In Search of Blind Joe Death

In Search of Blind Joe Death

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In Search of Blind Joe Death (2013)

Also Known As: Guitar Innovators: John Fahey and Nels Cline, In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey

Opened: 08/16/2013 Limited

Cinema Village...08/16/2013 - 08/22/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: Biographical Documentary

Rated: Unrated

First Run Features presents a rare double feature with two films about guitar greats.

GUITAR INNOVATORS: JOHN FAHEY & NELS CLINE features two insightful documentaries about two guitar virtuosos.


John Fahey began his musical journey in the Washington, D.C. area. His path would take him throughout the Mississippi Delta looking for musicians and the recordings they'd made in the 1920s and 30s. He spent much of his adult life based in Los Angeles, and Salem, Oregon when not performing throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. The recording companies that Fahey founded, Takoma and Revenant, set enduring standards for independent music production.

Called the father of American primitive guitar, some think of him as an integral figure in the history of folk music. Fahey himself insisted, "I am not a volk, how can I be a volk?... I'm from the suburbs." There's no question that his playing and compositions are superb. Fahey, as both musician and musicologist, made a fundamental contribution to the global understanding of classical American musics such as Delta blues, Appalachian bluegrass and New Orleans jazz.

Director James Cullingham began his journey into John Fahey's world in 1982 when he produced a radio documentary about him. Cullingham continued to be fascinated with Fahey while producing work on political, historical and cultural subjects. Cullingham was Story Consultant on FESTIVAL EXPRESS (2002). He has written and produced documentaries about Sunny Ade, Willie Dixon, The Grateful Dead, Peter Green and Brian Wilson.

APPROXIMATELY NELS CLINE features Nels Cline, the Nels Cline Singers' Scott Amendola and Devin Hoff, with special guests Carla Kihlstedt, Ron Miles, Yuka Honda, Ben Goldberg and Matthias Bossi. Cline has been called "Among the most versatile and creative players out there" (WNYC fm) and "One of the best guitarists in any genre." (David Carr)

Director Steven Okazaki's films are explorations of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people caught up in dramatic historical events and troubling social issues with subjects that range from heroin addicts to dairy princesses to Hiroshima survivors. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Academy Award®, four Academy Award® nominations, a Primetime Emmy and the George Foster Peabody Award for his films produced for HBO, PBS and NHK.

Okazaki received an Academy Award® nomination for UNFINISHED BUSINESS, the story of three Japanese Americans who challenged the incarceration of their people. Studs Terkel called it "a powerful warning that hysteria, bigotry and moral cowardice demean us all." In 1991, he won the Oscar® for DAYS OF WAITING, the story of artist Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with the Japanese Americans during World War II. Other PBS documentaries include: HUNTING TIGERS (1989) a comic look at pop culture in Tokyo featuring Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe; TROUBLED PARADISE (1992), about native Hawaiian activism; AMERICAN SONS (1994) about how the lives of Asian American men are shaped by racism; and THE FAIR (2001), a quirky celebration of the Minnesota State Fair. In 2006, he received his third Oscar® nomination for THE MUSHROOM CLUB, a personal reflection on the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, which aired on HBO/Cinemax. In 2009, he received his fourth Oscar nomination for the HBO documentary THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN, which tells the story of a 16 year-old Khmer Rouge soldier who photographed 6,000 men, women and children before they were tortured and executed.