4 items from 2017
There are few subcultures more niche than that of “the color guard.” The vast majority of people may know them only as those performers working alongside high school marching bands during football games each fall. Young men and women taking to the field to perform routines heavily centered around the use of flags, rifles and sabers, these routines are more often than not overlooked by people waiting for the next play of whatever game they’re partaking in.
However, not in the eyes of iconic musician David Byrne.
In the summer of 2015, Byrne took to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, along with a collection of some of today’s greatest artists and color guard teams to shine a light on the real beauty, importance and power of this artform. And filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross were there to capture it.
The film born from this event is called Contemporary Color and is a breathlessly beautiful, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Some documentaries set out to heal the world, while others succeed in making it a better place by the mere fact of their existence. A clear example of the latter, Bill and Turner Ross’ “Contemporary Color” is a gift to audiences everywhere, a spectacular kinetic pinwheel of a movie that whisks us away from big issues to celebrate an exceptional creative collaboration between Talking Heads frontman/founder David Byrne and 10 East Coast color guard squads, resulting in a one-of-a-kind concert movie through which this peculiar American art form — a meticulously choreographed mix of flag spinning, weapon tossing, and dance — gets a splendid, soul-recharging big-screen treatment.
So-called “winter guard” is a curious discipline to begin with, obscure to some, downright sacred to others, that evolved out of the ancient military tradition by which a regiment presents and protects its flag (or “colors”). Today, it is practiced at the high school and »
- Peter Debruge
David Byrne leaned back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling of his charmingly cluttered Soho office: “I like to keep trying new things — it keeps me on my toes.”
Um, yeah. In the last decade alone, the 64-year-old art-rock legend has authored two books, released a pair of collaborative albums (one with Brian Eno, the other with Annie Clark), written a musical about Joan of Arc, turned a building into an instrument, scored a Shia Labeouf movie, and teamed up with Fatboy Slim to create a disco opera about the life and times of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines.
For Byrne, a restless iconoclast who founded Talking Heads with some Risd chums in 1975 and has been expanding his horizons ever since, such unbridled creativity is just par for the course. He’s completely at the mercy of his muse — no matter where it »
- David Ehrlich
You'd normally be hard-pressed to find a link between color guards – those tween-to-teen troupes who do military-style dance routines involving waving flags and spinning rifles – hipster rock/Edm bands and micro-indie regional documentarians; a microscope used to be required to view the Venn diagram overlap. Enter David Byrne, an artist who's never found a bunch of disparate elements he couldn't turn into a creative goulash, and who became a fan of the Middle-America past time after a group asked to use his music for a routine. The former Talking Head »
4 items from 2017
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