INDIESTREET

Happy Friday, ya'll! If you’re lucky, you bravely face another weekend of relaxation. But how ever will you chill?! We know, it's tough! But we've got you covered with the second installment of our craft beer and indie film pairings. Thanks to our “beery best pal” (see what I did there?) Jayme G., a Warehouse Supervisor at Southeastern-based Distributor Advintage, you're looking at a mighty fine weekend ahead, indeed. The theme this month? Nuts. Lots of them. Film: Nuts! Folks, let's get real with each other. I need to be honest. Sometimes ... just sometimes ... documentaries are lost on me. Not all - just some. I mean, many of my favorite films are docs. It's just that box of cliches you gotta sort through to find the real gems - it gets tiresome. It’s always the same Ken Burns effects, talking heads, narrators, historical fact-spewing, regurgitated mumbo jumbo. I crave (a beer, sure, that's a given) a reality that's truly different. Color me surprised when I finally caught Penny Lane's newest doc and Sundance hit "Nuts!" on Vimeo on Demand a few weeks ago. The film follows the (self-proclaimed “mostly true”) story of Dr. John R. Brinkley. A true eccentric and so-called genius, Brinkley is credited with building an "empire" in early twentieth-century America. How? A goat testicle impotence cure, of course. This doc about a “quack doc” uses a mix of re-enactments (superbly animated), a few interviews, and creatively sourced archival footage. Good goat testicles, a powerful radio station, kinda becoming the Governor of Kansas ... “Nuts!” has it all. Lane shows us the rise and fall of Brinkley in only the most suiting of ways for a story of this nature. And it all builds up for an amazing twist. It's weird, odd, absurd, quirky, bizarre ... where's my thesaurus because I could keep going. Most of all, it's just freaking plain delightful and a real hoot and a half. Watching this feature length doc is a refreshing taste of something new (and I don't mean goat nuts new)! Winner of the 2016 Sundance US Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing, you can catch the film across multiple VOD platforms now, including iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo on Demand, Amazon, Vudu and BitTorrent. Seriously, it's splashed out there AND making a splash. You have no excuse not to see this inventively woven tale. So, why not enjoy this film with an equally as nutty beer - literally!  Beer: River Rat's Peanut Butter Porter! Jayme's beer recommendation happens to come from one of my local hometown breweries: River Rat Brewery. The Brewery was founded in 2013 in Columbia, SC, getting its name from the three rivers that run through the city as well as the working-class men who labored on the canal over a century ago. It was in their honor that River Rat set out to create craft beers that would be thirst quenching and satisfying after a long day's work. We're quite sure Brinkley would have thrown down a pint or two in his day after a grueling few hours of goat nut handling. So, which River Rat beer would suit a film like "Nuts!”?? Only River Rat's finest Kerry's Peanut Butter Porter. With limited availability, it’s one to seek out and find. "Only as heavy as a Porter should be, despite what you may think something like peanut butter would do to a beer. It has the familiar, pleasant taste of the peanut butter without being too sweet," Jayme says of his quite literally nutty pick. Just like Brinkley sweet talked and conned his way through life, let this smooth beer sweet talk its way … right down your throat. No worries, it's just delicious peanut butter. No animals were harmed or castrated in the making of this beer.  Honorable Mention for Design: Bell's Consecrator Doppelbock Come on, this one is a given. And good. Very good.  Remember, it's never too late to start supporting your local breweries as well as some amazing little indie films on VOD - let this nutty pairing be a fruitful start on that trek!  

  Stay tuned for next month, when we jump into delicious Fall and get our Oktoberfest on! Enjoy!

Walking down Main Street of the Sundance film festival this year, it felt like there was an ever-growing gap between the east and the west side of the street. Hollywood and Independent seem to be growing further and further apart, making the Sundance film festival, and other L.A. hyped festivals like it, such an increasingly awkward phenomena. You have a festival director who wants to keep the slate as Independent, fresh, and intriguing as possible, an audience that attends who has come to expect way more “accessible” stories, and big biz owned media companies like Variety claiming the festival “suffered from too much Brooklyn” and squawking at 2 million dollar advance tags for indie films in today’s market. We feel for you Mr. Redford, we do…but you created this monster, and now it ‘s become a near perfect representation of the dichotomy within the film Industry. The divide: This is not an East vs. West thing, but more of a continued divide in mentality and approach to film. It is exclusivity, public relations, and celebrity versus collaboration, community building, and storytelling. Old Hollywood versus new thinkers. Creatives vs. creative exploiters. I think there is some ancient adage about a poor old man with a paint brush who grew frightened he may never be able to buy paint again if something were to happen to his even older brother who convinces the village people that the old man’s art is worth money. If there is no adage, then now there is. The artist and the thinker are inherently self-critical and the Hollywood older brother is inherently opportunistic. Ah’ the parties: As this is more of a state of the industry post and not a review of the actual films we saw, I think it is appropriate to tell a story of this microcosm within the microcosm. I was able to attend a few LA parties and a few non-LA parties, and from my vantage point, the two settings were effortlessly distinguishable. In the same evening we attended: At Party One: A writer/filmmaker engaged me and got me excited about new methods of audience building he had executed that I had never even considered. I offered him some biz techniques that were working for us at IndieStreet. Awesome for us. At Party Two: After a quick intro, a girl yells out to me that they were just at a party and Aaron Paul was there. Awesome for you. She then stared waiting for a reaction or possibly a one-up name drop. So I yelled over the pumping bass, “I was just at a party with Zack Lieberman Betchhhh. (the filmmaker I had met earlier) The girl laughed at the Jesse impression, and assumed that my name drop was of some Hollywood celebrity that she just didn’t know yet. She didn’t ask who he was, because guess what, she didn’t care. And this woman is not at all representative of the creative capital in Hollywood, but is representative of the focus of Hollywood. Get the masses salivating about names and exclusivity and make that money. 3 conceivable paths from the growing divide: At Sundance, there was panel after panel of NY and SF and other natives discussing how to navigate a sustainable career as an artist and new ways to own your product through distribution. In opposition to this progressive think tank atmosphere, the LA crowd was sending out fluff about how wow they can’t believe how low the sales were this year. Indie filmmakers better start making more relatable films they said (films that they can sell to their mass markets). God forbid an artist tells a story in their true voice that may only relate to (and knock the socks off of) 200,000 people and the content creator make the majority of the revenue from the film’s exploitation. That’s not good business for the west side of main street. So with this continuing divide comes a few crossroads, and many individual choices will determine the aggregate path of Indie film, with SunDance as a small but representative piece. Here are three paths (or some combo of the 3) that could arise from the growing gap in philosophy. 1. Big Brother reels Independent back into a headlock, leaving Indie with a continued Identity crisis. This path would be driven by Hollywood’s acquisition of progressive production & direct-distro companies. Money talks, and if this occurrence is too prevalent in the near future at least a few amazing films will not be made that should be. 2. A new breed of middle ground filmmakers arises to fill the gap created by the divide. If the most talented of story tellers keep pushing the envelope, their stories will continue to slowly lose mass appeal. This combined with studios continuing to opt for lower risk epic franchises might create a new more clearly defined space for soft Indie products. Films with Indie feel that have formulaic stories. Old stories wrapped in hip new boxes: the middle child that isn’t as tough as the older one, and isn’t as smart as the youngest. 3. The most talented Indie filmmakers change their philosophies. Realigning goals away from the traditional “Success = Hollywood recognition” and toward more self or group reliant success routes. We know that it is nearly impossible to not get sucked in when there is an opportunity for mass exposure. Creating a film that is finally getting some type of official stamp of approval is something we all yearn for, but if the goals when beginning your project can shift, the landscape and power of big brother will shift with it. If you center the goals around building an audience that will care about and support your future career, then the fantastical aura of Hollywood will lose its luster. A true storyteller will be at the happiest (=most successful) when they can personally see and experience his/her impact on their audience. The more new talent that finds the courage to give themselves that stamp of approval and take some control of distribution, the less reliant the Independent community as a whole will be on their older brother who really just doesn’t share the same interests. Based on the risk-taking films at Sundance and the energetic bursting of forward thinking companies like Tugg, Heretic Films, Seed and Spark, Big Vision Empty Wallet, Candy Factory Productions and many others we had the pleasure of meeting, we are all smiling wide on the sidewalk of IndieStreet; gazing toward the west with a subtly confident smirk (that Hollywood will hopefully confuse as growing insecurity) - Jay Webb, IndieStreet www.indiestreet.com @indiest_films

Louie Psihoyos' follow-up to his academy award-winning documentary promises to 'change the way we understand issues of endangered species and mass extinction.' Premiering at this Years Tribeca Film Festival on April 25th, Psihoyos declares that "We’re going to give people happy tears and yet everyone will be on the edge of their seats. I still can’t believe we’re doing what we’re doing. The last four years we’ve been creating a film that I want people to throw down their hard earned money and feel it’s the best money that they ever spent." They were still shooting footage just a week ago, which is really the type of perfectionist passion and disregard for timelines that we should expect from a great documentarian.

Are you a freelance creative but in between jobs? Creative Cares is a Non Profit Organization that connects designers, Indie filmmakers, photographers, and artists to Non-profits in their community that can benefit from their craft. Not only will they connect you with something you feel is a worthy cause, you will probably make some connections with amazing individuals who will want to promote your awesome work (and heart) to others they know. You Win, an NPO wins, and society wins.

Will the signature be in yellow??? All jokes aside, Shelley Jackson has a very unique story telling style.  Even if it is a bit hard to follow (read backwards on her Instagram feed), her creativity and dedication is unquestionable. Her first piece was via tattooing  words on skin, this edition is written in snow, we are probably following her to follow her storytelling techniques (what's next?) than we are following her actually stories.

 

Today's we feature Pejac, a brilliant street artist from Spain who blends together monochromatic surrealism with human commentary.  Pejac is a versatile sculptor and painter with many amazing works that can be seen on his Facebook page, but here we have some of Indie Street's favorites:

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