Film as Experience: Live Documentary with Sam Green

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 7:00pm
DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street, NYC

Doors 6:30pm | Event 7pm | No admittance after 7:30pm

After coining the term "live documentary," Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green has been proving that filmmaking is as fluid of an artistic medium as any other, and that film is perhaps best experienced rather than consumed.

With his most recent works, Sam Green walks onto a stage and narrates his films while imagery that he cues is projected behind him and an original score is performed live by a band. It's cinematic. It's performative. It's a collective experience that can only be absorbed in person. And it's not every day that The New York Times writes an article about you entitled "Sundance: The One Filmmaker Who Doesn’t Want a Distribution Deal," in which you declare, “We’re not going to stream it on Netflix. You have to see it live.”

Through a candid discussion, Sam Green will start off this intimate evening sharing some of his more "traditional" films, including the Academy Award-nominated documentary feature The Weather Underground, and then how and why he moved into a new live form, how his work has changed, and what its significance is in the context of documentary today.

Sam Green

Sam Green received his Master’s Degree in Journalism from University of California Berkeley, where he studied documentary with acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs.

His most recent projects are the “live documentaries” The Measure of All Things (2014), The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (with Yo La Tengo) (2012), and Utopia in Four Movements (2010). All of these works are performed live, with Green narrating in-person and musicians performing a live soundtrack.

Green’s 2004 feature-length film, the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Weather Underground, tells the story of a group of radical young women and men who tried to violently overthrow the United States government during the late 1960s and 70s. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.

Green’s previous long documentary, The Rainbow Man/John 3:16, follows the bizarre rise and fall of a man who became famous during the 1970s by appearing at thousands of televised sporting events wearing a rainbow wig. The film premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and has screened at festivals worldwide. “More than an exploration of life, The Rainbow Man is a parable about alienation, the media, and the meaninglessness that often defines American life.” – Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival

Green’s short documentaries include lot 63, grave c, Pie Fight ’69 (directed with Christian Bruno), N-Judah 5:30, and The Fabulous Stains: Behind the Movie (directed with Sarah Jacobson).


$10 / DCTV Members
$15 / Partner Members + Students
$20 / General
$30 / General + Discounted DCTV Membership!
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About DCTV: Founded in 1972, DCTV is an established media arts resource for NYC’s independent filmmaking community, providing affordable workshops, production equipment rentals, post-production facilities, a signature screening series, renowned youth programming, and more – all under the same roof as its award-winning documentary production house. DCTV is also the soon-to-be home of the first US documentary-only cinema! DCTV Presents is DCTV's signature screening and event series that highlights innovative and provocative work from the independent filmmaking community. From screening films by emerging artists to hosting master classes led by renowned groundbreakers in the industry, each event offers the public a unique and inclusive opportunity to share, support and embrace truly independent art.

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