Documentary film “The 78 Project” at The Smith

The ineffable romance of old recordings makes for magic in the documentary film “The 78 Project” that screens at The Smith Opera House on Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30pm.”The 78 Project” is a journey to connect today’s musicians with the recordings of the past. The film traveled across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in the spaces that inspired them. With one microphone. With one blank disc. In one take. The project took inspiration from the work of famed folklorist Alan Lomax, who used a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder to capture music in rural America for the Library of Congress. Along the way, the film features a bevy of technologists, historians and artisans from every facet of field recording – Grammy-winning music producers, 78 collectors, curators from the Library of Congress and Smithsonian – who provide context and insight into this rich history. In Tennessee, Mississippi, California, Louisiana, up-and-coming folk singers, punk rockers, Gospel and Cajun singers in the film share their lives through intimate performances, and find in that adventure a new connection to our cultural legacy. “There’s so much value in an accurate and beautiful record of a moment in time, of exactly what happened during those four minutes,” says film collaborator Lavina Jones. “Every sound that was in the room, and everything that the musician did is in that groove.” It is, above all, a film that defies space and time to capture the living music of America at the dawn of a new century.78 PROJECT is an inventive collaboration between director Alex Steyermark and producer Lavina Jones Wright. Steyermark’s feature films, “Prey for Rock & Roll” (2003), “One Last Thing…” (2006), and “Losers Take All” (2013), with casts including Cynthia Nixon, Ethan Hawke, Gina Gershon, Michael Angarano and Wyclef Jean, have been acclaimed at US and International film festivals from Sundance to Toronto to Tribeca, and are distributed throughout the world. Steyermark started his filmmaking career as a documentary cameraman and editor. Prior to directing, he distinguished himself as a film music supervisor and music producer working with a wide array of recording artists (including David Bowie, Public Enemy, Michael Jackson, Dave Grohl and more) on films by Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Jonathan Demme and Robert Rodriguez, among many others. In 78 PROJECT his extensive experience shines through, and the film swept the independent film festival circuit this year, winning renown as the official selection at the SXSW film festival, the Nashville Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival Boston, and the BFI London Film festival. A true audiophile’s delight, the film eschews narrative to focus almost entirely on its recordings, sonically connecting its audiences to the far-flung corners of the nation, and to a shared past. To see the trailers visit http://the78project.com/the-78-project-movie/ .This film is unrated and has a runtime of 96 minutes. Tickets are $6 general admission, $5 students and seniors.The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. Box Office Hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Phone: 315-781-5483 Email: boxoffice@thesmith.org. For event listing and more information about The Smith and The Smith Center For The Arts, visit our website thesmith.org.

Also on FingerLakes1.com