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Monday, August 20, 2007

State Historical Society Of Iowa News Release

Just received this important news from SHSI. Of course the upcoming movie Mississippi Blues is coming up September, 6th and 8th, but another film in February also has a blues connection. Here is the release from SHSI:

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

600 E. Locust Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319


Contact: Jeff Morgan, 515-281-3858

Historical Museum announces 2007-2008 film series

Mississippi Blues kicks off “Movies at the Museum” in September

DES MOINES – The State Historical Museum today announced its 2007-2008 “Movies at the Museum” film series begins in September with Mississippi Blues, a documentary that explores the origins of the blues.

In Mississippi Blues, filmmakers Robert Parrish and Bertrand Tavernier document their journey through America’s Deep South searching for the roots of blues music. Along the way, they uncover unlikely characters and compile some of the most amazingly raw performance footage ever put on film.

Co-sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society, Mississippi Blues will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 6th and 2 p.m. Sept. 8th at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Admission is $5 at or at the door; CIBS members receive $1 off the admission fee. Beer and wine will be available.

Following the Sept. 8th matinee, Tom Gary, author of A Place Called Center Street, will lead a historical discussion – “Center Street Retrospective” – with Hobart DePatton and Iowa Blues Hall of Fame members George Davis, Mel Harper, Ron McClain and Harlan Thomas, who will also perform.

DePatton is the son of Robert E. Patten, who operated a Des Moines printing business serving the African-American community from the 1920s to the 1960s. Patten printed many of the social club events posters that provide a glimpse into Des Moines’ Center Street nightlife, which is showcased in the Historical Museum’s exhibit, Patten’s Neighborhood: Memories of the Center Street Community.

In addition, the museum also will receive donations Sept. 6th and 8th for the Jimmy Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, which supports Iowa students enrolled in a music program at an accredited college or university. The legendary Jimmy “Midnite Cowboy” Pryor was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 1990, and died in 2006.

Following is the State Historical Museum’s 2007-2008 “Movies at the Museum” schedule:


Mississippi Blues – co-sponsored by the Central Iowa Blues Society

Thursday, September 6, 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 8, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

Directors Bertrand Tavernier and Robert Parrish filmed entirely in America’s Deep South exploring the origins of the blues. They capture the authentic sounds; people singing in churches, homes, cafes and farms.


Special World Premiere – Lost Nation: The Ioway

Thursday, October 11, 7 & 9 p.m.

Admission: $14 at or at the door

World Premiere event includes movie, reception, atrium displays, Ioway drummers and dancers from Oklahoma, and Q&A with filmmakers.

Friday, October 12, 7 & 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 13, 2 & 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 14, 1 p.m.

Admission: $8 at or at the door

From the creators of the award-winning documentary, Villisca: Living with a Mystery, comes the world premiere of Lost Nation: The Ioway, which tells the nearly forgotten story of Iowa’s early inhabitants. Filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle trace the story of the Ioway – from their ancestors, known as the Oneota, to their present day locations in Kansas and Oklahoma. The dramatic saga of Iowa’s early inhabitants unfolds in this documentary.

Between 1676 and 1802, the Ioway found themselves caught between warring European superpowers culminating in the Louisiana Purchase. The film explores how the small tribe was caught between colonizers and, by virtue of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, how they were gradually pushed out of the territory just before the state of Iowa was named after them. The documentary brings together commentary from historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, Ioway Elders, and new footage of historic sites, photographs, documents, art from the Smithsonian Institute, and other national museums, music, legends, dances, powwows and reenactments. The Rundles will conduct a discussion of the film following the movie Thursday through Saturday. Melinda Carriker, caretaker of the 1700 Ioway Village at Living History Farms, will answer questions after Sunday’s screening.



Thursday, November 1, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 3, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

Children of United States military personnel share intimate memories about their unique childhoods – growing up on military bases around the world, and then struggling to fit into an American lifestyle with which they have little in common. Narrated and featuring songs by Kris Kristofferson. Interviews include General Norman Schwarzkopf.


Anthem: An American Road Story

Thursday, December 6, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 8, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

A captivating, cross-country adventure brought to life by two young women who take the road to explore and expose the American Dream. Armed with a Powerbook and a couple of cameras, filmmakers Shainee Gabel (writer/director of Golden Globe-nominated A Love Song for Bobby Long) and Kristin Hahn (Executive Producer of Academy Award-winning The Departed) find themselves driving recklessly through the back roads of Aspen with Hunter S. Thompson, chilling out with Willie Nelson on his tour bus, musing with Robert Redford in the mountains of Sundance and inadvertently breaking the rules in the West Wing – all the while chronicling the people they meet along the way in gas stations and diners. Anthem is a unique and irreverent time capsule of the American Spirit at the dawn of the 21st century. Starring: Chuck D., Rita Dove, Geraldine Ferraro, George McGovern, Willie Nelson, Robert Redford, Tom Robbins, George Stephanopoulos, Michael Stipe, Studs Terkel, Hunter S. Thompson, John Waters and many others


The War Room

Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 19, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

This popular documentary The War Room takes us inside Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and the exciting, topsy-turvy race that proved to be one of the most memorable in U.S. history and came to define American political discourse for the 1990s. Director D.A. Pennebaker provides a personal, up-close view of the two principals: campaign managers James Carville and George Stephanopoulos as they try to stay on top of the exploding maelstrom of events – from scandalous, personal smear tactics to the rise of quixotic spoiler Ross Perot. With remarkable confidence and media-savvy, they maintain order and forward momentum by steering public discourse away from negative issues of character and draft-dodging and back to the focus of their candidate’s policies. They also create convincing catchphrases (It’s the Economy, Stupid!) and keep the perspective on domestic issues tailor-made to benefit Clinton. The War Room is a harrowing emotional roller coaster of unfolding drama and suspense, loaded with historic significance and personal intimacy.


Genghis Blues

Thursday, February 7, 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

The extraordinary odyssey of a U.S. musician of Cape Verdean ancestry to Tannu Tuva in central Asia, where nomadic people throat-sing more than one note simultaneously using vocal harmonics. A bluesman, Paul Pena, blind and recently widowed, taught himself throat singing and was by chance invited to the 1995 throat-singing symposium in Kyzyl. Helped by the “Friends of Tuva,” Pena makes the arduous journey. Singing in the deep, rumbling kargyraa style, Pena gives inspired performances at the festival, composes songs in Tuvan, washes his face in sacred rivers, expresses the disorientation of blindness in foreign surroundings, and makes a human connection with everyone he meets. It is unlikely that you’ve ever seen a film quite like Genghis Blues. A totally fascinating portrait of a San Francisco Bluesman and his trip to the land of Tuva. This is the kind of film that film festivals were meant to show.


Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme

Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 8, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

Explosively documenting the story of a group of underground hip-hop MCs & DJs from the early 1980s to the present day, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a documentary that explores the world of improvisational rap – the rarely recorded art form of rhyming spontaneously, or “off the top of the head.” Made over the course of more than seven years, mostly with borrowed or stolen cameras by a co-operative of students, b-boys, DJs, and MCs. Known as The Center for Hip-Hop Education, Freestyle takes the viewer on a journey through the previously unexamined dimensions of hip-hop as a spiritual and community based art form.

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme combines the best of independent art house cinema within the hip-hop mix tape format. The project features appearances by: Supernatural, Mos Def, Freestyle Fellowship, Lord Finesse, Cut Chemist, Craig G, Juice, DJ Kool Herc, Boots of the Coup, Medusa, Planet Asia, Sway, Crazy Legs, Jurasic-5, Wordsworth, Bobitto Garcia, and The Last Poets.


Our Brand Is Crisis

Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 5, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

For decades, U.S. strategists-for-hire have been quietly molding the opinions of voters and the messages of candidates in elections from the Middle East to the South American jungle. With flabbergasting access to think sessions, media training and the making of smear campaigns, we watch how the consultants’ marketing strategies shape the relationship between a leader and his people. Our Brand is Crisis is an astounding look at one group’s campaign to elect the President of Bolivia and its earth-shattering aftermath.


In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 3, 2 p.m.

Admission: $5 at or at the door

Deemed “Fellini and Bergman wrapped in one gloriously possessed body,” Maya Deren is arguably the most important and innovative avant-garde documentary filmmaker in the history of American cinema. Using locations from the Hollywood Hills to Haiti in the 1940s and 1950s, Deren made such mesmerizing documentaries as At Land, Ritual in Transfigured Time, and her masterpiece, Meshes of the Afternoon, which won a prestigious international experimental filmmaking prize at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival. Starting with excerpts from these documentaries, In the Mirror seamlessly and effectively interweaves archival footage and observances from acolytes and contemporaries such as Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas with an original score by experimental jazz legend John Zorn. Documentarian Martina Kudlacek has fashioned not only a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking and influential artist, but a pitch-perfect introduction to her strikingly beautiful and poetic body of work.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at

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