Charly was abandoned right after birth in a convent. He is not aware of who the couple who are about to arrive and dine at the inn, actually are. Karla is about to show up with a dead man and one hundred dollars in the trunk of her car.
A collaboration between filmmaker Jem Cohen and the Washington D.C. band Fugazi, covering the 10 year period of 1987-1996. Far from a traditional documentary, this is a musical document; a ... See full summary »
Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »
In June 2009, Tamaas, an international non-profit arts organization, invited eight poets and filmmakers coming from France, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States, to Tangier, ... See full summary »
In order to make money fast to put his company back on track, Dominique finds a job as an antique dealer. But soon he realizes that the only way he will keep his job is by pretending he is ... See full summary »
A young couple marry in France in the 1940s and the film follows the arc of their marriage over the next decade. As France recovers from the trauma of the war, the wife finds herself ... See full summary »
Absorbing portrait of a man who should have been famous
I was lucky enough to see Benjamin sing in concert once (playing Caiaphas in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar"), and was struck by his craggy, Tom Waits-like vocal delivery, as well as his cadaverous but flamboyant stage persona. Now, thanks to the documentary "Benjamin Smoke," I've got a more fully rounded picture of this enigmatic performer. Virtually unknown outside his hometown (although his music did inspire Patti Smith to write a song about him), Benjamin deserved to be a bigger star. Hopefully, this film will introduce more people across the country (and even around the world) to both the man and his music.
The filmmakers spent several months (years?) just hanging out with Benjamin. They let him talk about whatever he wanted, and he held nothing back, freely discussing his numerous addictions, his HIV-positive status, his mother's reaction to his homosexuality...and he tells all these stories with an easy-going charm and wit.
While I hope people from all over the world will seek out and watch this movie, I do feel a twinge of pity for viewers outside Atlanta. They'll never experience the heady feeling of connectedness that I got from attending the premiere at the Lefont Plaza theater...located directly across the street from the apartment building where Benjamin lived out his last months, next door to the diner where the filmmakers recorded a conversation with the band, and just down the street from the club where Benjamin played his final concert. After leaving the theater, I made a point of visiting all of these sites and soaking up the atmosphere of Benjamin history.
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