Carrboro film festival expands days, venues
The Eighth Annual Carrboro Film Festival has expanded to a two-day event at two different venues. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at the ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., and the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.
Begun in 2006, the festival presents short films in different genres by North Carolina filmmakers and filmmakers from around the country. At this year’s festival, 55 films will be screened, along with panel discussions and workshops.
For tickets, a complete list of films and venues, visit www.carrborofilmfestival.com.
Here are some brief reviews of some of the films that will be screened at the festival:
“Music Man Murray” by Richard Parks
Murray Gershenz, who died in September at age 91, was a cantor, character actor, and, most of all, a collector of recordings. Originally from New York, he settled in Los Angeles and married Bobette Cohen, a kindred music and record lover. Their combined collection of records became the basis for Music Man Murray, a store they opened in 1962 and finally closed in 2012.
In Richard Parks’ 2011 documentary, Gershenz is trying to sell the store and its contents so he can get on with “his next gig.” Most of this short documentary takes place in the store, where Gershenz tells his story. In the film’s most touching scene, a student of opera comes in to the store and asks about some recordings, and Gershenz shows his expert knowledge about operatic recordings. Parks also interviews Murray’s son Irving, whose eloquent tribute to the significance of recordings will make you tear up. “Music Man Murray” is a loving tribute to a man who followed his bliss.
“They Will Rest on the Mountain” by Ivan Weiss
Durham filmmaker Ivan Weiss has produced a short documentary tribute to Dee and Bernice Mitchell, married 60 years, who live on their farm in Elk Park, in western North Carolina. Weiss gives viewers a simple but powerful glimpse of this couple’s love for each other, their independent work ethic, and their strong faith.
“45 RPM” by Juli Jackson
Charlie Clark (played by Liza Burns), an artist struggling to find her personal vision, does not remember much about her father, but she does remember a 45 rpm record he made while in a band in Arkansas in the mid-1960s. With the encouragement of her roommate, Charlie goes to Memphis on a search for the recording. She meets Louie Traxler (Jason Thompson), the owner of a record store who collects rare, regional music. He suspects that a bass player he admires played on Charlie’s father’s record.
Soon, the two are on to road in Arkansas, searching old stores, flea markets, libraries and old radio stations in search of the only recording made by the Five Man Trip. Their search for this rare recording also mirrors Charlie’s search for her family’s roots, and her search for integrity as a visual artist.
In keeping with the visual arts theme, filmmaker Juli Jackson does some stunning work with animation (the scene where Charlie jumps from a bridge into a river is gorgeous). With “45 RPM,” filmmaker Jackson gives viewers a nostalgic look at old records, and one heck of a fun ride.