Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jack Beers Story

Another of my recent favorite films is Holes in my Shoes, directed by David Wachs. The documentary tells the story of Jack Beers, a boy raised on the Lower East Side at the start of last century who led the life of 10 ordinary men. At a young age he was known as “New York City’s Strongest Boy,” he went on to help build Radio City Music Hall and erect the spire of the Empire State Building after teaching himself engineering by reading books on the subject at the NYC Public Library. He them moved south to work on a project for the US government during WW2. These accomplishments alone would have been enough for anyone else, but not for Jack. He started a new career in film and ended up acting in over 200 films, all while overcoming a terminal illness, raising championship dogs, and mowing the lawn. The only down side of this film is that watching it may make you feel as though you need to get off you butt and start doing something.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Young at Heart Documentary

Over the past year I have been voraciously watching as many documentaries as I can. I started filming my own documentary last year with my partner in crime Linda Beck, but more about that at a later time. This weekend I saw the documentary Young@Heart on PBS and it was FANTASTIC. It was everything a good documentary should be. It follows the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young@Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, as they get ready for their world tour. The chorus’ average age is 81, and the film follows all the highs and lows associated with people of that age. One of the best parts of the chorus is their unexpected choice of music to perform such as The Clash, Coldplay, James Brown and Sonic Youth.
They are performing in Brooklyn this fall and I for one will be there to see them in person. Young@Heart in END OF THE ROAD opens in New York and runs April 21-May 2. Ticket information is available by phone 718 254 8779 and on line.