Registriert seit: 03.07.2003
FILM: High Tech Soul - the real story of detroit techno
klingt ganz interessant, ein film ueber die geschichte von detroit techno. im februar kommt er auf dvd raus.
trailer und infos gibts auf www.hightechsoulthemovie.com .
Artikel ueber den Film von http://www.ecurrent.com/art/soul0305.php :
The Character of Detroit:
High Tech Soul
by Ann Stewart
Something to be proud of was born in Detroit just over 20 years ago. It's not a Wing or a Piston: it's techno. The story of how this music could only come out of the Motor City is told in High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music, a film debuting at the 43rd Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival.
The project was inspired by the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which began in 2000. Filmmakers Gary Bredow and Jason Simon were, like many, surprised to find out that techno was born in Detroit. After shooting footage of DEMF the project took on a life of its own. "I loved -- coming home, plugging in the rented camera and watching the footage that was captured. The colors were brilliant and the people dancing and the energy that I saw on the tape was like, wow. It became addicting," Bredow says.
Four years and 250 hours of footage later, High Tech Soul had become a full-fledged documentary on the conception and rise of Detroit techno as told by a myriad of electronic musicians, with sections focusing on the three originators: Belleville's own Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. These and others such as Blake Baxter (who schools us on the basics of techno in short breaks throughout), Eddie Fowlkes (the tale's comical villain), DEMF Founder Carl Craig and Stacey
Pullen contribute to the film's organic narrative structure.
"You have the hero, you have the funny guy -- you have Derrick, you have the base root of it all which is Juan, you have your comic relief which is Blake," Bredow says. "These are all just little mini-characters that developed during the editing process. They just popped out of nowhere."
Though the documentary is more traditional than much of the experimental fare offered at the Festival, AAFF Director Dan Marano says the film is an unscripted history of counter-culture that remains accessible, making it right for the competition. "I think the best ones are sort of discovery explorations," says Marano. "It works for both insiders who buy all this vinyl and dance to all this music -- but I think it does a good job of inviting in someone who might not know anything about this music or might be intimidated or just alienated from the scene."
The film follows the burgeoning musical form's growth within post-industrial Detroit -- with Atkins' group Cybotron at the head, then recounts the stories of its earliest hits, such as May's "Nude Photo" and Saunderson's "Big Fun" and "Good Life" and covers the formation of labels Metroplex, Transmat and KMS -- all the artists' own creations. It also features a cast of managers, producers and club owners, as well as Dan Sicko, author of Techno Rebels, which details a history of techno music. Detroit's "Electrifying Mojo" does his first interview (albeit faceless) in over a decade.
The musicians talk extensively about their love and hate for Detroit -- which itself becomes a silent character
linking them all. "Detroit being in the spotlight for several
negative and positive things -- the dichotomy of Detroit itself is kind of like the music itself," Bredow says.
In the film, Wayne State University's Jerry Herron, author of AfterCulture: Detroit and the Humiliation of History, provides insight into aspects of Detroit's history that shed light on how techno fed on "food for the imagination" that grew along the path the auto industry tore through Detroit, leaving ruins. Herron says in his interview: "It's not just empty space. It's full of the artifacts of American industrial culture."
UM Professor of Sociology George Steinmetz, who co-directed the road documentary Detroit: Ruin of a City, attributes the city's depletion to aspects of capitalism and to racism. He notes how the auto industry contributed to the landscape of Detroit music and art in general, in one way by creating a lack of mass transit and resulting in the isolation of its residents. "It can be a laboratory for things that really develop out-of-kilter with fashions that are dominant everywhere else."
Steinmetz mentions a pattern of "demonization" of Detroit in newer film portrayals such as Robocop, The Crow and most recently, the remake of Assault on Precinct 13. "The preview for the film says, 'Where do you find the toughest criminals in the world?' Of course it's in Detroit," he says.
High Tech Soul paints a brutally honest picture of Detroit that is neither idyllic nor demonic. Footage of abandoned buildings, political unrest and empty streets is coupled with that of ebullient electronic music fans dancing in locations such as Motor, The Music Institute and DEMF in Hart Plaza. In two segments sirens interrupt, but instead of ignoring them or editing them out, the speakers' sweetly joking comments remain.
"I think it was important to see that here are these artists and musicians that began working in inexpensive or abandoned spaces have given Detroit's name -- sort of wiped some of the tarnish off it and sort of given the city a second or third life," says Marano, "There is no commercial space for (techno), yet you can't deny its success and I think there's some parallels between that
music and the type of films that get played at the Festival."
Marano lauds a revolution in film that opens door for burgeoning filmmakers to create work with little or no money. The decision of the Festival to begin accepting digital video made it possible for a film like High Tech Soul -- done entirely digitally with Final Cut Pro HD software for Mac G5 -- to join the competition. "You can't restrict to 16mm or 35mm in this day and age. It's not the way films are being done anymore," Bredow says. "Things are changing. 16mm looks great, 35 looks great, but if you put them next to each other, it's just not worth it anymore."
Director Bredow, Producers Simon and Marta Tomkiw and Director of Photography Roger Homrich make up GLU Studios, who brought High Tech Soul to form. Simon and Bredow both worked a variety of odd jobs to get by while making the film. Simon especially developed an appreciation for the music along the way. "The first time I went to Motor I was totally engulfed," Simon says. "(Techno) crosses all boundaries. It was the first time I could go to a club or a bar where you could walk up to anybody and have an interesting conversation about nothing."
The filmmakers hope to release the film widely in Europe and Japan, reflecting the market of the music. May, who has watched the documentary develop alongside its creators, remarks that it is the first time a locally made film about techno has displayed such potential. "This is an important moment in the music scene of Detroit," May says. "Detroit as a city itself really does not project well, other than the few -- we don't have a lot of things that Detroit can be proud of and I think that this is one of them."
The 43rd Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival (March 15-20) presents High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music, premiering 2pm Sunday, March 20 in the Michigan Theater. For more information about the film visit www.hightechsoulthemovie.com. For details on the Film Festival visit www.aafilmfest.org.
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