NFB rolls out the Socalled movie in Canadian theatres

Montreal, May 19, 2010 – A scintillating new coproduction from the National Film Board of Canada and reFrame Films, The “Socalled” Movie, is about to screen theatrically in cities across Canada. The run follows the feature film’s U.S. debut on YouTube’s new pay-per-view platform and its recent success at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival. A surefire audience pleaser, The “Socalled” Movie will play in Montreal (opening June 4 at Cinéma du Parc and June 5 at the Segal Centre’s CinemaSpace); Quebec City (opening June 4 at Le Clap); Toronto (opening June 11 at the Royal); Ottawa (opening June 18 at the Mayfair); and Vancouver (opening July 19 at the Vancity).  Montreal screenings at Cinéma du Parc will be in the original English version with French subtitles, as will the Ottawa and Quebec City run.

Directed by Garry Beitel, produced by Ravida Din (NFB) and Barry Lazar (reFrame), The “Socalled” Movie percolates with nonstop music and vibrant characters. Topping the cast is Socalled himself, aka Josh Dolgin, a young, artistically fearless music creator and performer who mashes up funk and hip-hop with Jewish klezmer. And beyond having great musical skills, Socalled is a funny guy. “If Woody Allen and Lil Wayne had a love child it would be Josh Dolgin,” says filmmaker and Hot Docs programmer Lynne Fernie. Award-winning director Beitel sees the star of his film as having “an amazing ability to take great music from the past and plug it into the current moment.”

The film shows Socalled introducing funk trombone legend Fred Wesley (of James Brown fame) to klezmer, while wowing Wesley with his knowledge of funk. When Dolgin comes across LPs from the 1950s by lounge pianist Irving Fields, he looks up 94-year-old Fields and inspires him to pen a new hit song. The “Socalled” Movie also explores the musician’s creative partnerships with singer Katie Moore; renowned klezmer clarinettist David Krakauer; filmmaker Benjamin Steiger Levine, who directed Socalled’s hit video You are Never Alone); and cello virtuoso Matt Haimovitz.

The “Socalled” Movie is a unique kaleidoscopic portrait of a man full of surprises. Socalled is a pianist, singer, arranger, rapper, producer and composer – and also a magician, filmmaker and visual artist – a creative force who blasts through the boundaries that separate music of different cultures, eras and generations. Taking its cues from Socalled’s modus operandi, the cinematic style of the documentary samples his work and offers up 18 entertaining, exquisitely edited short films about his vivacious artistic process. The film was shot in Socalled’s Montreal neighbourhood, where Hasidic Jews and hipsters crowd the sidewalks, and in New York, France and the Ukraine.

visit the film’s official website

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