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78rpm the first feature film by Brooklyn-based artist/filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz

78rpm the first feature film by Brooklyn-based artist/filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz


http://www.joelschlemowitz.com/
 
78rpm (2015, 98 min) is the first feature film by Brooklyn-based artist/filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz. The film is a fond documentary paean to the gramophone and the 78 record collector. 78rpm is amply equipped with expert talking heads – Schlemowitz interviews vintage culture mavens including Shien Lee of Dances of Vice and the London-based Shellac Sisters; authors and experts in the field; 78 record collectors including Michael Cumella of the Antique Phonograph Music program on WMFU; Jonathan Ward of Excavated Shellac; bandleader Vince Giordano; and even the grandson of the inventor of the gramophone, Oliver Berliner. But far from a dry and solemn history lesson, 78RPM is a film of mercurial high-spirited enthusiasm, featuring an array of hand-processed 16mm scenes of cinematic hijinks. Schlemowitz puts the music itself front and center, pausing to play a generous selection of old shellac records in their (3-minute) entirety – from hot jazz to Enrico Caruso to hillbilly ballads. The film’s subjects also ponder the rapid change of technology and the specter of ever-





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