While I was lost in the mindset of being a critic in Park City last week, I was approached by a newly made acquaintance who told me that she saw a documentary I directed at SXSW last spring. She went on to say that it was one of her favorite docs of the festival. Huh? According to this nice young woman, I directed a film in 2007. Which is strange, because I don't remember having made anything ever except maybe the few songs I recorded a few days before I flew out to Sundance. But then I spoke to a good buddy, producer Matthew Robison, and he said that she was right. I was there, he was there, and we had made it together. Weird! Anyway, seeing as we did apparently make it, we should probably show it a few more times, right? This is pretty late notice, but Silver Jew is screening tonight and tomorrow as part of the Austin Jewish Film Festival. Here are the details:
Tuesday, January 29th, 7pm, Hillel on the UT Campus
Wednesday, January 30th, 4pm, Regal Arbor Cinema
It's funny, but following our flattering indieWIRE review after South by Southwest last spring, we were bombarded by screener requests from Jewish film festivals all over the world. I figured that our humane, un-Jewish approach to the Judaism would be a refreshing break from the typical Jewish cinema that tends to rah-rah-rah the religion to an off-putting extent. I thought people would jump on a film that is set in Israel, that is about a man who is truly discovering his faith for the first time, but that doesn't preach or shove those elements into the viewer's face. After never hearing even a rejection from these festivals, I realized that I was being a little too hopeful. What these people watched was a meandering, unfocused, pointless treatment of some guy they didn't know. And even worse, it was directed by a baptized Catholic! This relaxed, boring travelogue certainly wasn't Jewish Film Festival material. Shame on us!
Leave it to Austin to buck the trend and bring us back home, where we belong. Unfortunately, I won't be there to bask in the glory, but Mr. Robison will, and he's got a baggie of SJ buttons for all you lucky attendees. And believe whatever he says about me in the post-film Q&A (he tends to exaggerate in the positive), because it's all true.
These aren't the only upcoming Silver Jew screenings. For all of you intellectual hillbillies in the South, the film will also be screening at the Oxford Film Festival, where Mr. Robison will also be in attendance:
Saturday, February 9th, 5:30pm, Malco Oxford Studio Cinema
Saving the best news for last, it has been about 99.9999% confirmed that the Silver Jew DVD will be released through Drag City next October. We even have a catalog number and everything. I have already submitted the extras, of which there are a few (no audio commentary, thank Christ), and I really hope we'll be able to include Brent Stewart's recent videos on there as well. I'll keep everyone posted.
Reporting to you from Shameless Self Promotion, USA, this is Michael Tully...