***UPDATE: It appears that tickets are all gone for Saturday night's screening at the Walter Reade. That said, if you do decide to take the plunge don't get angry if the theater is filled up. Hopefully it'll work out and everyone will find a way inside. I just wanted to let everyone know about that.***
The tragic story has by now been well documented. At SXSW, on the way to the world premiere screening for Court 13's indescribably epic and astonishing Glory at Sea (read David Lowery's thoughtful review at Spout), director Benh Zeitlin and several crew members were in a terrible car accident. Zeitlin was the most damaged, and his medical bills are exorbitant. If Glory at Sea were merely a top-notch independent film rooted in a generic genre, this would be unfortunate news. The fact that it is one of the most spiritually uplifting and transcendently hopeful works of cinema to have made it to the screen since... actually, I have no idea when and if I've ever seen anything like it... makes it unbearably frustrating and disappointing. Shame on you, world. Shame on you. Anyway, friends of Benh and supporters of Court 13's work have banded together to organize two fundraisers in the upcoming week.
If you are in New York City at 10:30pm this Saturday night, April 26th, and you aren't in a coma or aren't giving birth, you have no excuse not to be in attendance at the NYC premier of the film at the Walter Reade Theater. I seriously considered flying up for it. If I were a richer man, I would be there. Go here to buy tickets. I'm not kidding. This isn't just about celebrating independent cinema or supporting an injured young filmmaker. It's about something even deeper and more inexpressible than that. Glory at Sea is about the need for community and hope on a nearly religious scale. I have watched it several times in the past few weeks, and it only gets more stunning and perfect every time.
If you are in Austin Tuesday night, April 29th, you're in for a real treat, for that program collects several of Court 13's most exciting works, capped off by Glory at Sea. Go here for more details and to buy tickets.
Lastly, if you're in Boston this weekend, Glory at Sea will be showing twice, in the "Shorts 1: Narratives" package (Fri, Apr 25, 6:30 PM and Sat, Apr 26, 5:00 PM). Go here for details.
I have already written my Hammer to Nail review for the film, though I won't be posting it until after these fundraisers and screenings take place (more on that later). I know I can get carried away when I see something that blows me away, but I truly feel that the spectacle of Glory at Sea is something the world desperately needs right now. Do yourselves a favor and see it on the big screen, with as many close friends as you can. You won't regret it.