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Shoulder the Lion

Shoulder the Lion

A film by Erinnisse Rebisz and Patryk Rebisz
74 minutes, color, USA/Poland, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Video Descripton for the Blind, Director’s Audio Commentary, Chapter Markers, Behind the Scenes Photo Slideshow

File under: All Films, Art, Art and Music, Film Studies, Health, Home Video, Homepage, New Release, Photography

Synopsis

“Shoulder the Lion” pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking by taking audiences on a powerful visual and auditory journey into the interior worlds of people forced to cope with extreme loss of senses.

Humans can close their eyes but never stop listening. This simple fact signals the end of musician Graham Sharpe’s career as a pathological noise invades his hearing. Alice Wingwall, a photographer who goes blind because of retinal disease, uses words to trigger the memory chip of her brain supplying motivations for the new photos. In contrast, Katie Dallam (the real inspiration behind the film “Million Dollar Baby”), is beaten into a coma at her first professional boxing match and awakes weeks later without a memory or ability to filter the unfamiliar images she now paints.

Both thought-provoking and inspiring, “Shoulder The Lion” celebrates how the human spirit can triumph over adversity while finding new dreams and inspiration from within.

Reviews

“The filmmakers have succeeded in creating a film that immerses viewers in an expressionistic experience. The film is beautiful in making the imaginative connections between the artists and their work, despite the many challenges they face. This is definitely not a conventional documentary, but transcends mundane objectivity to convey a heartwarming emotional subjectivity of the human spirit overcoming physical obstacles.” Rodney Buxton, Associate Professor in Media, Film and Journalism Studies, University of Denver

“‘Shoulder the Lion’ has opened the doors for artistic cinematic storytelling in the documentary format for many years to come.” Fernando Fernandez, Fern TV

“One of the more unique documentaries I’ve seen. A work of art in itself.” Stephen Pizzello, American Cinematographer

“This beautifully shot film follows three figures whose lives have been shaken due to sensory losses. The filmmakers use sophisticated camera techniques and soundtracks to simulate the subjects’ sensory deprivations and triumphs over adversity. This artistic film is a moving portrayal of the human spirit.”  Candace Smith, Booklist  Read full review

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More Reviews The Odds of Recovery

More Reviews – The Odds of Recovery

“Over the years, Friedrich has blazed a path for a different kind of filmmaking—and a different kind of filmgoing experience. Lyrical, poetic, passionate and innovative, Friedrich’s films are among the most rewarding cinematic delicacies you’ll ever find.”Jenni Olson, Bay Area Reporter

“…the deft interplay of voices, words and images creates a steady accretion of metaphors and insights that are sharp and multilayered. While Friedrich effectively critiques Western medicine and demonstrates exhilarating filmmaking skills, its true achievement is as self-portraiture, boldly revealing a woman in all her difficult, naked complexity.” Holly Willis, LA Weekly

Return to The Odds of Recovery

The Odds of Recovery

The Odds of Recovery

a film by Su Friedrich
65 minutes, Color, USA, 2002, 16mm
DVD includes: English and Spanish Subtitles,  Scene Selections, Bonus Films “Head of a Pin”

File under: All Films, Health, Home Video, Su Friedrich

Synopsis

After a twenty year period of multiple illnesses and injuries, Friedrich turns the camera on herself as a way to analyze her chances for a happier, healthier life. In the process, she captures the frustration, tedium and petty annoyances of a revolving-door relationship with the medical establishment, while portraying the complicated web of emotions that accompany any medical problem. With humor and honesty, ‘The Odds of Recovery’ uses the filmmaker’s medical history as a means to address a perennial human problem: the desire to avoid conflict and deny the need for radical change.

Plus Bonus Film

THE HEAD OF A PIN
a film by Su Friedrich
21 minutes, Color, USA, 2004, Video

“The Head of a Pin” reveals the awkward ruminations of the filmmaker and her friends as they attempt to learn about nature. Starting out as an examination of the differences between urban and rural life, the film turns unexpectedly into a wry portrait of what happens when city dwellers encounter a country spider.

Reviews

“…plays with the genre of the self-portrait…all in interwoven layers of narrative…allows us to see a life and a relationship through these transparent and yet illuminating layers.” Brian Kiteley English & Creative Writing, Duke University

“Friedrich makes flinty and form-minded, extremely pragmatic, highly personal, affecting movies.” J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

“Friedrich’s latest feature takes a sometimes discomfiting but engrossing, good-humored look at her own long history of medical problems…Deftly assembled pic captures the frustration, tedium and petty annoyances of a revolving-door relationship with medical practitioner..”Recovery” [also] nicely limns the satisfaction brought by creativity in the kitchen and garden, with latter’s seasonal changes providing an overall conceptual frame…Nearly one-woman package is confidently assembled, with plenty of hands-on authorial flavor.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

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