Hands on a Hardbody: The STF Screening

On the eve of the Broadway premiere of Hands on a Hardbody: The Musical, director S.R. Bindler stopped by Stranger Than Fiction to present a New York premiere screening of his newly remastered classic Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary to a theater full of diehard Hardbody fans.  Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary was not only a high water mark for DIY, bootstrap filmmaking in the late1990s but was and continues to be one of the most entertaining and engaging documentaries of all time.  The fans of this documentary are legion, and for many years DVDs and prints of this out of print classic fetched hundreds of dollars on eBay – a situation that will no doubt be alleviated by the re-release of the newly mastered version of the film.

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Postscript to the STF Peter Davis Tribute

(Photo of Hugo Perez and Peter Davis)

image Last night, STF hosted a tribute to Peter Davis, a filmmaker and a gentleman, a scholar and writer best known in documentary circles for his classic HEARTS AND MINDS that earned him the 1975 Oscar for Best Documentary.  Much less known today is his landmark television series MIDDLETOWN, a series of six verité documentaries which aspired to create a portrait of life in America by telling stories that reflected 6 different aspects of American life: Getting a Living; Making a Home; Training the Young; Using Leisure; Engaging in Religious Practice; and Engaging in Community Activities.  The series was shot entirely in Muncie, Indiana from 1979 to 1982 with a team that included Peter Davis as Executive Producer and Director, Ricky Leacock as a Director, now A-List Hollywood DP John Lindley, editor Tom Haneke and others.  Originally aired in 1982, the MIDDLETOWN series has become increasingly hard to see.** Doc geeks like myself have only had the chance to see the films from the series on blurry VHS copies passed around from doc enthusiast to doc enthusiast like Russian Samizdat literature.  (One hopes that a company like Criterion might someday step in to make the films available as a DVD box-set.)

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