In 1861, Brooklyn was a cultural backwater, dwarfed by the artistic achievements of its wealthy neighbor across the East River. The establishment of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, however, began to put the borough on the map. TFF alum Michael Sládek's (Con Artist) lovingly crafted documentary takes us through BAM's colorful history and behind the scenes at the nation's oldest performing arts center. Central to the story is the relentless determination and sharp vision of BAM's leaders, enabling survival in tough times and establishing the institution as a creative home for such greats as Pina Bausch, Robert Wilson, Merce Cunningham, and Mark Morris.
Weaving sharply rendered footage of recent BAM performances with 150 years' of stunning archival material and interviews with groundbreaking artists such as Laurie Anderson and Peter Brook, the film shows that BAM's years were not always easy, but are a testament to the power and stamina of the institution that launched Brooklyn as a cultural mecca.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Michael Sládek
Michael Sládek directed the docu-comedy Con Artist, which premiered at TFF in 2009, the animated short We Live on Your Street, winner of the Anarchy Online award at Slamdance, and the dark comedy Devils Are Dreaming. He is currently developing an animated religious comedy series and a contemporary Western.
Ramsey Fendall, Michael Sládek
Joseph Krings, Michael Sládek
James H. Ottaway Jr., Martha A. Rubin, Robert S. Rubin
Laurie Anderson, Peter Brook, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mark Morris, Alan Rickman, Isabella Rossellini