Four Films on the Fringe: Filmmaker Ron Mann Visits AFS Cinema this February
This week, we’ll have the first of many visits this month by filmmaker Ron Mann. Over the past 40 plus years, Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann has documented culture from the fringe inward, often focusing on outsider artists and others on the edge.
Based in Toronto, Ron Mann is one of Canada’s foremost documentary filmmakers. He has established his international reputation as a chronicler of the counterculture and the visionary while with a series of award-winning theatrical documentaries, including IMAGINE THE SOUND (1981), POETRY IN MOTION (1982), COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL (1988), TWIST (1992), GRASS (1999), TALES OF THE RAT FINK (2006), KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS (2008), IN THE WAKE OF THE FLOOD (2010) and ALTMAN (2014). his newest film, CARMINE STREET GUITARS, about the legendary New York guitar shop, its staff and remarkable group of regular customers, screens this year at SXSW Film. Watch the trailer here.
We’ll be screening four of our favorites by Mann this month with introductions (and, we hope, lots of amazing stories) from the man himself. Read on for more information.
IMAGINE THE SOUND
Ron Mann’s documentary shows us several masters of avant-garde jazz, both in conversation and performance – with Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, and Archie Shepp. If you’re a bit unsure how to approach free jazz music, this will open up the philosophical space that these musical high priests operate in.
COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL
In Ron Mann’s doc, the history of comic books and sequential art in twentieth century America is presented by a nonpareil cast of major creators including Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Lynda Barry, and R. Crumb.
POETRY IN MOTION
An invaluable document of some of North America’s greatest poets, circa 1982, captured by filmmaker Ron Mann, including Charles Bukowski, Amiri Baraka, Ntozake Shange, Gary Snyder, Tom Waits, and many others.
Ron Mann’s often funny documentary shows us the many ways that cannabis prohibition in the United States has been intertwined with social attitudes about race, gender, and class.