This week Sound Unseen launches its summer programming with two Minnesota premieres: a screening of Paul Williams Still Alive at Trylon Microcinema and the premiere of the SXSW 2012 hit Girl Walk// All Day at First Avenue.
First up is the Paul Williams documentary at Trylon microcinema. Williams was a big figure in the music industry in the '60s and '70s. He won an Oscar for "Evergreen," a song that he co-wrote with Barbara Streisand for the film A Star is Born. He also wrote "The Rainbow Connection" and other popular tunes, including "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays" for The Carpenters and Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World." Curiously, at one point "he just kind of disappeared," says Sound Unseen director Jim Brunzell.
Filmmaker Stephen Kessler discovered that Williams was in fact still alive, and began following him around. Like many in the entertainment industry during that time, Williams became a drug addict and alcoholic, but found sobriety in 1990. The film includes interviews, archival footage, and footage of Williams on tour as Kessler follows him around the world.
On Friday, Sound Unseen presents Girl Walk// All Day. The film follows a continuous dance party with music by Girl Talk (Gregg Michael Gillis). In the piece, dancers create public spaces in different areas of New York. Director Jacob Krupnick captures the collaborative group as they create open performance art happenings. "They wanted it to be a really spontaneous effort," Brunzell says.
The film will be played once all the way through, and then again while ARENA Dances does choreography along with music remixed by DJ Kolby-Kolbes.
"It's an interactive screening with a dance-party element to it," says Brunzell.
Brunzell took over Sound Unseen earlier this year when the previous director, Richard Hansen, decided to stay up in Duluth last March.
Brunzell foresees the core mission remaining the same, although he has some new ideas. "It won't be changed overnight," he says. The Annual Sound Unseen Festival's lineup will be announced in late August or early September.