×

BAM150

Michael Sladek's "BAM150" is a celebration of/advertisement for the Brooklyn Academy of Music on the occasion of its sesquicentennial, but runs out of storyline long before it runs out of footage.

With:
With: Laurie Anderson, Peter Brook, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Philip Lopate, Mark Morris, Steve Reich, Alan Rickman, John Rockwell, Isabella Rossellini, Robert Wilson, Mike Wallace, Wim Wenders.

Co-opting a variety of docu styles to little effect, Michael Sladek’s “BAM150” is a celebration of/advertisement for the Brooklyn Academy of Music on the occasion of its sesquicentennial, but runs out of storyline long before it runs out of footage. Unsure of its strategy or its point, the pic comes off as part PSA, part movie trailer, and takes several stabs at verite that just seem silly. Subject is a much-beloved institution, so airplay in New York seems likely; its target audience otherwise is a mystery.

Perhaps trying to emulate BAM’s trademark eclecticism, the docu attempts some Frederick Wiseman-style, fly-on-the-wall observations of staff meetings, program planning and executive decision-making; moves on to tell the BAM story via a Ken Burns-ish history lesson (the movie’s best sequence, featuring historian Mike Wallace and critic Philip Lopate); and then proceeds to cherry-pick performances that either made the 150-year-old theater’s name or illustrate its mission: “Three Penny Opera,” “Einstein on the Beach,” “Nixon in China,” works by Steve Reich and Laurie Anderson. The techniques are then repeated. The intent seems to be less about making a coherent film than increasing subscription sales.

BAM150

Production: A Plug Ugly Films presentation. Produced by Greg Loser, Michael Sladek. Executive producers, James H. Ottaway Jr., Martha A. Rubin, Robert S. Rubin. Co-producers, Karen Brooks Hopkins, Joseph V. Melillo. Directed by Michael Sladek.

Crew: Camera (color), Ramsey Fendall; editors, Joseph Krings, Sladek. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight), April 27, 2012. Running time: 87 MIN.

Cast: With: Laurie Anderson, Peter Brook, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Philip Lopate, Mark Morris, Steve Reich, Alan Rickman, John Rockwell, Isabella Rossellini, Robert Wilson, Mike Wallace, Wim Wenders.

More Scene

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

  • Kasi Lemmons

    'Harriet' Director Kasi Lemmons Weighs In on Julia Roberts Casting Controversy

    Eddie Murphy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nia Long and “Harriet” filmmaker Kasi Lemmons were honored for their contributions to the industry Monday night at the inaugural celebration of black cinema by the Critics Choice Association. And as the event, held at the Landmark Annex in Los Angeles, looked back on how far people of color have come [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content