August 16, 2014
Figured I’d do a multi picture day to spice it up. Got a wicked jellyfish cowl-hooded shirt, some purty feathers in my hair, and members of the group Còig to sign a cd. So far, this has been an amazing trip. I even got up and touched back on an old skill of Irish Dancing. The desire to take it again is real.

“Something, something, daaark side…” has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities.

The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak “broadcast English.” Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value. They come from the same intellectual movement that gave rise to American studies, regional and ethnic studies, the “new history,” “performance theory,” and investigation of tenacious cultural styles in phenomena like song, dance, storytelling, visual designs, and ceremonies.They also respond to the intense political and social ferment of the period.


Can You Hear the Wind Howl: The Life and Music of Robert Johnson