BIG EYES / BIG EARS: THE FILMS OF BILL MORRISON:
Presented throughout the weekend at Knoxville Museum of Art
plus The Great Flood, with live score performed by Bill Frisell Quartet
SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch & Carter Logan) perform live score to Man Ray surrealist films
DEMDIKE STARE performs live score to HÄXAN: Witchcraft Through the Ages
CRITERION COLLECTION FILM SERIES SCREENINGS
Curated by JIM JARMUSCH and MICHAEL GIRA
Knoxville, TN – The Big Ears Festival is proud to announce an exciting and visionary film program to complement its extraordinary lineup of musical performances scheduled for its 2015 weekend, March 27-29, in multiple venues throughout historic downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.
Partnering with Regal Entertainment Group for the third year, this year’s rare and thoughtfully curated film component expands significantly from the festival’s past offerings and reflects and enhances the musical programming. There will be a survey of the powerful and fascinating work of Bill Morrison – “one of the most adventurous American filmmakers” (Variety); jazz guitarist Bill Frisell’s quartet, SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch & Carter Logan) and electronica duo Demdike Stare will perform live musical scores to films; and indie film legend Jarmusch, along with Swans’ Michael Gira, are curating a select group of films to be screened from the Criterion Collection.
On the heels of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, filmmaker Bill Morrison will be on hand for Big Eyes / Big Ears: The Films of Bill Morrison, an overview of some of his most haunting and powerful films. Morrison’s work is known for combining archival – and often damaged and decaying – film material with contemporary music. He has collaborated with some of the most influential composers of our time, including Laurie Anderson, Bill Frisell, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannson, Steve Reich, and many others. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received the Alpert Award for the Arts, an NEA Creativity Grant, and the Smithsonian’s Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship.
Morrison has selected several programs of his work for the Big Ears weekend, which he will introduce and screen throughout the weekend in the Regal Entertainment Group Auditorium at the Knoxville Museum of Art. One program will include his film Decasia, which was selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry in 2013, becoming the most modern film to be added to the collection that preserves works of “great cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance to the nation’s cinematic heritage.” It was called “the most widely acclaimed avant-garde film” of the end of the century in the Village Voice, and acclaimed director Errol Morris commented while viewing Decasia that “this may be the greatest movie ever made.”
Other highlights will include 2010’s Spark of Being (with music by Dave Douglas), 2012’s The Miner’s Hymns (with music by Jóhan Jóhannson), and 2014’s harrowing meditation on World War 1, Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (with music by Aleksandra Vrebalov, performed by Kronos Quartet), along with a number of other shorter works.
Big Eyes / Big Ears: The Films of Bill Morrison will culminate on Sunday evening at the Bijou Theatre, where his most recent and highly acclaimed documentary of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, The Great Flood, will be shown with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell’s quartet performing the film’s score live.
Two other programs will also feature live musical performances accompanying film screenings at the historic Bijou Theatre. SQÜRL, film director Jim Jarmusch’s band with drummer Carter Logan, will perform music that they wrote for several silent films from the 1930s by the legendary surrealist Man Ray. This project was premiered in late February in New York as part of WNYC’s Silent Films, Live Scores program. SQÜRL, joined by lute virtuoso Jozef Van Wissem, also performed the score for Jarmusch’s most recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive.
The occult electronic duo Demdike Stare will perform their re-scoring of 1922 silent Swedish/Danish documentary / horror classic, HÄXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages. Technically filmed as a documentary about how superstition and the misunderstanding of disease and mental illness could lead to witch hunts, its dramatized sequences push it into the realm of horror films. It was originally banned in the United States.
Rounding out the Big Ears film programs for 2015, indie director Jim Jarmusch and Swans founder and leader Michael Gira have collaborated with the Criterion Film Collection in curating a program of select films, which will be screened on Sunday at Regal Entertainment Group’s downtown Riviera Cineplex. Jarmusch’s program is “Three in Black and White,” an international triptych featuring Satayajit Ray’s The Music Room, Aki Kaurismäki’s La Vie de Bohéme, and Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Gira has selected a single film: the cult classic Eraserhead, David Lynch’s groundbreaking feature film debut.
For the full lineup, schedule and additional information about the Big Ears Festival, please visit www.BigEarsFestival.com.
A limited allotment of weekend passes are available at $178.50 plus fees and daily tickets at $65 plus fees are on sale now via all Ticketmaster outlets and www.BigEarsFestival.com.
Kronos Quartet presents The Music of Terry Riley, featuring The Cusp of Magic with Wu Man
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet “Landfall"
Terry Riley with Gyan Riley & Tracy Silverman
Tyondai Braxton: HIVE
Max Richter: The Blue Notebooks and Infra featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Max Richter: Vivaldi Recomposed and The Leftovers featuring The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and
American Contemporary Music Ensemble
The Bad Plus: “On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring”
Kronos Quartet: Folk Songs with Rhiannon Giddens & Sam Amidon
Bill Frisell & Bill Morrison: The Great Flood
Kronos Quartet: 40 Canons with Bryce Dessner
Kronos Quartet: Tundra Songs with Tanya Tagaq
Kronos Quartet: “Views from Here to the Heavens (for Scott Fraser)” with Nels Cline
Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom: Stained Radiance
Demdike Stare: HÄXAN: Witchcraft Through The Ages re-scored
SQÜRL: Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan, and Shane Stoneback
SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan): Live Score with Man Ray Films
Tyondai Braxton: DJ Set
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Harold Budd & Keith Lowe
William Tyler: “Corduroy Roads”
Jozef Van Wissem
Bing & Ruth
Declared “one of the country’s most audacious musical experiments” by Vice and “the classiest, most diverse festival in the country” by Rolling Stone, the Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts. In its three years, Big Ears has hosted many of the leading composers and performers of our time, from ground breaking classical composers like Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich along with a new generation following in their footsteps such as Nico Muhly, The National’s Bryce Dessner, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood; ensembles such as the Calder Quartet, Bang on a Can, Ensemble Signal, So Percussion, and The Wordless Music Orchestra; leading alternative rock artists like The National, The xx, Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Vampire Weekend, and The Dirty Projectors; rock icons like Television and John Cale; and countless visionaries such as Pauline Oliveros, The Necks, Jon Hassell, Antony & the Johnsons, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Marc Ribot and My Brightest Diamond who continue to bush boundaries and defy convention. The Big Ears Festival is a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections. It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration.
Big Ears is created and produced by AC Entertainment, recognized as one of the foremost independent promoters in the United States. Founded in 1991 by Ashley Capps, the company books, markets and presents over 1,000 events per year. In addition to Big Ears, AC Entertainment is the force behind internationally renowned events including Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival® and Forecastle Festival. For more information on AC Entertainment, visit acentertainment.com.
About Regal Entertainment Group:
Regal Entertainment Group operates the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in the United States and, as of January 31, 2015, operates 7,356 screens in 572 theatres throughout 42 states along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. The company operates theaters in 46 of the top 50 U.S. designated market areas. The size, reach and quality of the company’s theatre circuit not only provide its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable movie-going experience but is also an exceptional platform to realize economies of scale in theater operations. Additional information is available on the company’s website at www.REGmovies.com.