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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

John Roecker’s “They’re All Out Without You,” A Green Day “Punk Opera” (29’35”)

From the Vimeo link: “Based on the Characters from Green Day’s Grammy Award Winning Album American Idiot. John Roecker who directed the soon to be released documentary “Heart Like a Hand Grenade” (“HLAHG”) about the making of Green Day’s best selling album to date—”American Idiot”—brings you his take on the characters as originally visualized from AI, what many consider to be the first true “punk rock” opera. John’s longtime friendship with Billie Joe Armstrong, (the lead singer and guitarist of Green Day) gave him insight into the band’s creative vision, and put John at ground zero… in the recording studio along with the band. John’s task seemed simply really, to document the creative process as it unfolded – honest, uncensored, and real. What emerged The American Idiot Album, now considered by many to be Green Day’s greatest musical achievement. As John continued to document the layers of creativity behind the music of AI, he started to visualize who the characters were, and what they were truly meant to be.

Two main characters created within the songs of AI are “Whatsername” and “Jesus of Suburbia” … they are the basis for the story of “They’re All Out Without You”—A Tale of Dark and Light, a Twisted Modern Day Romeo & Juliet Story. The footage for TAOWY (originally intended as a part of “HLAHG”) went missing for many years, until it was recently discovered by John hidden away in a vintage 1940’s lunch box. John enlisted HLAHG editor Dean Gonzales to assemble the lost TAOWY footage to reflect the story and image that both John and Billie had originally intended several years before. When this footage was shot, nobody could have known just how wild a ride the success of AI would be for Green Day—About 18 million copies of American Idiot have been sold to date world wide, with far too many Grammy’s, AMA’s, MTV, Billboard, and other awards to mention. Most recently, the AI album became the basis for the creation of a Tony Award Winning Broadway Musical version of American Idiot. This footage is raw, and intense, as it is the very first vision of these troubled characters. Much of the world knows these characters in their various forms, but TAOWY was filmed at the very peak of the creative process for American Idiot – TAOWY is a beautiful yet tortured snapshot of a creative time long before the dozens of awards, before Green Day’s “second wave of success” and well before “Punks” were a hit on Broadway. “They’re All Out Without You” is a true punk rock vision, now rediscovered for the world to see.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

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~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
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