Film Series Kicks Off With “Waltz with Bashir”


Monday • February 13th • 8 pm


RailRoad Earth’s Truthful Lies in an Extra-Cinematic Sense film series kicks off this Monday with the critically acclaimed “Waltz with Bashir.”

Questions of truths versus facts of the matter, of what counts as truth, how we encounter truth (or how it remains elusive), how truth is conveyed in film, and how fictions and fabrications function as vehicles to truth permeate this exceptional full length feature.  One night at a bar, an old friend tells the film’s director, Ari, about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there is a connection between the dream and their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.  This film is the reconstruction of these interviews and memories and the truth of violence…

This landmark film is the first full-length Israeli animated film to make it to movie screens, the first animated film to ever be nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film (it won the latter), and is the first to use the trademark animation style developed for the film whereby each of the 2,300 original illustrations were cut into hundreds of pieces, turned into Adobe Flash cutouts, and combined with “classical” animation to create a moving shadow-box/animated graphic novel feel (the film was released as a graphic novel in 2009).

The soundtrack was composed by minimalist electronic musician Max Richter. The soundtrack (and other “featured” songs) play a prominent role in conveying the narrative. Featured songs include artists such as: OMD, PiL, Navadei Haucaf, The Click, and Zeev Tene (covering a song by Cake).

The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it entered the competition for the Palme d’Or, and since then has won and been nominated for many additional important awards while receiving wide acclaim from critics. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, an NSFC Award for Best Film, a César Award for Best Foreign Film and an IDA Award for Feature Documentary, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature (Wikipedia).

Truthful Lies in an Extra-Cinematic Sense

How does one convey truth in filmmaking?  Is there a difference, for example, between conveying the truth and conveying facticity?  Reality?  Authenticity?  Is it possible that extensive fabrication and manipulation is sometimes required to convey the force of a truth that otherwise flounders when left to the raw “facts of the matter?”  Is there even such a thing as “raw facts of the matter?”

The first Railroad Earth film series of 2012 explores the relationship between truth, lies, and so-called “truthful lies,” whereby purposeful factual inaccuracies are strategically employed to point to deeper truths. The films will include documentaries from various traditions, including Direct Cinema and ethnography, as well as docu-dramas; that is to say, fictionalized versions of actual events. Continue reading

Opening Burns

RailRoad Earth Winter/Spring 2012 season kicks off with aplomb.

FRIDAY NIGHT saw the opening of the new gallery space at RRE and the grand opening of Last Exit Recording Studios on the 2nd floor of our space at 1467 Oxford Rd NE.  Friends old and new were treated to tantalizing pieces of art by Stephanie Kolpy and Erin Dixon in the three rooms of our gallery space and the provocative photography of Amanda Lang Maher on the walls of Last Exit’s “cutting room” downstairs where SmokeThatCity’s avant-garde meets damned-good-music, Flap’s guitar dueling/love-making, and Spanky and the Love Handles’ hurt-so-good N’awlins infused blues pleasured the ears of all. Continue reading

Last Exit Studios @ RailRoad Earth

Progress on remodeling the studio.  Look for Grand Opening announcement soon!