24 February 2011

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Last weekend we drove down the valley to Missoula to take in a few days of the 10-day long annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. It was fun to stay at Don & Andrea Stierle's new home up The Rattlesnake (they left Montana Tech, taking their high-level research programme to the "mother ship," The University of Montana, but that's another story) and to meet up with Celia Schahczenski for the festival.

The festival centers around the two screens at the old Wilma Theatre (built in 1921):

The Wilma doesn't look like much on the outside and it's not as grand as Butte's Motherlode Theatre or Anaconda's Washoe Theatre, but it is a nice place inside with the usual Rococo touches (although sorely in need of an improved sound system):

We only had a few days and I'm sure there were many other excellent films, but here are a few good selections. The Foodies among us loved the international competition featured in Kings of Pastry:

Artists and former Beatniks went for William S. Burroughs: A Man Within:

 No documentary film fest is complete without a quirky but beautiful selection. For this year at Big Sky, that award went to Steam of Life--"naked Finnish men in saunas speak straight from the heart about life, love, birth and friendship:"

For me and many others (it won the Best Feature prize for the festival), the very best of the lot was This Way of Life, an amazing intimate portrait of a New Zealand family with 6 kids and 50 horses living in an intimate connection with nature. This family -- kids and all -- jump horses over steep banks, ride horses up and down steep rocky slopes, and swim horses across swift rivers. If you love horses, romantic rural lifestyles, and amazing cinematography, SEE THIS FILM! It will be available on NetFlix in the near future.  Wow:

"What do I do for a living? I live for a living."


Should Fish More said...

Good poster of Burroughs, wonder it that image is the last thing his wife saw in Mexico.
Nice post, Pat.


Sean E said...

Awesome on the movie recommendation. I'll keep an eye out for that Pat.

secret agent woman said...

That sounds like my kind of event. I love quirky little movies.

Janie said...

I may sign up for Netflix just to get this film. Sounds great.