One of my favorite shorts from SXSW has made its way into public circulation. It is “A Brief History of John Baldessari” The short is narrated by Tom Waits, so it has that going for it.
I saw this in the Documentary Shorts category at SXSW. The word documentary has such a specific meaning for me, I would like to see documentary (as in documentary journalism) have its own category while innovative narrative non-fiction projects like this take a skill set that is more similar to narrative storytelling then reportage.
What I think is so successful here is the directors adopt Baldessari’s wit and style not to document him but to create their own version of a Baldessari about Baldessari. Fun and well written from the first line. Enjoy:
directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman (http://gosupermarche.com/) edited by Max Joseph (http://www.maxjoseph.com/) written by Gabriel Nussbaum (http://www.bankstreetfilms.com) cinematography by Magdalena Gorka (http://magdalenagorka.com/) & Henry Joost produced by Mandy Yaeger & Erin Wright