Titled “Live Cinema,” the event features a series of short films along with live narration and music. It includes Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green; acclaimed animator Brent Green; Dan Nuxoll, artistic director of New York City’s Rooftop Films; and Bruce Levingston, the university’s Chancellor’s Artist-in-Residence.
The performance is set for 7 p.m. March 8 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The free event is open to the public.
“We are so thrilled to have these renowned artists join us for a wonderful evening of cinema and music,” said Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, dean of the Honors College. “Bruce Levingston has assembled an incredible team of gifted artists for our SMBHC Spring Convocation.
“This performance will cast an imaginative light on many of the emotions just below the surface of our day-to-day lives. We are grateful to these extraordinary artists for this opportunity to explore fundamental questions through the arts.”
For “Live Cinema,” Sam Green has created what is known as a “live documentary,” where a video clip and photos are narrated live by him and accompanied by musical performances.
“Sam Green and Brent Green, though not related, are both known for their unique performances that combine cinema, musical accompaniment and live narration,” Levingston said. “These two celebrated and incredibly innovative artists tell stories about families, rural America, the woman who sewed a spacesuit for the first dog sent into space, music legend Louis Armstrong and even the last person listed in the San Francisco phone book.”
This special collaboration also features live performances by musicians Brendan Canty, James Canty, Becky Foon and Kate Ryan, along with Levingston, in conjunction with cinematic shorts.
“It is so elastic and so sensitive,” Sam Green said in an interview with The Observer. “If you make a movie, a traditional movie – and I’ve made a lot of them – you put it out in the world and it is done.
“The world changes and your movie doesn’t, and suddenly it just doesn’t work in the same way that it did. I like doing it this way because it is very nimble. It is a sensitive and organic kind of work.”
Sam Green said his performances have been well-received and he feeds off the energy from the crowd, which doesn’t often happen for filmmakers. After debuting his style in 2010, he booked about 50 shows over the next two years.
In an interview with The New York Times, Green said he discovered the live cinema style accidentally. While editing a documentary, he realized he needed more explanation for visuals. He wanted to avoid using on-camera interview clips, so a friend suggested showing it to an audience and narrating it.
His collaborations with Brent Green and other artists have been met with tremendous critical success.
Sam Green said he and his colleagues are looking forward to coming to Oxford for the first time and exploring the literary, musical and historical haunts of the town’s illustrious past, particularly a visit to William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak.