganza REBIRTH OF A NATION serves as the Opening Night attraction on Wednesday, October 24, for the inaugural American Film Festival, a new film event that is the first to be solely devoted to contemporary and classic American cinema. The man himself will be there to both orchestrate the film presentation and to mix sounds at the film’s after-party at the chic Club Eter.

REBIRTH OF A NATION is a film project based on a remix of D.W. Griffith’s infamous 1915 film BIRTH OF A NATION, which is notorious for its depiction of blacks at the end of the US Civil War in the 19th century. To open up these images that are almost 100 years to reinterpretation, DJ Spooky has applied his dj technique to add layers to the meanings of images, while deconstructing and reimagining them. Using an audio palette that mixes hip-hop drum beats, industrial sounds, dissonant interludes and blues fragments, he creates a totally immersive experience that tantalizingly looks at the multiple dimensions that still surrounding racial awareness and tension in America (even with a black man sitting in the White House).

The presentation is a heady mix of film, music and contemporary art, using film as a “found object” much in the way that artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons have done. This unique live experience further expounds the the creative investigations inito the ideas of found objects, the power of cinematic imagery and the use of appropriation as an art technique. DJ Spooky has presented his unique program in more than fifty shows around the world……from Lincoln Center in New York, to Theatre Chatelet in Paris, to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater at the base of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. He has also presented the program at film festivals all over the map….from Australia and New Zealand to Louisville, Kentucky to New York’s Tribeca Film Festival.

The American Film Festival will present nearly 100 films in total, including 20 narrative features and 15 documentary features in competition. A panorama of classic films from both the American Independent and Hollywood schools will be presented, along with some of the year’s most acclaimed American indies, including PLEASE GIVE, GREENBERG and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, which closes the Festival on Sunday, October 24.

An army of American producers, directors, screenwriters and actors will come together in Wroclaw, to offer a full spectrum of the innovative talents at work in contemporary American filmmaking. The Festival’s special guest is iconic actor Seymour Cassel, who will make a rare appearance as part of the Retrospective Of John Cassavetes, the first presented in Eastern Europe. The actor starred in several of the director’s masterpieces and was a lifelong friend to him and his actress wife Gena Rowlands.

Directors in attendance include Neil Truglio (WE ARE THE SEA), Michael Mohan (ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS), Alex Mar (AMERICAN MYSTIC), Paul Gordon (THE HAPPY POET), Olivier Lécot (A NY THING), Chuck Workman (VISIONARIES), Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten (SONS OF PERDITION), Tim Rutili (ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS), Alistair Banks Griffin (TWO GATES OF SLEEP), THE TWO ESCOBARS (Michael Zimbalist), SPARK OF BEING (Bill Morrison), and Vincent D’Onofrio (DON’T GO IN THE WOODS). Other featured film artists include screenwriter Samuel Gray Anderson (LUCKLY LIFE), screenwriter/producer Catherine Di Napoli (UNTITLED), and actress/producer Chantelle Frazier (WE ARE THE SEA).

In addition to the full screening program of contemporary and classic American cinema, the Festival is presenting three provocative panel discussions, covering a wide array of topics including the future of films on the internet, new tools for screenwriters and a behind-the-scenes look at documentary filmmaking in America. Many of the Festival guests will participate and share their views in these eye-opening networking sessions.

Another film of equal artistic verve that will be presented as a Special Event is EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, UK graffiti artist Banksy’s canny satire on the values of contemporary society and the contradiction of street art being sold for millions of dollars to complacent bourgeoisie. The film, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, is a tour-de-force of artistic mischief that has become one of the highest grossing and most talked-about documentaries of the decade.

Rounding out the Special Event Screenings is the premiere of Charlie Kaufman’s iconoclastic satire SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK, a theater-of-the-absurd diorama of human ambition, artistic pretension and the transcendent aspirations of culture, with a stellar cast including Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Hope Davis and Tom Noonan.

Screening out-of-competition in the Highlights section are five of the most innovative and successful indie films of the year: GREENBERG, the slacker satire starring Ben Stiller, written and directed by Noah Baumbach; KABOOM, the latest incendiary film bomb from subversive director Gregg Araki; THE KILLER INSIDE ME, director Michael Winterbottom’s look at the underbelly of violence in small town America; and PLEASE GIVE, a rollicking satire of urban life in New York City by Nicole Holofcenter.

An army of American producers, directors, screenwriters and actors will come together in Wroclaw, to offer a full spectrum of the innovative talents at work in contemporary American filmmaking. The Festival’s special guest is iconic actor Seymour Cassel, who will make a rare appearance as part of the Retrospective Of John Cassavetes, the first presented in Eastern Europe. The actor starred in several of the director’s masterpieces and was a lifelong friend to him and his actress wife Gena Rowlands.

Directors in attendance include Neil Truglio (WE ARE THE SEA), Michael Mohan (ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS), Alex Mar (AMERICAN MYSTIC), Paul Gordon (THE HAPPY POET), Olivier Lécot (A NY THING), Chuck Workman (VISIONARIES), Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten (SONS OF PERDITION), Tim Rutili (ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS), Alistair Banks Griffin (TWO GATES OF SLEEP), THE TWO ESCOBARS (Michael Zimbalist), SPARK OF BEING (Bill Morrison), and Vincent D’Onofrio (DON’T GO IN THE WOODS). Other featured film artists include screenwriter Samuel Gray Anderson (LUCKLY LIFE), screenwriter/producer Catherine Di Napoli (UNTITLED), and actress/producer Chantelle Frazier (WE ARE THE SEA).

In addition to the full screening program of contemporary and classic American cinema, the Festival is presenting three provocative panel discussions, covering a wide array of topics including the future of films on the internet, new tools for screenwriters and a behind-the-scenes look at documentary filmmaking in America. Many of the Festival guests will participate and share their views in these eye-opening networking sessions.

The AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL will be held from October 20 to 24 in the cultural heritage city of Wroclaw, Poland. The Festival, is organized by the New Horizons Association, which also presents the ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival (www.enh.pl) in July, named by the Polish Film Institute as the most important film event in the country. For more information, visit: www.americanfilmfestival.pl or the Festival Dailies magazine: www.fest21.com/en/blog/americanfilmfestival.

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