Archive for June, 2010

Midsummer Progress Report

In: Documentaries, Miscellany, News

I always caution students not to second-guess themselves on tests, not to go back and change their answers once they’ve recorded them. “When in doubt,” one of my grade-school teachers used to say, “your first impression is usually right.”

I think the same is true about editing a documentary. You work on it for a long time by yourself, and then you start showing it to people to get their reactions. If three or four of them agree on something, you probably should change it. You make those changes and show it to more people. Eventually they start suggesting things you tried and discarded a year earlier. That’s when it’s time to stop. Making any further changes would be second-guessing, erasing right answers and writing in wrong o

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Mary Gauthier is on tour right now, doing about the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen an artist do. She gets up on stage in front of a roomful of strangers night after night, reaches down deep into her soul and unflinchingly tells her life story: a litany of abandonment, resentment, trouble and pain, ending on notes of hope and redemption.

No words can adequately describe the feeling of watching Gauthier reach down deep into her soul and sing the ten songs that comprise her autobiographical album, The Foundling.

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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