Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM boasts intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few. However, these world-famous figures take a backseat to the diverse array of backup singers whose lives and stories take center stage in the film. See the trailer at twentyfeetfromstardom.com/tagged/videos
Category: 2014/2015 Films
Welcome to our 2018 season of the St John Film Society. This year we will present three films, one each in February, March and April. Take a break and come out to support and share with your community. See you at the movies!
Still Dreaming March 3, 2015 / 7:30 pm St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay Co-Directors Jilann Spitzmiller and Hank Rogerson | 2014 | 93 min Still Dreaming follows a group of elderly entertainers living at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in New Jersey and a pair of young directors hired to stage an in-house performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the once-celebrated performers struggle with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and physical disabilities, the play’s themes of perception, reality and memory take on new relevance and poignancy. St John Film will be presenting Still Dreaming through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s On Screen/In Person program. On Screen/In Person is designed to bring some of the best new independent American films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region. The filmmakers will tour with their films and work with the host sites to develop community activities that provide audiences context and greater appreciation for their respective work and the art of film. Jilann Spitzmiller is a documentary producer, director, editor, cinematographer and teacher whose films have received international acclaim. She produced the award-winning Shakespeare Behind Bars and co-directed, produced and edited Homeland which aired on PBS in 2000. Spitzmiller has freelanced extensively in the documentary field, with credits such as NBC, A&E, Bravo and VH1. She is the co-director of Philomath Films, whose productions have received numerous awards including the Audience Award at AFI Fest and Best of Show at BendFilm. Spitzmiller is also co-founder of DocuMentors, a website and mentoring service for documentary filmmakers. Spitzmiller teaches filmmaking and documentary classes in California, New Mexico and Italy. Hank Rogerson works in both documentary and fiction film. He directed Shakespeare Behind Bars, which won eleven awards on the festival circuit and co-produced, directed and edited Homeland, an award-winning documentary about the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Rogerson has freelanced as a writer, director and producer within the film industry, and has twice been a Sundance Institute Fellow. Together with Spitzmiller, he is the co-director of Philomath Films and the co-founder of DocuMentors. He currently teaches filmmaking at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. *Hank is not touring with the program.
States of Grace February 15, 2015 / 7:30 pm St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay This is a special screening with visiting filmmakers Mark Lipman and Helen Cohen as part of the St. John Arts Festival. A revered HIV/AIDS physician who signed more than one thousand death certificates during the height of the epidemic, Dr. Grace Dammann’s life changed forever when another driver crashed head on into her car during a routine commute across the Golden Gate Bridge. After seven weeks in a coma and twelve surgeries, she miraculously regained consciousness with her cognitive abilities intact. Her body, however, was left shattered. After spending more than a year in rehabilitation hospitals, Grace returns home to continue her slow recovery process. The film follows her for four years as she struggles to come to terms with her injuries and find meaning in her radically transformed life. Family roles are turned upside down as Grace’s longtime partner becomes her primary caregiver and the only able-bodied person in their household, taking care of both Grace and their disabled teenage daughter. Grace’s initial euphoria at having survived the accident gradually gives way to profound boredom and bouts of suicidal despair as the reality of lifelong dependency sinks in. But her Buddhist practice and deep commitment to serving others manage to sustain her. To everyone’s amazement, Grace eventually returns to work as the first wheelchair-bound physician at her former hospital, using her experience as a patient to design and direct an innovative pain clinic treating San Francisco’s poorest residents.
Rebels With A Cause February 3, 2015 / 7:30 pm St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay Nancy Kelly, Director | 2012 | 74 min Rebels With A Cause explores how a handful of politically savvy activists fought to protect San Francisco’s Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area from the threat of sprawl and over-development at a time when California was the nation’s fastest-growing state. Their efforts set new precedents for protecting open space and helped shape the environmental movement as we know it today. St John Film will be presenting Rebels With A Cause through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s On Screen/In Person program. On Screen/In Person is designed to bring some of the best new independent American films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the mid-Atlantic region. The filmmakers will tour with their films and work with the host sites to develop community activities that provide audiences context and greater appreciation for their respective work and the art of film. Director Nancy Kelly has been making independent fiction and non-fiction films for more than twenty-five years. In collaboration with editor and producer Kenji Yamamoto, she directed and produced Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives, about a daring original play that tells the traumatic life story of a Honduran teenager; Smitten, about art collector Rene di Rosa; and Downside Up, a documentary about the origins of MASS MoCA, one of America’s largest contemporary art museums. Kelly has also directed the award-winning documentary shorts Cowgirls and Sweeping Ocean Views and co-directed A Cowhand’s Song. Kelly will be joined on tour with editor and producer Kenji Yamamoto. In addition to his collaborative work with Kelly, Yamamoto has also edited New Muslim Cool, directed by Jennifer Maytorena Tayor and Thirst, directed by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman. He is currently editing Grace, produced and directed by Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman.
180° South Jan 6, 2015 / 7:30 pm St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay Chris Malloy, Director| 2010 | 85 min. Inspired by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins’ 1968 excursion into Patagonia, adventurer Jeff Johnson sets out to retrace the footsteps of his heroes’ arduous trek as filmmaker Chris Malloy follows with camera in hand. But despite the thrill of surfing the biggest wave he’s ever encountered, Johnson quickly discovers just how treacherous things can get when you decide to challenge Mother Nature’s majesty; in addition to enduring some particularly rough waters just off the coast of Easter Island, he quickly discovers that conquering Cerro Corcovado is no simple task. Later, during a face-to-face meeting with Chouinard and Tompkins, Johnson learns how their lifelong quest to explore everything that nature has to offer eventually lead them on a drive to ensure that the places they visited over the years will be preserved for future generations of explorers to discover.