Art Film After Gallery Walk: Intangible Asset No. 82
A respected jazz drummer’s search for an enigmatic Korean Shaman becomes a rite of passage, as he is inspired and transformed by the journey.
Looking back now, I don’t know how I lived like that. But I believe in reincarnation, and I believe I was born with this destiny. — Bae Il-Dong (Korean Pansori singer, recalling the seven years he spent living by a waterfall learning to sing)
What lengths will people go to for their music? How do they discover the tools of self-expression and develop an individual voice? Where does the calling come from? What does it mean to be a musician in modern times?
Tackling these questions and more, Australian singer Emma Franz documents long time friend and colleague, Simon Barker — an Australian drummer acclaimed as one of the most persuasive and individual voices in drumming today — as he searches for enigmatic Korean Shaman, Kim Seok-Chul, a man he believes to be one of the world’s great improvisers.
After hearing a recording some time ago, Barker made a commitment to find and learn from the shaman. Yet despite his official designation as South Korea’s “Intangible Asset No. 82,” Kim Seok-Chul had remained elusive. After seven years of setbacks and obstacles, and with the shaman in his eighties, Barker’s commitment had intensified and he returned to Korea for a seventeenth time. It is at this point that the film commences, his ongoing search creating the narrative against which his personal and musical transformations are revealed. Barker’s journey becomes a rite of passage, as he has meaningful encounters with the charismatic, unique and dedicated artists who will eventually lead him to the shaman under portentous circumstances. As Simon and the artists who have become immersed in his journey discover their growing influence on each other, they move naturally towards collaboration.
Franz documented the journey and others in High Definition, later utilizing the intimate discussions, concert footage, train-of-thought recordings and Super 8 elements to examine a deeper philosophical search for the tools of self-expression. The result is a layered story that provides intimate insight into Barker’s journey, as he is inspired and transformed to become the unique improvising musician that he is today. The film explores heroic music practice on an intimate, human level and showcases music as a valuable tool for personal transformation as well as bridging cultural divides.
After debuting at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival in Brazil, where it was a finalist in the Audience Vote for Best Documentary, Intangible Asset No. 82 (90 mins.) went on to win BEST DOCUMENTARY at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa, BEST SOUND IN DOCUMENTARY at the 2009 AFI Awards Australia, and was voted runner-up for Most Popular Documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It has screened in competition at some of the worlds most respected film and documentary festivals, including AFI SilverDocs and South By South West in the U.S.A., Hot Docs in Canada, and others in places as diverse as Argentina, Japan, Chile, China, Korea, India, Egypt and Israel. It was shortlisted for the Cinema Eye Honors in the U.S.A.
The first Friday of each month, following Brattleboro’s popular Gallery Walk, BMAC presents Art Films After Gallery Walk, screenings of cinematic gems for only $5.