Cinema world is agog about a little concert flick coming out next month starring the original Swiftie herself. Personally not a Swiftie myself, but I still recognize Taylor’s cultural impact and business acumen. Plus, I would rather experience her performance from the comfort of a movie house anyway. And who knows? Maybe I am just a Swiftie-in-waiting.
Of course, tickets are already on sale for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” and Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield currently has four screenings on opening night, October’s Friday the 13th. If you’re superstitious, no sweat. Beacon also has eight other showtimes for Ms. Swift and company that same weekend. No doubt she will be raking in good box office sales until New Year’s Eve at least.
Before Taylor hits the big screen though, another concert movie will treat music lovers to a serious throwback experience: Talking Heads’ live performances filmed in December 1983.
Directed by the late, great Jonathan Demme, “Stop Making Sense” captures the new wave musical pioneers who called themselves Talking Heads. Formed in New York City in the mid-1970s, they have influenced pop and rock ever since. The newly restored film is a must-see for anyone who loves their discography, a cool collection that landed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Stop Making Sense” will premiere exclusively for one week in IMAX theaters starting September 22. Starting September 29, its general release will hit theaters. And if you would rather watch the whole thing from your own living room, you can catch all the joy and celebration via Amazon Prime Video.
If You’re in a Rush
This past week, I watched several shorts worth mentioning. My favorite was “Ball People,” a 13-minute documentary presented by GQ Sports and directed by Scott Lazer. A lifelong tennis fan, Mr. Lazer ended up making this fascinating short after watching a Wimbledon match in 2019. He “was completely enchanted by a move the ball crew executed,” which ultimately led to this charming behind-the-scenes of the US Open Ball Crew tryouts.
What I most appreciated about the whole recruitment process is that it has no upper age limit. If you’re already nostalgic for more tennis, start with “Ball People”:
I also took a look at “Video Visit,” an effort by the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and the New York State Department of Corrections to facilitate visits between inmates and family members. This 23-minute film shows viewers exactly how BPL arranges connections from their branch libraries for family members to see and speak with incarcerated loved ones.
What makes BPL’s program so unique is how library staff support these visits through regular negotiations with the Department of Corrections. By contrast, most other locations rely on a for-profit model of virtual visits; these cost a great deal to already burdened families. If you care about promising justice initiatives, “Video Visits” will open your eyes to a very successful outreach effort.
Until next week
The morning sun shines a light on a bit of blue sky as the gray haze burns off and my glass of orange juice kicks in. Here in Provincetown, I am mapping out my book. I have a working title and a basic structure for a loosely braided memoir told through carefully selected biopics and documentary films. All very exciting and challenging at once!
For now, all signs encourage me. I know this will shift and there will be moments when I ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking?” However, if I didn’t think biopics and documentary film held so much promise for so many other people besides myself, I wouldn’t be typing now.
With appreciation for your readership, I am signing off until next week. Go to the movies!