[JPL] Even if You Do Great Art,
the Bills Must Still Be Paid...Ken Vandermark film
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 11 19:13:41 EDT 2007
September 5, 2007
Even if You Do Great Art, the Bills Must Still Be Paid
By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Published: September 5, 2007
The talking-heads-with-clips format so dominates the
contemporary nonfiction film that Daniel Krauss
Musician feels radically fresh: It simply observes
its title character, the avant-garde jazz musician Ken
Vandermark, in the manner of a 1960s fly-on-the-wall
documentary like Salesman.
Musician is a follow-up to Mr. Krauss similarly
austere Sheriff and the latest in a projected series
of features about people doing their jobs, shot and
edited with the same inquisitive spirit that defined
Studs Terkels oral history Working.
We are introduced to Mr. Vandermark as he toils on a
new composition at his workshop in the basement of his
Chicago home, and watch him scratch out phrases on
paper, then test them on saxophone and piano. We see
him perform for various audiences; hear him explain
his optimistic but uncompromising theory that atonal
music suits the tone of modern life; and listen in as
he figures out how hes going to maintain his artistic
integrity while making the rent.
In one early scene the director splits the screen to
show Mr. Vandermark working the phone in his home
office, effusively thanking a patron for a gig, and
then sheepishly informing a creditor that he wont be
able to settle up until next month. Those seeking a
nutshell definition of what it means to be a committed
artist need look no further.
Directed and edited by Daniel Kraus; director of
photography, Mr. Kraus; music by Ken Vandermark;
produced by Jason Davis and Mr. Kraus; released by
Sheriffmovie. At the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155
East Third Street, at Avenue A, East Village. Running
time: 60 minutes. This film is not rated.
Correction: September 04, 2007
A film review yesterday about the documentary
Musician, directed by Daniel Kraus, misidentified
the person that an early scene in the film shows
talking on the telephone in his home office. It is Ken
Vandermark, the subject of the film, not Mr. Kraus.
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