Screening of The Response
7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29
UA College of Law
Speedway Boulevard and Mountain Avenue
(602) 650-1854; www.theresponsemovie.com
Sig Libowitz was a law student with a fascination for national security and a background in filmmaking.
In law school, he came across a transcript from a court hearing at Guantánamo Bay. It was the first attempt by a military tribunal judge to publish something from the hearings. The government had redacted all but one page—but what Libowitz found on that page shocked him."
This is the page they let through," he says.
With the support of a professor, Libowitz set off on the research that would eventually lead to The Response. The movie turned out to be a 30-minute court drama, split into two parts. The first depicts the court hearing of an accused terrorist. Given the stringent national security laws of the tribunals, almost all of the evidence brought against the accused terrorist, played by Aasif Mandvi (of The Daily Show), was kept secret. The second half of the movie depicts the deliberations that took place in private.
Much of the dialogue in the first half was taken word for word from transcripts. Detainees questioned the fairness of these proceedings time and time again, Libowitz says.
Libowitz's goal is not to tell the audience what to think, but rather to lay out the cases as they happened. The tribunal judges were often as troubled as the detainees.
"The movie is about the officers on the ground trying to deal with the orders they're given," he says. "The more you learn, the more you see the (shades of gray)."
The film has been screened by the Pentagon and Department of Justice and has been accepted by several film festivals. Libowitz says he's working on possible television airings for the film.
The event is free. —N.M.
Willie Nelson/Johnny Cash Tribute and Fundraiser
8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26
VFW Post #4903
1150 N. Beverly Ave.
Call them outlaws. Call them troubadours. Call them the quintessential Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have earned some impressive titles, and now the singer/songwriters are rollin' 'round the Tucson bend.
Well, not really. Cash died in 2003, and the "red-headed stranger" is toting his guitar throughout the country on his American Classic tour. However, a number of Tucson artists will cover their greatest hits at a fundraiser put on by the nonprofit Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association.
The money raised at this event will help fund the 25th annual Tucson Folk Festival, which is free to all, in May 2010.
"The local singers will no doubt do their own versions and get creative with the songs," says event organizer Linda Lou Reed, who has been an active member of TKMA since 1985.
The event is a celebration of Americana music, a genre that Linda says deserves more appreciation. Think of Americana as the sort of rockabilly, folk and rhythm and blues fusion that Cash and Nelson helped popularize. Apparently, the fiddle and banjo twang associated with music of this sort has fallen out of favor with some in the younger crowd. Who knew?
"Today's music has its basis in Americana, country and acoustic," she says. "We want to enhance cultural awareness of the folk arts and bring acoustic music out to the people!"
The artists scheduled to perform at the tribute include local luminaries Ned Sutton, Larry Armstrong, Stefan George, "Cactus" Dan Oved and Reed herself.
A full cash bar provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars will encourage a sing-along, especially for the grand finale "Poncho and Lefty."
Tickets are available at the door: $10 for general admission, and $8 for TKMA members. —E.N.
Montage of Madness
Found Footage Festival: Volume IV
8 and 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26
3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
Inspiration can strike when you least expect it.
For Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, it was on a couch in Wisconsin, circa 1989. They were watching the science-fiction sitcom Small Wonder.
"That was the first time we realized that this show is terrible," says Prueher. "But it is entertainingly terrible."
Now both 33, the friends hope to generate the same reaction in audiences of Found Footage Festival: Volume IV, a compilation of strange and hilarious videos that Prueher and Pickett have found in thrift stores, garage sales and trash cans around the nation.
Prueher and Pickett, now based in New York, host the comedy show and add their own commentary before each video. This is the five-year anniversary of the show, and both local showings will be recorded for a DVD to be released in November. Prueher says they plan to get audience reactions on film.
The two curators have presented the other volumes to packed houses at the Loft Cinema before. Last year, there was even a bachelorette party hooting and hollering in the crowd.
Prueher says that they "don't intentionally seek out racy material"—but it must somehow find them. After all, full-frontal male nudity is always funny. That said, this is not your grandmother's show, nor is it your 10-year-old's show. It is a show for those in search of everything they can't show you on America's Funniest Home Videos.
Though the show is unrated, Prueher would assign it an R rating. The lineup includes a workout video featuring World Wrestling Federation's The Bushwhackers and an unnamed man in what is billed as "the world's first nude pop video."
Tickets are $8.75 for general admission, or $4.75 for Loft members. —E.N.
Get Your Schubert On
Schubertiade, a recital celebrating the music of Franz Schubert
3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27
PCC Center for the Arts
2202 W. Anklam Road
Composer Franz Schubert craved attention. He didn't like anybody stealing his thunder, which is why he'd gather an audience and play only his music.
It's called a Schubertiade.
The composer wrote roughly 600 songs before his early death at the age of 31. He had to craft a way for all of these songs to be heard, so the Schubertiade was born.
Dean and Anna Schoff, who both teach music at Pima Community College, decided to put on their own Schubertiade. They are both professional vocalists who have studied music and performed around the world. At this recital, they will be singing with piano accompaniment.
Dean Schoff says the songs they have chosen are unusual songs of Schubert's. His range was all over the place; Schubert even wrote operas and religious songs. Some of the songs require intensive interpretation.
"The contrast of the songs is absolutely mind-boggling," Anna Schoff says. "You often think, 'The same composer wrote that?'"
One of the songs that will be played centers on a boy riding on a horse with his father as a mysterious apparition chases them. The opening bars of music sound exactly like a gallop, Dean Schoff says. The song goes on, and the audience doesn't know whether the apparition is a hallucination of the boy, who is ill. For certain, the apparition is trying to take his life—and after a lively chase through the woods, the boy is dead.
"It's more of a symbolic representation," Dean Schoff says.
Admission is $6, with discounts. —N.M.