2016 Urban Nomad First Wave:
Berlin Tribute and More!
2016.03.31 News Release
This year’s Urban Nomad will have a great lineup of films looking at artistic revolutionaries in the present and recent past. Here are a few films we’re really excited about!
B Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin
This is the story of Berlin’s wild decade, the 1980s, which started with punk and ended with the love parade. It’s the moment David Bowie, Nick Cave, New Order and visual artists like Keith Haring were drawn like flies into Berlin’s intense dark light of decadent creativity. In dingy basements and secret nightclubs, they found figures like Blixa Bargeld and his band of noise rock extremists, Einsturzende Neubauten. The film ties these artists together is the story of Mark Reeder, a concert promoter from Manchester and friend of Factory Records boss Anthony Wilson who found himself deep in the Berlin scene of this monumental time. Reeder’s story is told through a whirlwind of archival footage and arty Super-8 reconstructions. The filmmaking is a mix of new and old, real and fake, and above all it nails the lingering attitude of a Berlin era: everything is fucked, let’s party!
The Arab Spring began in 2011 with the hope of social change, but in the wake of this revolution, Egypt’s political and social order quickly fell apart. Director Marco Wilms arrived in Cairo in 2011 and witnessed Tahir Square as it was tranformed from a site of revolutionary optimism to one of violent suppression and social unrest. He turned his camera on young Egyptian graffiti artists and musicians who put their creativity towards salvage the revolution. Their graffiti murals commemorated martyrs killed by the military government, identified snipers who’d murdered protestors, and generally carried on the fight against the forces of conservatism. Unlike star graffiti artists like Banksy or Shephard Fairey in the West, the Egyptian artists of this film are not famous. Yet more than their famed Western counterparts, these men and women put their lives at stake in order to weild art as a weapon of social transformation. Under a repressive regime with full control of the mass media, they know that if they don’t create the symbols of the revolution, nobody will.
Rubble Kings tells the story of New York street gangs in the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially in the un-policeable South Bronx, where cops once found a dead, skinned gorilla in a vacant aparment building, only to shrug and say, “Only in the Bronx.” The gangs took names like the Savage Nomads, Black Assassins, Harlem Turks and Peuro Rican Ghetto Brothers and wore these ferocious logos as giant emblems on their jackets. They fought and killed each other in the streets, but just as the Bronx was headed to a ghetto armaggedon, they also took it upon themselves to broker peace treaties amongst themselves. It was not easy going, but they found a solution in the power of music. Block parties were born, and with it hip hop culture. This documentary is based on numerous interviews with older, reformed gang members, including Afrika Bambaataa. Once a member of the the Young Spades, Bambaataa, together with DJ Kool Herc, went on to transform his gang into the Universal Zulu Nation, a group that has now promoted neighborhood peace and hip hop culture for more than 40 years.
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten
This film tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music from the 1950s through the 1970s as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. The Cambodian music documented here wild, psychedelic rock and is in recent years it is justifiably enjoying a resurgence among Western hipsters and crate diggers. The music was born during the rule of dilletante, French-educated King Norodom Sihanouk, as Cambodia was awash in French and US influence and the Vietnam War loomed. This unexpected conflict-driven internationalism saw rock guitar and psychedelic wah-wah peddals blend with traditional Khmer vocals in national recording studios, creating an astounding fusion, unique in all of Asia. Director John Pirozzi first discovered this music working with the LA-based band Dengue Fever, filming their documentary Sleepwalking Through the Mekong (2007), which previously showed at Urban Nomad. The current film shows how the icons of Cambodian music, singers like Sinn Sisamouth and Pen Ran, first defined the soul of a nation, and were then brutally murdered along with one-third of their countrymen and women. The film recounts both historical tragedy and the redemptive power of art.
2016 Urban Nomad Film Fest
Dates: 5/12-5/22, 2016 with warmup events from 4/16
Location: Wonderful Theater, Ximen (真善美戲院, 台北市萬華區漢中街116號 捷運西門町站6號出口）
Advance Ticket Sales：from mid-April
Opening Party: 4/16 at Tiger Mountain
Party Location: Tiger Mountain Miculture Foundation (台北市信義區福德街221巷186-1號）
Party Tickets： iNDIEVOX熱賣中
Urban Nomad FB page: https://facebook.com/UrbanNomad.tw