On Jan. 27, a duo of New York-based indie filmmakers, Brent Green and Sam Green, are bringing their unique Live Cinema experience to Memorial Hall. Live Cinema blends short film screenings with storytelling and live narration, scored with live music performed by musicians, including Brendan Canty (Fugazi), James Canty (Nation of Ulysses), Becky Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) and Kate Ryan.
Brent and Sam (no relation) have performed Live Cinema internationally, and thanks to a partnership between Memorial Hall and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnatians will have a chance to experience it firsthand.
The short films included in each show rotate and the stories that the filmmakers tell change, too. “We have a rule for the show,” explains Brent. “On stage, we’re allowed to ask the other person to tell any story we’ve ever heard them tell and they have to do it.” This spontaneity shapes their performances and no two Live Cinema events are the same.
Brent, who is both a filmmaker and a visual artist, is known for his 2010 film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, which features a full-scale town he built in his backyard and was filmed using a blend of animation, stop-motion and live-action.
His collaborator Sam has made more than a dozen films, including The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, a live film collaboration with the indie rock band Yo La Tengo; and the documentary The Weather Underground, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Both filmmakers have new work screening at the Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 18-28), and Sam is performing a new live cinema piece there with the Kronos Quartet. Sam has been performing live cinema pieces since 2009, and the duo have worked together for several years.
As Brent explains, they perform live cinema because they believe that “communal experiences are important. We like the audience, the whole thing feels like hanging out.”
Unlike typical film-watching experiences where moviegoers sit individually in a dark room, the pair strives to create a welcoming and interactive experience more akin to a rock concert than watching a movie.
The duo will share their special live cinema experience for one performance only on Saturday, Jan. 27. Live Cinema is happening at the Annie W. and Elizabeth M. Anderson Theater at Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20.
More info and tickets are available on Memorial Hall's website. Brent is also curating a short film screening at 7 p.m. at The Mini Microcinema on Jan. 26. Visit Sam's and Brent’s websites for more info about their individual work.