Sunday, November 3, 2019

Indie Memphis Day 5: High Art, Music Videos, and Penny Hardaway

Posted By on Sun, Nov 3, 2019 at 6:26 AM

click to enlarge Shannon Walton in Sweet Knives video for "I Don't Wanna Die"
  • Shannon Walton in Sweet Knives video for "I Don't Wanna Die"
You're going to be hard pressed to see everything great on Indie Memphis Sunday, so some triage is in order. We're here to help.

First thing in the morning is the Hometowner Rising Filmmaker Shorts bloc (11:00 a.m., Ballet Memphis), where you can see the latest in new Memphis talent, including "Ritual" by Juliet Mace and Maddie Dean, which features perhaps the most brutal audition process ever.


The retrospective of producer/director Sara Driver's work continues with her new documentary Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Micheal Basquiat (1:30 p.m., Studio on the Square). Driver was there in the early 80s when Basquiat was a rising star in the New York art scene, and she's produced this look at the kid on his way to becoming a legend.


The companion piece to Driver's latest is Downtown 81 (4:00 p.m., Hattiloo Theatre). Edo Bertoglio's documentary gives a real-time look at the art and music scene built from the ashes of 70s New York that would go on to conquer the world. Look for a cameo from Memphis punk legend Tav Falco.



You can see another Memphis legend in action in William Friedkin's 1994 Blue Chips (4:00 p.m., Studio on the Square). Penny Hardaway, then a star recruit for the Memphis Tigers, appears as a star recruit for volatile college basketball coach Pete Bell, played by Nick Nolte. It's the current University of Memphis Tigers basketball coach's only big screen appearance to date, until someone makes a documentary about this hometown hero's eventful life.


The Ballet Memphis venue hosts two selections of Memphis filmmakers screening out of the competition at 1:50 and 7:00 p.m., continuing the unprecedentedly awesome run of Hometowner shorts this year. There are a lot of gems to be found here, such as Clint Till's nursing home comedy "Hangry" and Garrett Atkinson and Dalton Sides' "Interview With A Dead Man." To give you a taste of the good stuff, here's Munirah Safiyah Jones' instant classic viral hit "Fuckboy Defense 101."



At 9:00 p.m., the festivities move over to Black Lodge in Crosstown for the Music Video Party. 44 music videos from all over the world will be featured on the Lodge's three screens, including works by Memphis groups KadyRoxz, A Weirdo From Memphis, Al Kapone, Nick Black, Uriah Mitchell, Louise Page, Joe Restivo, Jana Jana, Javi, NOTS, Mark Edgar Stuart, Jeff Hulett, Stephen Chopek, and Impala. Director and editor Laura Jean Hocking has the most videos in the festival this year, with works for John Kilzer, Bruce Newman, and this one for Sweet Knives.


If experimental horror and sci fi is more your speed, check out the Hometowner After Dark Shorts (9:30 p.m., Playhouse on the Square), which features Isaac M. Erickson's paranoid thriller "Home Video 1997."

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