Skip to main content

OLD WEIRD AMERICA: HARRY SMITH'S ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC

USA, 2007 (MIFF 2007, Backbeat)

Director: Rani Singh

OLD WEIRD AMERICA: HARRY SMITH'S ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC

“My dreams came true… I saw America changed by music.” - Harry Smith Filmmaker, musician, painter, mystic and string collector… Harry Smith was a man of many talents. He was catapulted into the American cultural conscious after spearheading the Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952. From the book's initial compilation of 78 records from rural Americana through to its influence on today's artists, such as Elvis Costello, Beth Orton, Nick Cave, Beck and Sonic Youth, this celebratory film assembles concert footage with interviews and archival images to create what is, essentially, a wild ride through a remarkable musical landscape. Rani Singh is the founder and director of the Harry Smith Archives and worked as Smith's assistant for several years before his death in 1991. This documentary is her feature film debut.

D Rani Singh P Rani Singh, Adam Hyman WS Rani Singh TD digibeta&DVcam/2006/90mins

See also...

RESPECT YOURSELF: THE STAX RECORDS STORY

“Motown had the sweet, but Stax had the funk.” - Rufus Thomas, Stax Artist ... In an era of heightened racism and segregation, white bank clerk Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton moved into ... More »

CSNY DÉjÀ VU (M)

"No one song can change the world. But that doesn't mean its time to stop singing." - Neil Young ... There's a sense of déjà vu for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as they reunite to once again take ... More »

SWEET LADY WITH THE NASTY VOICE, THE

“You can hear lots of rocking girl singers who owe an unconscious debt to a woman like Wanda [Jackson]. She was standing up on stage with a guitar in her hand while other gals were still asking ... More »

PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG

“I don't know if Pete Seeger believes in saints, but I believe he is one.” - Chicago Sun-Times ... A man and a musician who believes music can change the world, Pete Seeger continues to be what ... More »

WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS

“This movie is the story of the band, but it is also an insight into a moment in time that will never be repeated.” - producer Dick Wolf ... Blessed with unseen footage by the surviving members ... More »

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM

"You may not know their names, but the performances of these instantly recognizable backups singers are unforgettable." - Hollywood Reporter ... The back-up singers who made great songs greater and ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director