Tchoupitoulas (2012) - News Poster



Joshua Reviews Bill And Turner Ross’ Contemporary Color [Theatrical Review]

  • CriterionCast
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,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Film Review: ‘Contemporary Color’

Film Review: ‘Contemporary Color’
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
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How David Byrne Collaborated With Two Art House Documentary Filmmakers And Reinvented Concert Films All Over Again

  • Indiewire
How David Byrne Collaborated With Two Art House Documentary Filmmakers And Reinvented Concert Films All Over Again
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
See full article at Indiewire »

'Contemporary Color' Review: It's the 'Stop Making Sense' of Color Guard Rock Docs

'Contemporary Color' Review: It's the 'Stop Making Sense' of Color Guard Rock Docs
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
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Cinema Eye Names Top Documentaries and Directors of the Past Decade

  • Indiewire
Cinema Eye has named 10 filmmakers and 20 films that have been voted as the top achievements in documentary filmmaking during the past 10 years. Founded in 2007 to “recognize and honor exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film,” Cinema Eye polled 110 members of the documentary community to determine the winning films and filmmakers just as the organization kicks off its tenth year.

Read More: Behind the Scenes of Cinema Eye’s Secret Field Trip for Nominees

Among the films chosen are Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” and Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Poitras and Oppenheimer were both also named to the list of the top documentary filmmakers, joining Alex Gibney, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman, who recently won an honorary Oscar and will be saluted at the annual Governors Awards on November 12.

“It’s fantastic that he is being recognized by the Academy for a
See full article at Indiewire »

A Flag Waves In Brooklyn

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on Contemporary Color.

I vaguely remember Color Guard being a thing we had at my high school -- I know it might shock and awe you that this particular film nerd writing at you today wasn't all that into sports back then (besides the occasional loitering around a wrestling match now and then, ahem) so I don't recall ever seeing them at work though, flinging their prop guns like ballistic missiles through the air.  They seemed like a sub-set within a sub-set, not quite band and not quite the cheer-leading squad. Something in between, but also outside of.

Contemporary Color, which documents the recent shows in Brooklyn that Talking Heads' legend David Byrne organized in an effort to toss this sport under a great big spotlight, pairing ten different teams with ten different modern musician-composers (people like St Vincent
See full article at FilmExperience »

SXSW Capsule Reviews: Western, The Ceremony, The Last Man on the Moon, Deep Web

  • Slackerwood
This is turning out to be a very different year for SXSW, as though last year's tragedy marked a turning point where the city and the SXSW staff realized that things had gotten out of hand with too much going on at once with too little control. The result has been in my own observation that downtown seemed practically dead when I arrived Friday to pick up my badge. Strictly limited permitting for outside events and venues in addition to much of the interactive events being relocated away from the convention center have thinned the crowd to manageable levels, though we will see if that persists as the music portion of the fest kicks into gear.

Movies I've seen:


This documentary by brothers Bill and Turner Ross (who premiered Tchoupitoulas at SXSW 2012) covers 13 months in the border city of Eagle Pass during Chad Foster's last term as mayor.
See full article at Slackerwood »

Daily | Sundance 2015 | Bill and Turner Ross’s Western

  • Keyframe
"Brothers Bill Ross and Turner Ross return to the quick-paced, collage style documentary storytelling we’ve seen previously in Tchoupitoulas and 45365" with Western, "a tale of two cities," writes Monica Castillo at Movie Mezzanine. "One, Eagle Pass, lies north of the Rio Grande, a small Texan town with a big Latino population that specializes in the cattle industry. Her sister city south of the border, Piedras Negras, is similarly reliant on the cow trade—and just as sweet and sleepy when the movie begins. The two cities celebrate their mutual bond annually on the bridge that connects them. That is until the recent spike in Mexican cartel violence shows up on their doorstep." We're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Five Questions for Western Directors Bill and Turner Ross

“Ravishing cinema verite” is how the Sundance catalog describes the work of Bill and Turner Ross, whose elegiac American portraits crackle with a lovely lo-fi buzz. Following their New Orleans-set music travelogue Tchoupitoulas, the brothers immerse themselves here in Western within a world considerably tougher — two towns on either side of the Mexican border grappling with the sudden onslaught of cartel violence. Below, we ask them about incorporating that criminal storyline into their film and sticking with the same camera for three pictures. Western premieres today in the Documentary Competition of the Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker: Your documentaries have […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Sundance Exclusive: Poster For The Ross Brothers' Impressionistic Doc 'Western'

  • The Playlist
The unique cinematic perspective of Bill and Turner Ross specializes in lyrical and dreamy portraits that redefine what is conventionally understood as "documentary." Thus far, they’ve created two visually stimulating, aurally immersive feature-length docs in “45365” and the SXSW breakout “Tchoupitoulas,” the latter of which portrayed one night in the life of three boys soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of New Orleans. Their latest film, debuting at Sundance Film Festival this weekend, is “Western,” an exploration of life on the American frontier in the present day. “At the forefront, what are the archetypes and images that create this idea?” the Ross brothers said in a “Meet The Artists” Sundance clip which you can see below. “The archetypes of the cowboy and the lawman and the dusty frontier —if you can find John Wayne, what does he look like? What is he doing?” Here’s official Sundance synopsis: For generations, all that distinguished Eagle Pass,
See full article at The Playlist »

What’s Up Doc?: Crocodile Gennadiy Among Top Sundance Hopefuls (November 2014)

  • ioncinema
Turkey or no turkey, these next couple of days lucky filmmakers who’ve been selected to screen as part of the Sundance Film Festival will get the invitation notice straight from John Cooper and the Park City programming team, and thus, those that we’re betting have made the cut have also inched up the list a bit. One of those that seem an obvious choice to premiere at the fest is director Steve Hoover and producer Danny Yourd’s Crocodile Gennadiy. Following up their Grand Jury Prize winning Blood Brother with incredible turnaround time, our new most anticipated film tracks the delicate operations of Gennadiy Mokhnenko, a Ukrainian activist, orphanage manager and savior of countless children whose addict parents favor injected cold medicine and alcohol over them. Part heartwrenching domestic drama, part sleuth thriller, the film looks to use the Ukrainian uprising as a backdrop to highlight its protagonist
See full article at ioncinema »

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bill & Turner Ross’ Western

  • ioncinema
It might still be too early to mention the brothers in the same breath as Frederick Wiseman, but the Ross brothers’ filmography to date in 2009′s 45365, 2010′s Tchoupitoulas and perhaps 2013′s River is awe-worthy and awe-inspiring in an observational mode type of manner. A non-secret to SXSW programmers, the brothers who’ve given us Americana portraits set in suburban, dryland and floating bodies of water get some sand in their face with Western. By the looks of it (see pic above), this is in the last stages of being readied with a recent trip to the Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound Select Independent Filmmakers and Film Composers for September Music and Sound Design Lab for Documentary. It is currently among the finalists for the San Francisco Film Society’s Documentary Film Fund.

Gist: Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico are border towns and the vision of the modern frontier.
See full article at ioncinema »

Slackery News Tidbits: June 2, 2014

  • Slackerwood
Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.

The Austin Film Society has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to present a screening of Hanna Ranch, a documentary about a fourth-generation cattle ranch in Colorado, tonight at 7:30 pm at the Marchesa Hall. In more Afs news, the nonprofit recently announced the participants of this year's Artist Intensive, a workshop for emerging narrative feature writer-directors in Austin with projects in various stages of development or pre-production. Filmmaking husband/wife team Julia Halperin's and Jason Cortlund's La Barracuda (Jordan's interview), Stephen Belyeu's and Gregory Day's The Father, filmmaker-musicians Karen Skloss's and Jay Tonne Jr.'s The Honor Farm and local filmmaker Clay Liford's Slash (an expansion of his short of the same name; Debbie's interview) were selected by the programming committee of Afs's board of directors. Each writer-director team will be matched with mentors who will
See full article at Slackerwood »

2014 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Michael Tully’s Ping Pong Summer (Exclusive First Look!)

  • ioncinema
Clearly if Michael Tully receives an invite to Sundance this year, it won’t be for a return visit in the Park City at Midnight section. Moving from dramatic in 2006′s Cocaine Angel (Rotterdam, SXSW), to docu Silver Jew (2007 – SXSW), to the Sundance preemed atypical Southern gothic horror Septien (2011), the filmmaker (who runs one of our fave portals for American indie film worshipping – managed to lasso Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, John Hannah, Amy Sedaris, Judah Friedlander and Sundance vet Robert Longstreet (makes his second Tully film appearance) along with a cast of pre-teens for another 180° switch from his previous material. In something that should do the summer set coming-of-ager film done right and remind me why I Love The 80s, Ping Pong Summer and received mentorship/coin helping hands from the U.S in Progress and Sffs/Krf Filmmaking Grant and completed filming in late 2012. This is ready for some tournament action.
See full article at ioncinema »

Catching Up With Bill Ross of Tchoupitoulas

In more than a few of its slim 80 minutes, Tchoupitoulas feels like it accomplishes the impossible. Tchoupitoulas, before you keep asking, is pronounced “Chop-ih-too-lus,” and it’s the second movie from Bill and Turner Ross, collectively known as the Ross Brothers. It is ostensibly a documentary, but the movie lands in a hazy area between fiction and nonfiction. You won’t find any issues being discussed, or any world problems solved, only a bleary-eyed, overnight New Orleans adventure with three teenage brothers. From the very first shot, we’re inside the brain of the younger brother, privy to his internal dialogue, and...
See full article at PasteMagazine »

S&A 'Tchoupitoulas' 3-dvd Disc Giveaway Contest (A Story Of The New Orleans Night)

  • ShadowAndAct
Out on DVD today, via Oscilloscope Laboratories is Bill and Turner Ross's lauded award-winning lyrical documentary Tchoupitoulas - a story of the New Orleans night, as seen through the eyes of a child.  Abstractly aural and visual, it is a sensory document of one night in the many lives of a thriving nocturnal populace. Three young boys act as our wide-eyed conduits to a parade of entertainers and revelers as they dance through the lamp lit streets and doorways of the Crescent City. From dusk to dawn, from Rampart to the river, we explore the lives and locales of one of the world's most unique cities. In moments surreal, and others patiently...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Nyu's Art-and-Commerce Research Institute Gives Fellowship to Two 'Beasts' Producers and Two More

  • Indiewire
Nyu's Art-and-Commerce Research Institute Gives Fellowship to Two 'Beasts' Producers and Two More
Nyu's Cinema Research Institute, which sponsors research projects for people studying the intersection of art and commerce in film, has announced its 2013 fellows. Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn, who have produced "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and the Ross Brothers' "Tchoupitoulas," are doing research and blogging about doing grassroots-inspired audience outreach for films.  (See, for instance, Gottwald's blog post about online vs. offline organizing.)  Filmmaker Micah Schaffer ("Death of Two Sons") will be producing a resource for filmmakers to find co-production partners and cross-border financing for independent film.  Ryan Silbert (producer of "Holy Rollers," Oscar-winning short "God of Love") will be focusing on transmedia storytelling, working on the intersection of film, video games and technology. The Cinema Research Institute was launched by John Tintori, the Chair of the Graduate Film Program at Nyu as a way of fulfilling the university's motto, "a private...
See full article at Indiewire »

5 Broken Cameras Wins Best Doc at 2013 Cinema Eye Honors

  • ioncinema
Sorry Oscars. But after the Indie Spirit Awards, the number two spot in terms of Award Season importance are the Cinema Eye Honors. Seems like it was only yesterday when Aj Schnack & Thom Powers teamed up for one basic, logical concept: an event that would reward yearly output of documentary film in a rightfully sound manner. With the wind in their sails, the 6th annual edition was held last night and deservingly so, adding to its double wins at the Idfa and Sundance, it is 5 Broken Cameras that took the top honors for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking. Co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi – political activism via you guessed it, five video cameras. The film was released via Kino Lorber.

The night’s only double winner, could be regarded as the silver medal doc film of the year: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia grabbed the Outstanding
See full article at ioncinema »

Tchoupitoulas Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Tchoupitoulas Movie Review
Title: Tchoupitoulas Directors: Bill Ross and Turner Ross A lyrical nonfiction offering that could be viewed as a sort of companion piece to “Beasts of the Southern Wild” by way of Frederick Wiseman, Bill and Turner Ross’ “Tchoupitoulas” charts the journey of three young African-American brothers who head out onto the streets of New Orleans to experience the Big Easy’s kaleidoscopic vibrancy. At once gorgeous and frustrating, alluring and tedious, the delicate movie is an undeniable example that, like physical beauty, the appeal of diffident, removed cinematic art is in the eye of the beholder. Unfolding over the course of one night, “Tchoupitoulas” centers on William, Bryan and Kentrell Zanders, a trio of brothers who we [ Read More ]

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Adam Yauch's Film Company Carrying Out His Vision

Adam Yauch's Film Company Carrying Out His Vision
After brothers Bill and Turner Ross screened their new film for the first time at SXSW earlier this year, they went to lunch with representatives of Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film distribution company started by the late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.

"Things came together pretty quickly after that," recalls Bill Ross to Rolling Stone. "It seemed so right. It was a perfect fit for us."

Having grown up listening to the Beastie Boys, Ross had a "geek-out moment," he says, as soon as he realized he'd be partnering with Yauch's company.
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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