A Concerto is a (Beautiful) Conversation with Michael Morgan

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Editor’s note: On August 20, 2021 Michael Morgan unexpectedly passed away at age 63 from an infection. In the weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital he had conducted at the San Francisco Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival. The Oakland Symphony paid tribute to him.)

In April, 2021, ten documentary short subject films were short-listed for this year’s Oscars. At their best, documentary shorts tell a compelling story that, while lacking in length (they must be under 40 minutes) still manage to grab and hold us, leaving us richer for the experience.

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BEING A CENTURY OLD DOESN’T STOP BETTY REID SOSKIN AND ANNA HALPRIN FROM ROCKIN’ OUR WORLD

BY C.J. Hirschfield

Writer Pearl S. Buck said that “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.”

Two of the remarkable Bay Area women featured in the 10th annual Legacy Film Festival on Aging have seemingly done just that, and they’ve used their collective 200 (!) years of rich experience to arrive at a place where they now choose to enlighten and inspire.

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SXSW Wraps Virtual Festival

By Andrea Chase

SXSW 2021 went virtual. The group experience was missing, but the films were just as compelling. There were the headliners and award-winners that grabbed a lot of attention, and rightly so. Megan Park’s narrative THE FALLOUT won the narrative feature competition for laying out the impossibility of feeling secure in a world where violence can erupt at any time and any place, while Jeremy Workman’s LILY TOPPLES THE WORLD, winner of the feature documentary award, shares the virtual community surrounding the sheer pleasure of watching the dominos so carefully set up by its subject line topple with giddy, clacking rhythm.

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A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

By Andrea Chase

In conversation after a watch party for A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION, co-subject and co-director (with Ben Proudfoot) Kris Bowers said that part of the reason he wanted to make the film because the Emmy™-winning composer thought his grandfather, Horace Bowers, Sr., was a hero. A hero who should be celebrated. He also wanted to have an in-depth conversation with him while the 91-year-old was still with us. The result is a tender and intimate portrait of strength, joy, and how family shapes us.

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