HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS: a rare screening of the 1975 documentary, followed by Q&A with the film’s producer, Graham Leader.

Documentary filmmaker James Szalapski explores the more contemplative side of country music as he visits a handful of outstanding singers and songwriters, most of whom have chosen work outside the confines of the Nashville establishment. Heartworn Highways features performances from Townes Van Zandt, who shows off his farm and discusses the pros and cons of drinking with a neighbor; Gamble Rogers, who demonstrates his hilarious and ingratiating performing style in a nightclub appearance; Guy Clark, who plays several fine songs in his kitchen; David Allan Coe, who discusses his criminal past during a concert at a prison; and the Charlie Daniels Band, as they gear up for a big show in a small town. Heartworn Highways also includes brief appearances from Rodney CrowellSteve Young, and a young Steve Earle, a decade before he released his first album. While shot in 1975, Heartworn Highways wasn’t released until 1981, by which time several of the performers’ features had become considerably better known than they were in 1975.

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CIRCO: New Jersey premiere of the award-winning documentary, followed by a conversation and Q&A with the film’s director Aaron Schock.

The Ponce family’s hardscrabble circus has lived and performed on the back roads of Mexico since the 19th century. But can their way of life survive into the 21st century? Against the backdrop of Mexico’s collapsing rural economy, the ringmaster must choose between his family tradition and a wife who wants a better life for their family outside the circus.

The film recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Hamptons International Film Festival, took top prizes at festivals in Spain, New Zealand, and Sweden, and features an evocative score by the indie-rock band CALEXICO.
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VERNON REID: an evening of short films, live music, and conversation with the Grammy-Award winning guitarist, sonic experimentalist and visual artist.

Vernon Reid is a Grammy Award-winning guitarist, composer and boundary-bending artist who began with the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene, lead the pioneering multi-platinum rock band Living Colour, and has collaborated with creative spirits ranging from Carlos Santana, Public Enemy, Defunkt, and African singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd.  He composed and performed Bring Your Beats, a children’s program for BAM. He produces artists like James “Blood” Ulmer.  He composed the scores for GHOSTS OF ATTICA and ALMOST HOME, and was the music supervisor for the Charles Stone film MR. 3000, starring Bernie Mac.  He founded the Black Rock Coalition in 1984 to help combat the pigeonholing of African-American musicians.  A talented multimedia artist and curator, Vernon created Artificial Afrika, using animation, computer graphics and public domain media to explore historic, often racist myths and inventions that continue to define the idea of Africa and its culture.

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ANDY FRIEDMAN: an evening with the celebrated cartoonist-turned-country crooner.

His gag cartoons are seen by millions of people every week in the pages of The New Yorker, and other publications, but the songs written by “hard scrabble singer-songwriter” (Time Out New York) and “erudite redneck” (Boston Globe) Andy Friedman aren’t written for laughs. “Friedman has a mastery of wordy self-loathing that many white dudes with guitars would kill for,” says the Nashville Scene. Friedman will discuss his late-blooming and unexpected transition from a mailroom jockey at The New Yorker into a full-time life as an illustrator and singer-songwriter on the road.

Also an internationally renown editorial illustrator, Friedman’s ink portraits of cultural luminaries appear in the pages of most popular periodicals, including The New Yorker—where he has been a regular contributor for over a decade, and where he has also published over a dozen gag cartoons under the pseudonym “Larry Hat”—New York Times, GQ, Rolling Stone, New York, Esquire, and scores of other newspapers and magazines around the globe

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RALPH GIBSON: a lecture and image presentation by the world-renowned photographer and filmmaker.

Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the U.S. Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance of “The Somnambulist” in 1970, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date, he has produced over 40 monographs, his most current projects being “State of the Axe” which was published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and “Nude” by Taschen, 2009. His photographs are included in over 150 museum collections around the world, including the The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.

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