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    Kelli Scarr

    October 7th, 2009

    Our wonderful composer Kelli Scarr just put out a brand new EP. She’s currently touring around the world, opening for and playing alongside Moby (who also helped produce the record).

    Download the EP for FREE.
    See her on TOUR (upcoming stops in Guadalajara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland & Vancouver).
    • Look out for her new full-length album in early 2010.

    And don’t forget to Buy the In A Dream DVD featuring music from Kelli, The Books, Explosions in the Sky, Efterklang, Colleen & Bibio. Moises Chiullan from Hollywood Elsewhere/Arthouse Cowboy reviewed the DVD and even plugged our Limited Edition Version!

    I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of Jeremiah Zagar’s masterful work of mosaic documentary filmmaking since I saw it a year and a half ago at South by Southwest 2008, before it made the shortlist for Best Documentary feature at last year’s Oscars. In a Dream delves into his family history, specifically focusing on his father Isaiah’s battles with madness and genius and how those epic wars within himself affect those who love him…The supplemental materials are all easily re-watchable, including a short hidden one that I watched two and three times after finding it…there’s also a very unique Limited Edition version being sold off their website for $60 that they’re only doing 500 of total…My assumption (as should be yours) is that a larger portion of these sales goes to the filmmakers on top of the fact that the additional extras listed are worth investigating.

    Thanks Moises. You can read the whole review here.


    Boston: 2 Screenings Down, 3 To Go

    July 5th, 2009
    Isaiah and Julia Zagar from the film "In A Dream"

    Julia and Isaiah Zagar from the film "IN A DREAM"

    In A Dream’s friday night screening at the MFA in Boston was fantastic. Despite it being the day before July 4th, there was still a large and wonderfully engaged crowd at the theater. This morning there was another screening and there are three more in the next seven days for those that spent the holiday weekend out-of-town or otherwise occupied.

    The remaining screening schedule is below:
    Thursday, July 9th, 12:30pm
    Saturday, July 11th, 12pm
    Sunday, July 12th, 10:15am

    Buy tickets and then RSVP on Facebook.

    Laura Bennett of The Boston Globe ran a great review of the film on Friday. We’ve excerpted a piece of it below:

    The streets of Isaiah Zagar’s South Philadelphia neighborhood are flush with mosaic: giddy sweeps of tessellated color that swallow whole stretches of wall. For decades, Zagar has blanketed surfaces with tiles, mirror shards, glasswork, bicycle spokes – explosive constellations unfurled from a delirious brain. “In a Dream,’’ a documentary directed by his youngest son, Jeremiah, is a love story between a man and his art, a man and his wife, and, in a way, between father and son. Jeremiah Zagar doesn’t sugarcoat his father’s infinite narcissism and social eccentricities, but he paints a tender and sensitive portrait of a modern-day Don Quixote trapped in his own grand, wifty delusions.

    Isaiah looks like a mad prophet, with his furrowed face and woolly beard. He spouts lofty pronouncements about art and life and his quest for creative glory. “I was his reality base,’’ says Julia, Isaiah’s sweet, earthy wife of 43 years. “And he was my bird. He flew around.’’ But the whimsical plot darkens as Ezekiel, their moony eldest son, wrestles with drug addiction, and Isaiah reveals that he has been having an affair with his assistant. Jeremiah Zagar captures some remarkably intimate footage. We see Julia’s eyes brim when she learns of Isaiah’s infidelity, and we hear Isaiah lash out at his mistress in a moment of scathing regret.

    Through it all, Isaiah sketches Julia’s face compulsively in his notebook and paints her name on the tiles in his garden. And when Ezekiel returns from rehab, Isaiah says, “No matter what happens to Zeke, he’s part of my art world.’’ Even his loved ones are bright trinkets in the landscape of his imagination.

    Read the rest.


    Museum of Fine Arts Boston

    July 1st, 2009

    In A Dream screens five times from July 3rd to the 12th

    In A Dream opens this Friday, July 3rd at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We began this film while going to school in the area—Emerson College & Boston University—so it is exciting to finally show the film in town.

    The full screening schedule is below:
    Friday, July 3rd, 8pm (director, producer & subjects in attendence)
    Sunday, July 5th, 2pm
    Thursday, July 9th, 12:30pm
    Saturday, July 11th, 12pm
    Sunday, July 12th, 10:15am

    Buy tickets and then RSVP on Facebook.

    Gerald Peary’s Boston Phoenix review is out today.

    For seven years, Jeremiah Zagar has had the camera rolling as his hippie parents keep their symbiotic marriage afloat — though Isaiah, his fragile painter dad, teeters on the edge of lunacy. Julia, the doting wife, stands by while Isaiah, a bearded, red-eyed Old Testament prophet, sublimates his semi-madness into obsessive art.

    He’s pledged to transform South Philadelphia, the cheese-steak capital, into a mosaic-covered palace. So far, he’s rehabbed seven eroding buildings; they’re now, every inch, a bejeweled, broken-mirror mosaic land, basement to attic. Tourists go wild!

    All of this is weird but harmless, but then a house-wrecking young thing enters the picture. Zagar, the brave son, keeps filming as his bold, visionary dad turns out to have feet of clay. There are lots of filmmakers out there making documentaries about their parents. In a Dream is one of the most unusual, and most probing and honest.

    The reviewer is a filmmaker himself. Below is his trailer for For The Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Chicago Review

    June 29th, 2009

    A review from the Sun-Times by Bill Stamets:

    “In a Dream” is filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar’s documentary portrait of his father. Although the father scatters allusions to his muses and demons in his artworks, the son composes this poetic biopic with more legible through-lines about his passions. “In a Dream” reveals that Jeremiah inherited Isaiah’s aesthetic of delicacy. Both artists delight in small illuminating details.

    Instead of dwelling on his father’s career as an outsider artist, Zagar delivers an insider look into a past that includes boyhood sexual encounters with a fisherman, a suicide attempt and a stint in a mental hospital. Meanwhile, during the film’s six-year shoot, Zagar’s older brother goes into rehab. When their father reveals his infidelity, their mother kicks him out. “In a Dream” turns into a chronicle of a creative family in crisis.

    The film is still playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center. There are three days left! Go see it.


    Seattle, WA + AMC Film Critic

    June 11th, 2009

    Picture 2

    In A Dream opens tomorrow at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, WA. It plays all week and you can purchase tickets right here.

    The film was also reviewed today by Norm Schrager from AMC Film Critic. An excerpt:

    Like any incisive documentary filmmaker, Jeremiah is able to record the difficult and extract the unexpected. It’s a skill tougher than it seems, and keeps both audience and subjects on their toes. During an early interview, Isaiah blurts out information about a suicide attempt from roughly 40 years earlier. When his son gently digs deeper, dad admits he didn’t expect such a grave fact would appear so early in the process.

    Zagar’s strong approach is coupled with that zinger of a visual style (including original animation, by the way), and some spooky music by a pair of innovative guys called The Books. The whole thing is an artistic celebration of sorts — with the emotional pain that can come with dedication, and maybe a little madness.

    Read the entire article.


    Salt Lake City & Key West

    May 8th, 2009

    In A Dream opens today at the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida. It will play all week at both theaters.

    An excerpt from Sean P. Means review in the Salt Lake City Tribune:

    Jeremiah Zagar — who directed and co-edited the film, and shot much of the internal family footage — doesn’t shy away from the tougher questions about his father’s past, his parents’ relationship, and his mother’s willingness to bury her own dreams to support her husband’s unique vision. And, yet, his camera never feels intrusive or unwelcome, because Jeremiah’s presence makes the viewer a part of the family.

    As troubled as the Zagars’ family life is, the other marvel of “In a Dream” is how Jeremiah captures his father’s mosaics. Father and son have a lot in common; both of them take the small pieces of a chaotic life and turn them into something beautiful.

    Jeremiah and Executive Producer Geralyn White Dreyfous were interviewed by the paper. A brief excerpt:

    “You knew you were in the presence of somebody really original — and a discovery,” Dreyfous said.

    Dreyfous, executive director of the Salt Lake City Film Center, is bringing Jeremiah to Salt Lake City for tonight’s premiere — part of a 16-city tour of the film, before it debuts on HBO in August.

    Read the entire article.


    Homecoming

    April 16th, 2009

    In A Dream opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse in Philadelphia. The Inquirer featured director Jeremiah Zagar on the cover of the Magazine section for a story by Steven Rea called Family Film.

    An excerpt:

    NEW YORK – When Jeremiah Zagar was a chubby, awkward kid (his description – he’s neither anymore), he and his father, Isaiah, marched from their house on South Street to the Ritz to watch Terry Gilliam’s eye-popping fabulist fantasy, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

    Afterward, Jeremiah insisted they stay and watch it again. And again.

    Two decades and innumerous movie marathons later, Zagar has applied that same obsessive passion to his own films. In a Dream, his documentary feature debut, opens tomorrow at the Ritz at the Bourse after spending a year on the festival circuit, nabbing prizes from San Francisco to Woodstock, N.Y., Austin, Texas, to Philadelphia. In August, it premieres on HBO.

    Read the the whole article. And now an excerpt from the Inquirer review, also by Steven Rea:

    Isaiah Zagar’s art is all over Philadelphia’s South Street corridor. And his restless spirit – and painful secrets – are all over In a Dream, a stunning, deeply personal documentary portrait by the muralist’s youngest son, Jeremiah Zagar.

    Mixing old home movies, wonderful animated sequences derived from Isaiah’s art, and scenes of Isaiah at work, of Julia in agony, and of their eldest son, Zeke, grappling with his own demons, In a Dream captures a family in a state of implosion.

    The Zagars’ lives are laid bare, in broken bits, like the ceramic Isaiah uses for his art. And they come together in In a Dream in a mosaic of sadness and beauty, rage and insight.

    Jeremiah and his folks were also interviewed yesterday by Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY’s Radiotimes. You can hear the whole interview here.


    Philadelphia & San Francisco Reviews

    April 15th, 2009

    In A Dream opens tomorrow in Philadelphia at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse. The reviews are starting to trickle in and here’s what Shaun Brady at Philadelphia City Paper had to say:

    City paper grade: [A]

    Jeremiah trained his camera on Isaiah at his mother Julia’s urging, and even in the early going manages to capture both his warmth and the darker shadings of someone who others may dismiss as an eccentric…Jeremiah strikes a delicate balance between empathy and honesty, exposing the family’s darkest secrets — his brother’s drug addiction, his father’s memories of molestation, attempted suicide and madness — but never losing sight of their basic humanity.

    Read the rest. And if you want to go more in-depth, you can read Brady’s feature Truth Be Tiled from last year’s Philadelphia Film Festival issue of the paper.

    The film opens tomorrow at The Roxie in San Francisco as well and this is from the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

    The Zagars aren’t anybody’s idea of a standard-issue nuclear unit, but this quietly engaging portrait transcends train-wreck fascination because for all their quirks, they are functional — close, loving, and supportive. Also, because Isaiah’s epic mosaics of tile, paint, and embedded detritus are so remarkable, you’ll want to book the next flight to Philly to see them first-hand.

    Read the whole review.


    The Chosen Film

    April 15th, 2009
    Extended through April 23rd!

    Extended through April 23rd!

    First things first: In A Dream has been extended at the Cinema Village in New York City through April 23rd. Thank you to everyone who came out and made the opening weekend a success. Please spread the word and let your friends know the film is still in theaters through the weekend and into next week.

    Next: In A Dream, as some of you may know, is about a Jewish family. The Jewish press have been paying attention and a review by George Robinson was published today in The Jewish Week.

    My late mother-in-law had a saying: “Who knows what goes on with couples?”

    She would have loved “In a Dream,” a new documentary now playing at Cinema Village. The film traces the lives of a seemingly happy Jewish artsy-bohemian family, as told by the youngest son, filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar. And two-thirds of the way through the film, everything – and everyone – starts to fall apart. Mind you, in a film in which all the family members seem unusually proud of dad’s eccentricities (which include being a victim of sexual molestation as a boy and a stint in a mental hospital as a young husband), the seeming disintegration is less than totally unexpected.

    What is a surprise, though, is how warm, funny and, finally, affirmative “In a Dream” turns out to be.

    And lets not forget the great Jewish Exponent article from Michael Elkin the other week:

    The Moses of mosaics, with South Street his Sinai, Isaiah Zagar, zigging while other artists zag, has also broken a commandment or two.No burning bushes to bemoan, but a number of burned bridges by an artist whose creativity has also cratered his own life, beset by beauties and beasts, and brushes with the bathetic, as well as greatness.

    All of which suffuses his son’s moving movie — and reverie of remembrances — “In a Dream,” a commanding and iconic inquest into the heart and art of his famously familiar father, whose mosaics molt and meld Philadelphia history from every shingle and roof from which they hang.

    “In a way,” says son Jeremiah, “Philadelphia has always been his Promised Land.”

    And he lives up to his own promise as fine filmmaker in this stunning work, already the recipient of a cavalcade of acclaim and applause, as well as festival awards — and seven years in the making.

    Read the rest. And remember, In A Dream opens this Friday, April 17th in Philadelphia, San Francisco & Athens, GA. More soon…


    Gay City News Loves IN A DREAM

    April 12th, 2009

    An In A Dream rave by Gary M. Kramer from yesterday’s Gay City News:

    “In a Dream,” a remarkable documentary about the Philadelphia artist/muralist Isaiah Zagar, belongs in the company of “Capturing the Friedmans” and “Tarnation,” two other excellent real-life “home movies.” Although this film does not have the criminal pathology elements of “Friedmans” or the sexual tensions of “Tarnation,” filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar’s portrait of his father battling demons past and present offers its own astonishing originality.

    And:

    Lovingly made, and featuring a haunting score that draws viewers into the beautiful images, “In a Dream” provides a heartrending portrait of a flawed but fascinating artist, father, and husband. This film is not to be missed.

    Read the rest of the review. The film is currently playing at the Cinema Village in New York. It opens next Friday, April 17th in Philadelphia, Athens Georgia & San Francisco.

    Latest screening schedule is below:

    New York, NY
    The Cinema Village
    Starting Friday, April 10th
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    Philadelphia, PA
    Landmark Ritz at the Bourse
    Starting Friday, April 17th
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    San Francisco, CA
    The Roxie
    Starting Friday, April 17th
    RSVP on Facebook

    Athens, GA

    Ciné
    Starting Friday, April 17th
    RSVP on Facebook

    Bozeman, MT
    The Procrastinator Theatre
    Thursday, April 23rd – Tuesday, April 28th

    Los Angeles, CA
    Laemmle Music Hall
    Starting Friday, April 24th

    Santa Fe, NM
    Center for Contemporary Arts
    Starting Friday, May 1st

    Salt Lake City, UT
    The Tower Theatre
    Starting Friday, May 8th