Rarely Seen Features Broken Noses and Let’s Get Lost to Air as Part of August Film Series Dedicated to the Celebrated Filmmaker/Photographer
Airs Thursday Nights in August at 10:00pm ET/PT
I always wanted to make films about people and animals whose names are emblazoned in my head and my heart – people who are characters that I couldn’t live without knowing – almost as if their names were something permanent, just like the tattoos of the Maori tribe in New Zealand. – Bruce Weber
New York, June 10, 2009 – Sundance Channel salutes celebrated American filmmaker/photographer Bruce Weber in August with a weekly film series that brings eight Weber titles to television for the first time ever. The lineup includes the feature-length documentaries Broken Noses (1987), Let’s Get Lost (1988) and Chop Suey (2000); and the short films Backyard Movie (1991), Gentle Giants (1994), The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Draper Society (1996), Wine and Cupcakes (2007) and the world premiere of Liberty City Is Like Paris To Me. Sundance Channel’s Bruce Weber films series airs Thursday nights in August at 10:00pm et/pt.
Sundance Channel’s salute to Bruce Weber encompasses approximately half of his 15 produced films to date, and represents a rare opportunity to explore his work in depth. Included in the series is Weber’s most famous film – Let’s Get Lost, his Academy Award®-nominated documentary about the late jazz singer/trumpeter Chet Baker – was out of circulation from 1993 to 2007, when the filmmaker’s newly restored print played a few select film festivals including a special tribute at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 for the film’s 20th Anniversary year and along with a limited engagement at New York’s Film Forum.
The seven films screening in the series span two decades of Weber’s film career, highlighting his work as both a documentarian and film essayist. Visually ravishing and emotionally engaging, the films invite the viewer to share in Weber’s varied interests, pleasures and influences – be it the melancholy jazz of Chet Baker, the chiseled beauty of a young male model or the a group of dogs frolicking in the surf. Several incorporate written or spoken narration as they address topics including Weber’s solitary, star-struck youth (Gentle Giants); his love of New York City (Wine and Cupcakes); and the personalities who shaped him as an artist and a person (Chop Suey). Last December, these and other films were included in a Weber DVD box set released in the U.K. In an enthusiastic review for The Guardian, Andrew Pulver wrote: "If (like me until recently), Let’s Get Lost was the only Weber film you knew, then his stuff is well worth an extended look."
The schedule for Sundance Channel’s Bruce Weber films series is as follows:
Thursday, August 6
Broken Noses (World Television Premiere) – Directed by Bruce Weber. Weber’s debut feature is a portrait of lightweight boxer Andy Minsker and the boys he coaches in a small boxing club in Portland, Oregon. Filmed in color and in black-and-white, Broken Noses follows Andy at the club and with his family, subtly exploring the experiences that have shaped this likeable, outgoing and quietly vulnerable young man. 1988 International Documentary Association IDA Award.
Thursday, August 13
Let’s Get Lost (World Television Premiere) – Directed by Bruce Weber. A dreamy portrait of Chet Baker, the handsome and notoriously self-destructive jazz vocalist and trumpeter who came to prominence as part of California’s cool jazz scene of the 1950s. Let’s Get Lost goes on the road with the musician, drug-wrecked but still charming, during what turned out to be the last year of his life (he died on May 13, 1988). The film contains some of Baker’s final recording sessions, which are interwoven with rare performance footage, excerpts from Italian B movies featuring the young Baker, and candid interviews with Baker, musicians, friends, battling ex-wives and children. 1989 International Documentary Association IDA Award; Critics Prize, 1989 Venice Film Festival; 1989 Academy Award® nomination, Best Documentary, Features.
Thursday, August 20
Chop Suey (WorldTelevision Premiere) – Directed by Bruce Weber. Weber’s four-year collaboration with a high school wrestler-turned-model Peter Johnson is the jumping off point for this celebration of the filmmaker’s favorite things. Like the Chinese-American dish for which it is named, Chop Suey harmoniously blends the diverse ingredients that shaped Weber’s world, including: ebullient jazz singer/pianist Frances Faye, British explorer and photographer Sir Wilfred Thesiger; actor Jan Michael Vincent; fashion legend Diana Vreeland; and Brazilian jujitsu champion Rickson Gracie and his family. Teddy – Special Mention, 2001 Berlin Film Festival.
Thursday, August 27
Bruce Weber Shorts Block (World Television Premiere) – Five short films, including:
Liberty City is Like Paris To Me (World Premiere) – The world premiere of this short film centers on Martin Luther King and Inauguration Day 2009 in a small section of Miami Beach known as Liberty City. Once a place full of race riots and poverty, the people of this small neighborhood in Miami, Florida have rebuilt their community over the last ten years. From the churches to the streets, one sees the transformation of a neighborhood once ravaged by racial divide and crime. The film is a tribute to photographer Gordon Parks and was made in honor of him after Bruce Weber received the Gordon Parks award for fashion photography in 2009.
Backyard Movie – Weber connects past and present inspirations in this film that incorporates family movies shot by his father.
Gentle Giants – Weber’s candid reflection on the images and experiences that helped shape his aesthetic, from magazine photos of 50s movie stars to his love of dogs.
The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Draper Society – A glimpse inside contemporary London’s late-night rockabilly havens, where the fashions, attitudes, tattoos and music of 50s Teddy Boys are alive and well.
Wine and Cupcakes – A love letter to New York City, this ten minute tone poem follows Scottish songstress Angela McCluskey and her husband, the composer Paul Cantelon, through a beautiful autumn afternoon in Central Park.
About Sundance Channel
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries and original programs. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel’s website address is www.sundancechannel.com.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.