Listen to a Track from the SXSW-Winning Score for “The City Dark”

One of my favorite documentaries out of SXSW this year is Ian Cheney’s “The City Dark,” a film that explores the fading night sky, which we take for granted, and the problems with artificial light polluting our lives and planet (residents near an Upper West Side Duane Reade store in NYC know this well lately). The doc took home a prize for best documentary score, which is by Brooklyn’s The Fishermen Three (collaborating with producer Ben Fries), and now you can sample one of the great tracks from that score (here or here). Titled “Western Space Dance,” it’s kind of like if AIR did something with a plucky western score-style guitar. Strangely enough, a twangy song by All India Radio just came up on my Pandora mix, which is also quite comparable.

I mentioned the score in my review for Cinematical:

Compared to ‘King Corn,’ ‘The City Dark’ is a less informative and seemingly less crucial doc, but on an aesthetic level I enjoyed it a lot more. It has a kind of abstract and new age-y tone, rendered by the jangly ambient techno score by The Fishermen Three and Cheney’s quiet, contemplative voice-over narration.

Check out the trailer for the doc, which also features some of the music, after the jump.

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Short or Reality Series

Here’s something that just occurred to me while watching Cindy Meehl’s “Buck,” the documentary about a horse whisperer that won an audience award at Sundance and is now getting standing ovations at SXSW: some docs shouldn’t be features, but it’s sometimes hard to say if they should instead be a short or a TV series.

On the one hand, I really don’t think there’s enough of a story in “Buck” to play out near 90 minutes. It repeats itself a lot, particularly regarding its explicit metaphoric anti-abuse message. On the other hand, Buck Brannaman is such an amusing and likable character, and his on-the-road job is so episodic, that I could see his life further followed as a reality program.

I wonder how many other docs that seem ill-fit as features are the same, could go either other way.

Trailer: “The Other F Word”

This is a trailer for the SXSW doc The Other F Word, directed by Oscar nominee Andrea Blaugrund Nevins (producer of the 1997 short Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies). Featuring punk rock papas — the other f word is apparently father — from the Vandals, Bad Religion and Rise Against.

[via Pop Candy]

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