Wednesday, January 18, 2023

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Laura Poitras: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (US 2022), featuring Nan Goldin.

US 2022. Neon Presents – a Participant and HBO Documentary Films presentation – a film by Laura Poitras – photography & slideshows by Nan Goldin.
    P: Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov, Laura Poitras. P: Howard Gertler, John Lyons. EX: Clare Carter, Alex Kwartler, Hayley Theisen. EX: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann.
    D: Laura Poitras. Colour, 16:9 HD. M: Soundwalk Collective. Music Supervisor: Dawn Sutter Madell. Archival P: Shanti Avirgan. Archival Co-P: Olivia Streisand. ED: Amy Foote, Joe Bini, Brian A. Kates.
    A non-fiction film featuring the photographer Nan Goldin.
    Also featuring: her sister Barbara Goldin (archival). The Goldin family.
    Featuring: the Sackler family.
    Featuring: David Armstrong (archival), Marina Berio, Noemi Bonazzi, Harry Cullen, Alfonso D'amato (archival), Jesse Helms (archival), Jim Jarmusch (archival), Megan Kapler, Patrick Radden Keefe, Ed Koch (archival), John Mearsheimer, Annatina Miescher, Cookie Mueller (archival), Sharon Niesp (archival), Darryl Pinckney, Alexis Pleus, Mike Quinn, Anwar Sadat (archival), Vittorio Scarpati (archival), Maggie Smith, Robert Suarez, David Velasco, John Waters (archival), David Wojnarowicz (archival).
    Loc: Metropolitan Art Museum (New York City). Marian Goodman Gallery (Paris). Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Louvre Museum (Paris). Tate Galleries (London).
    Soundtrack selections include [from my screening notes]: – Vincenzo Bellini: "Casta diva" perf. Montserrat Caballé. – The Velvet Underground & Nico: "Sunday Morning" and "All Tomorrow's Parties" – Screamin' Jay Hawkins: "I Put A Spell On You" – Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht: "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("Mack the Knife") and "Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit" ("Ballad of Sexual Dependency") from Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) * – Lucinda Williams: "Unsuffer Me".
    117 min [IMDb: 122 min]
    Festival premiere: 3 Sep 2022 Venice Film Festival.
    US festival premiere: 5 Sep 2022 Telluride Film Festival (TBA hors catalogue).
    New York premiere: 23 Nov 2022.
    Finnish festival premiere: 5 Feb 2023 DocPoint.
    Finnish premiere: 10 Feb 2023 – distributed by Cinema Mondo – Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Anitra Paukkula / Sophia Beckman.
    Viewed at a press screening at Kino Engel 2, Helsinki, 18 Jan 2023.

Chapters: – I Merciless Logic – II Coin of the Realm – III Ballad of Sexual Dependency – IV Against Our Vanishing – V Escape Hatch – VI Sisters.

Droll thing life is -- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself -- that comes too late -- a crop of inextinguishable regrets.
– Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness (the motto of Barbara Goldin, Nan Goldin's beloved sister) **

Press notes:

"An epic story about artist and activist Nan Goldin, told through her groundbreaking photography and rare footage of her fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid crisis."

Short Synopsis
"Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid crisis."
Long Synopsis
"All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid crisis."

"Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, the film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, the deeply personal and urgently political, from P.A.I.N.’s (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) actions at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her epic “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” and her legendary 1989, NEA-censored AIDS exhibition, “Witness: Against Our Vanishing.”"
"The story begins with P.A.I.N., a group Goldin founded to shame museums into rejecting Sackler money, destigmatize addiction and promote harm reduction. Inspired by Act Up, they orchestrated protests to call attention to the toxic philanthropy of the Sackler family, whose company, Purdue Pharma, ignited the opioid epidemic with its blockbuster drug, OxyContin."
"At the core of the film are Goldin’s art works “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”; “The Other Side”; “Sisters, Saints and Sibyls”; and “Memory Lost.” In these works, Goldin captures her friendships with beauty and raw tenderness. These friendships, and the legacy of her sister Barbara, anchor all of Goldin’s art.
" (Press notes)

AA: Before All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, I had seen from Laura Poitras only Citizenfour, the disturbing Edward Snowden documentary that was shot in real time as one of the greatest news timebombs of our age was detonated. It was not about sensation. It was about revelation. It was about the end of privacy, the ubiquity of NSA's Big Brother surveillance in the internet age that makes Gestapo and Stasi practices as revealed in The Life of Others look tame. Later we have learned even worse about Pegasus.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is also a big league social documentary, about the North American opioid crisis which has claimed the lives of a half a million of Americans. The target is Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, and its drug OxyContin. The movie covers the international campaign of artists to boycott the influential Sackler philanthrophy in the world's major art museums. The leader of the campaign is Nan Goldin, herself an OxyContin survivor.

The ingenious structure of the documentary proceeds on several levels and dimensions. The main story is about the artists' fearless campaign at the most prestigious addresses of the international art world. Simultaneously the movie grows into a candid portrait documentary about Nan Goldin, starting from her tormented childhood and the suicide of her beloved sister Barbara.

It is also an art documentary about Nan Goldin, the pioneering photographer of milieux and lifestyles "on the wild side". Nan Goldin's major slideshows “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”; “The Other Side”; “Sisters, Saints and Sibyls”; and “Memory Lost” provide the artistic substance. The sound of the slide projector becomes a percussion element. ***

It is also a survey of the East Coast cultural underground and gay and trans communities since the 1970s. Nan Goldin was a member, not a voyeur observer. In this epic about these milieux she registers the evolution across decades from repression to acknowledging androgynous elegance, the AIDS death toll, and steps towards liberation.

Photography became a vehicle of emancipation for the young and inhibited Nan Goldin. It also becomes a weapon in the battle of life against death in successive health catastrophes: the AIDS period, the opiod crisis – and the Covid pandemic during which this movie was made.

* "Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit" ("Ballad of Sexual Dependency") was written for the character of Mrs. Peachum in Die Dreigroschenoper but withdrawn from the libretto before premiere.

** This thought, like most of the narration in Heart in Darkness, is expressed by the sailor Charles Marlow, inside quotation marks. The remark is heard soon after the declaration "Mistah Kurtz – he dead" and "And then they very nearly buried me".

*** English Wikipedia: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (slide show exhibition and artist's book): "It is an autobiographical document of a portion of New York City's No wave music and art scene, the post-Stonewall gay subculture of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the heroin subculture of the Bowery neighborhood, and Goldin's personal family and love life. Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said it "remains a benchmark for all other work in a similar confessional vein." Lucy Davies, writing in The Telegraph in 2014, said it "would come to influence a generation of fledgling photographers, who fell into her truth-telling wake. She was credited by Bill Clinton with inventing heroin chic"."


About the Production

Since the early 1970s, Nan Goldin, the acclaimed photographer and visual artist, has documented the intimate lives of the communities of friends and artists around her, celebrating the people and subcultures—including herself, her partners, and her collaborators—too often stigmatized by general society, with seminal works such as the stunning slideshow “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1985), and the multidisciplinary exhibition she curated and organized, “Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing” (1989).

In late 2017, after surviving her own ordeal with opioid addiction, Goldin embarked on a new pursuit that would leverage her stature in the art world to fight the powerful forces that profit from the suffering of others.  

Goldin recalls her initial impulse to get involved in opioid-related activism came from learning that efforts to install vending machines that would make the lifesaving, overdose-reversing medicine naloxone (commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan) easily accessible in Cambridge, Massachusetts had failed.

“The rich people there had shut it down,” Goldin said. “That is what ignited my activism in the opioid crisis.”

P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now)
Together with a few other artists and activists, Goldin founded P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), an organization dedicated to advocating for harm reduction and overdose prevention, as well as holding the billionaire Sackler family accountable for their role in profiting from the opioid crisis.

Known for their ample donations to museums and other prestigious artistic endeavors, the Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, a company that not only manufactures the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin but has pled guilty to criminal charges related to its marketing of the drug.

While the Sackler family and Purdue have for years been publicly tied to the opioid crisis—which has claimed the lives of as many as half a million Americans—legal efforts to slow the supercharged marketing of OxyContin and the devastation of the epidemic it has caused have had little effect. Indeed, the opposite has occurred.

In 2007, for example, Purdue pleaded guilty to federal charges that it misled doctors and patients alike about OxyContin’s potential for addiction and abuse. Purdue was ordered to pay a $600 million penalty, the Sackler name remained clear of the case, and Purdue continued aggressively marketing the drug as their profits soared to new heights.

Since then, and despite more hearings, lawsuits and settlements against the company, the influence of Purdue and the Sackler family have protected them from facing comprehensive accountability, all while the crisis deepens. So P.A.I.N. sought to look beyond the courts for accountability.

“I focused on the Sacklers because it was a name I knew. I thought it was the name of these very generous philanthropists who supported the art that I loved,” Goldin said. “And then I found out how dirty their money is. I found out that they're the ones who produced and marketed the drug that I myself was addicted to.”  

In January of 2018, Goldin published a searing piece in Artforum titled “Growing P.A.I.N.,” in which she detailed the creation of the group and how the Sacklers, via Purdue Pharma, had successfully art-washed their responsibility in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

“For years, the Sacklers were able to separate their pharmaceutical practice from their reputation in the art world,” added Megan Kapler, a member of P.A.I.N. “And we sought to put a crack in that system and expose them for who they are and to make their name synonymous with the opioid crisis.”

To bring the issue to Sacklers’ doorstep, Goldin and P.A.I.N. staged several powerful protests at renowned museums that had accepted the Sacklers funds and even named exhibition halls after them in gratitude. From the onset, the group documented their activities on camera with the intention of eventually molding those images into a nonfiction film.

“One of the interesting things about P.A.I.N. is that we've only had six museum actions and each one is very carefully planned and thought out, particularly the visuals,” noted Kapler.

A Project Takes Shape

As P.A.I.N. embarked, Goldin decided to make a film documenting their meetings, actions, and what was yet to come. For about a year and a half, P.A.I.N. filmed with executive producers Clare Carter and Alex Kwartler, longtime collaborators of Goldin’s, before entrusting a group of filmmakers—including Oscar-winning director Laura Poitras (CITZENFOUR), producer Howard Gertler (How to Survive a Plague), producer John Lyons, and producer Yoni Golijov—to join the project.

Gertler met Goldin in 2019 while shooting an interview with her for a documentary on photographer Peter Hujar. Following that on-camera interview, Goldin expressed her interest in bringing on additional partners. Both lifelong fans of Goldin’s work, Gertler and his producing partner John Lyons soon agreed to come on board as producers.

“It was clear that Nan’s artistic practice was very much embedded in the actions that they were doing, which I found incredibly compelling,” Lyons said

A longtime admirer of Goldin’s artistry, Poitras met with Goldin and German artist Hito Steyerl when strategizing on a project that would eventually become her short film, Terror Contagion (2021).

During the course of this meeting, Goldin told Poitras about the P.A.I.N. documentary and she was hooked.

“My films tend to follow political issues,” said Poitras. “They tend to follow individuals who are leading an effort to fight for some notion of justice or accountability.” Understanding Goldin’s ongoing battle against the Sacklers, Poitras couldn’t get the project out of her mind, and another call to the late Diane Weyermann, then Chief Content Officer at Participant, kicked off conversations about the production company’s possible involvement.

As the project took shape, it became clear that while P.A.I.N. would remain central to the film, this would be an ideal opportunity to explore the inherent connection between the activism and the life and work of Goldin as one of the world’s preeminent photographers. But, as Gertler pointed out, “creating a compelling portrait of an artist is not a self-evident process.”

“The wrong things are kept private in society, and that destroys people.”
For Goldin, it was imperative that the documentary also touch on the economic, social, and institutional parallels between the HIV/AIDS crisis and the current opioid crisis across the country and beyond. Social crises do not exist in siloes, and capturing the relationship between the often stigmatized communities in which Goldin was immersed and the personal stories behind her art was critical in understanding the full breadth of her work.

Goldin believes the political subversiveness of her art was always an inherent quality, given the community of friends and collaborators she has celebrated, and immortalized in her photographs and slideshows. As Goldin shares in the film, “The wrong things are kept private in society, and that destroys people.”

“All my work is about stigma, whether it's suicide, mental illness, gender,” Goldin explained. “My earliest work was of drag queens in Boston in the early seventies, but I never realized my work was political ‘till about 1980. Maggie Smith, who ran the bar where I bartended for five years — she's the one who made me see that the work was political.”

Added Poitras, “I'd known her work for a long time. I'd seen her photographs of the queens in the seventies, but talking to her, I understood the importance of the people in a different way than the photographs or the slideshows themselves revealed.”

Over the course of nearly two years, Poitras visited Goldin at her home in Brooklyn under strict COVID-19 protocols for a series of audio interviews that, together with Goldin’s own slideshows and photography, form the backbone of the documentary.

“As Nan and I started doing these audio interviews at her house on the weekends usually, it became really emotionally deep really quickly,” said Poitras. “And that led to the other, more personal layer of the film.”

Only the audio of these conversations was recorded, and the production team worked to cultivate the conditions and safety nets necessary to ensure the interviews were handled with extreme care. Only a small circle on the editing team and Poitras had access to them, and Goldin had the right of review before deeply personal details was shared with a wider circle or included in the finished film.

“We knew that these interviews needed a lot of time and space. These interviews are very intimate and touch on very painful subjects,” added Yoni Golijov, a producer on the film and Poitras’ close collaborator at Praxis Films. “Doing them audio-only allowed that time and space in a way that doing them on camera each and every time would not have delivered.”

Connecting the Building Blocks

In addition to Goldin’s own voice and the previously captured footage of P.A.I.N., Poitras’ narrative construction for All the Beauty and the Bloodshed also included Goldin’s work as essential building blocks on screen.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Goldin’s team at Nan Goldin Studio and a pair of dedicated archivists, Shanti Avirgan (archival producer) and Olivia Streisand (archival co-producer), who also that sourced third party footage, Poitras was able to draw upon materials that transport the film in time.

A key piece Poitras wanted to feature prominently in the film was “Sisters, Saints, and Sibyls,” a three-channel video installation from 2004 focused on Goldin’s late sister, Barbara Holly Goldin.

Weaving together these stories of her childhood, her deep friendships in a community of artists who embodied creative drive and resilience in the face of the unspeakable loss during the AIDS epidemic, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed captures historical moments in time that build on one another to create a portrait of an artist as told through her work, which in itself was a direct reflection of her life.

Working with editors Joe Bini and Amy Foote, Poitras’ approach to the intermingling of the dramatic threads of the story divided them between the contemporary events and those in the past that in turn influenced the present. Poitras was set on not replicating the tropes and conventions common in artist portraits.

“I love some of the juxtapositions, like going from P.A.I.N.’s Guggenheim action into New York in the early eighties,” said Poitras. “You go from a very established artist leveraging their power, to seeing how she entered the art world and how her work evolved.”

Added Gertler, “You can never tell someone's entire life story in two hours, but Laura and the editing team have so finely threaded the needle with just the rights stories and moments that illuminate its essence.”

The title of film aptly captures that essence. The striking phrase “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” was taken from the medical assessment of Goldin’s late sister Barbara’s responses to a Rorschach test.

Goldin appreciates Poitras’ patience and partnership in making the film.

“It would only be natural I see things differently through somebody else's lens,” said Goldin. “If I had made this film, I probably would've told my story differently, but it's Laura's film. She's been incredibly generous about allowing me into the process.”

Aside from her constant presence in the film, through her voice and her photography, Goldin’s influence on the film can also be strongly perceived in the musical selections. Not only did she recommend several of the most notable needle drops featured, but also suggested the experimental NYC group Soundwalk Collective, who most recently collaborated with her on her piece “Memory Lost,” to create the score for All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.

“What I feel like we've accomplished is bringing the audience into Nan’s process and her life to understand what drives her, without dispelling the magic of what she does,” noted Gertler.

For David Linde, CEO of Participant, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is the culmination of Poitras and Diane Weyermann’s partnership developed over many years of mutual understanding and a similar worldview applied to their work. That Goldin was the central figure of the documentary made Participant’s interest in supporting all the more relevant.

“For a company that steeps itself in being the connection between powerful art and powerful activism, we couldn’t be more fortunate to have been able to work on the film and to support Nan and Laura,” said Linde.  

Affecting Change

Both Linde and Trish Ward-Torres, Senior Vice President of Documentary Film Production at Participant, agree that institutions, such as museums and other cultural spaces, have a responsibility to the world they inhabit. In learning about the actions that P.A.I.N. carried out to expose the link between the opioid crisis and Sackler philanthropy, they were further inspired by Goldin and her bravery.

“We had known about the incredible activism around the removal of the Sackler name from institutions, but quickly realized that P.A.I.N.’s goals were much broader—including harm reduction efforts to address the opioid crisis—beyond just seeking accountability from the Sacklers,” explained Ward-Torres.

While the Sacklers have thus far avoided comprehensive legal accountability—in part by filing for bankruptcy after thousands of civil lawsuits were filed against their company in every state in the country—Goldin and P.A.I.N.’s public protests have effectively stripped them of their standing within the art circles. The world now knows who they are and what they have done.

“The idea that we could affect a multi-billion-dollar company in America is my pride and joy,” added Goldin.

Today P.A.I.N. continues to advocate for the resources obtained from settlements with the Sacklers and other pharmaceutical companies to be used toward harm reduction and overdose prevention centers nationwide. For now, they fundraise to support grassroot groups on the ground that work closely with affected communities, such as VOCAL-NY and Housing Works, but their main objective is to legalize safe consumption sites.

“The only way we're going to be getting out of this crisis is by investing in evidence-based harm reduction and combating the drug war in a non-carceral way,” added Kapler. “Our hope with this film is that it can chip away at the stigma of addiction.”

About the Filmmakers

Laura Poitras (Director; Producer)
Laura Poitras is a filmmaker and journalist. CITIZENFOUR, the third installment of her post-9/11 Trilogy, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, along with awards from the British Film Academy, Independent Spirit Awards, Directors Guild of America, German Filmpreis, Gotham Awards and others. Part one of the trilogy, My Country, My Country, about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, was nominated for an Academy Award. Part two, The Oath, focused on Guantanamo and the “war on terror”, and was nominated for two Emmy awards.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, her collaboration with legendary artist/activist Nan Goldin, is premiering in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2022, and will be released by Neon. This is her second collaboration with Participant, following CITIZENFOUR.

Her reporting on the NSA’s global mass surveillance won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with The Guardian and Washington Post. She has received many other honors for her work, including a MacArthur “genius” fellowship and a Peabody Award.

In 2006, the U.S. government placed her on a secret terrorist watchlist and for six years she was detained and interrogated at the U.S. border each time she traveled internationally. According to heavily redacted FBI documents obtained by Poitras through a lawsuit, the FBI conducted physical surveillance of her and launched a classified investigation. In 2014, in the aftermath of the NSA/Snowden revelations, high-level CIA officials lobbied to designate Poitras as an “information broker” and “agent of a foreign power” to pave the way for her prosecution. The effort was not carried out.

Her first solo museum exhibition, Astro Noise, opened at the Whitney Museum in 2016. The exhibition featured a series of immersive installations focusing on the “war on terror.” Her first European exhibition of installations, Circles, opened at Berlin’s n.b.k. gallery in 2021.

Her other films include Risk, Flag Wars, Project X, O’Say Can You See, Death of a Prisoner, The Program, Triple-Chaser, and Terror Contagion.

She is a co-founder of The Intercept, First Look Media, and Field of Vision where she funded and executive produced over 100 documentaries, including five Academy Award nominated films.

Nan Goldin (Producer; Photography)

One of the most important and influential artists of her generation, Goldin has revolutionized the art of photography through her frank and deeply personal portraiture. Over the last 45 years Goldin has created some of the most indelible images of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since the 1970s her work has explored notions of gender and definitions of normality. By documenting her life and the lives of the friends who surround her, Goldin gives a voice and visibility to her communities. In the 1980s these images of her “extended family” became the subject of her seminal slideshow and first book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. In 1985 her work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s biennial. A decade later, in 1996, a major retrospective of her work opened at the Whitney, and toured to museums throughout Europe. In 2001, a second retrospective of Goldin’s work, Le Feu Follet, was held at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and toured internationally as The Devil’s Playground. A third retrospective This Will Not End Well, will open at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm this fall and travel internationally.  
Among the artist’s other slideshows are Memory Lost, Sirens, Heartbeat, Fire Leap, All By Myself, and The Other Side. In 2004, as part of the Festival d’Automne, her work Sisters, Saints, and Sibyls was displayed in the Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salpêtrière, Paris. A few years later, the Louvre specially commissioned a slideshow, exhibiting the resulting Scopophilia in 2010. Goldin has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Commandeur des Arts et Des Lettres from the French government in 2006, the Hasselblad Award in 2007, the Edward MacDowell medal in 2012, and the Lucie Award for Achievement in Portraiture in 2014. Her work has been published extensively.  Selected publications include The Other Side (1993), A Double Life (with David Armstrong, 1994), Tokyo Love (with Nobuyoshi Araki, 1995), I’ll Be Your Mirror (1997), Ten Years After (1997), The Devil’s Playground (2003), The Beautiful Smile (2008), Eden and After (2014) and Diving for Pearls (2016).

In 2017 the artist founded the group PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), which addresses the crisis of the ongoing Drug War by targeting the pharmaceutical companies that have profited off the addictions and deaths of over half a million Americans. PAIN advocates for harm reduction, decriminalization of drugs and life-saving treatments for drug users.

Howard Gertler (Producer)

Howard Gertler’s credits include Nicole Newnham & Jim LeBrecht’s Crip Camp, executive-produced with President Barack Obama & Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions & Netflix (2021 Oscar nominee; Sundance 2020 Audience Award Winner; Film Independent 2021 Spirit Documentary Award Winner; 2021 Peabody Award Winner), David France’s How to Survive a Plague, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2012 and was released by IFC Films/Sundance Selects; in addition to an Academy Award nomination, the film collected New York Film Critics’ Circle, Peabody, IFP Gotham, IDA and GLAAD Media Awards. He’s an Academy Award nominee, two-time Peabody Award winner, Sundance Audience Award winner, and both a Gotham and Film Independent Spirit Award winner, the latter of which he won for producing John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, which premiered in the official selection in Cannes. With See-Saw Films, he produced Mitchell’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties, released by A24, and with Topic Studios, John Cameron Mitchell and Bryan Weller’s critically-acclaimed scripted musical podcast Anthem.

John Lyons (Producer)

John Lyons is a film and TV producer, who began his career as a casting director. As a casting director, he cast Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George end enjoyed a long relationship casting for Joel and Ethan Coen as well as directors George Miller, Frank Oz, John Schlesinger, Phil Kaufman and others. As a film and television producer his credits include Hard Eight (Paul Thomas Anderson), Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Jay Roach), Austin Powers in Goldmember (Jay Roach), Pieces of April (Peter Hedges), HBO’s The Young Pope (Paolo Sorrentino), and Netflix’s The Pentaverate (Mike Myers / Tim Kirkby). From 2003 to 2011, John served as President of Production at Focus Features where he shepherded the production of a diverse group of films including Brokeback Mountain, Milk, The Kids Are Alright, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, A Serious Man, Beginners, Eastern Promises, The Constant Gardner and many more.

Yoni Golijov (Producer)

Yoni Golijov is a producer at Praxis Films, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras’s production company.  Previously he was a consulting producer at Field of Vision. Most recently, he produced Laura Poitras's collaboration with Forensic Architecture, Terror Contagion (Cannes | 2021) and their previous collaboration Triple-Chaser (Whitney Biennial | 2019). In 2022 he co-directed and produced the short film When We Fight with collaborator Yael Bridge. In 2021 Golijov produced a three-channel video installation entitled Edgelands by Poitras and artist Sean Vegezzi, and two exhibitions, Circles (Laura Poitras's first European solo show) and Parallel Construction. Previous producing credits include Poitras’s video installation Signal Flow (2019), Poitras' feature film Risk (Cannes | 2016). At Field of Vision he consulted across shorts, series and features including the Academy Award-nominated In the Absence (dir. Yi Seung-Jun, prod. Gary Byung-Seok Kam), and coordinated the Field of Vision Fellows retreat. Golijov is a Sundance Producer Lab Fellow, an IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee, and an NBC Original Voices Fellow.    

Megan Kapler (Co-producer)

Megan Kapler is an organizer with the NYC-based direct action collective, P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) since 2018. Founded by world-renowned artist Nan Goldin, P.A.I.N. has staged direct actions at museums and universities around the world, targeting institutions that have accepted funding from the billionaire Sackler family, whose company, Purde Pharma, is in part responsible for igniting America’s opioid crisis. These actions and the accompanying campaign resulted in the family’s name being removed from over a dozen institutions and has led to their social reckoning. P.A.I.N.’s museum protests have been featured in television, films and books, including Dopesick (2021), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2019), George Carlin's American Dream (2022), Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe (2021), and Raising Lazarus by Beth Macy (2022). A photo of PAIN’s die-in at their Guggenheim demonstration was one of Time’s Photo of the Year in 2019.

Kapler began her career as an associate producer for two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, working on projects such as Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation (2015) and Miss Sharon Jones! (2015) about legendary soul singer Sharon Jones.

Alex Kwartler (Executive producer)

Alex Kwartler is Nan Goldin’s producing partner. His scope of oversight extends to all Nan Goldin Studio projects, including slideshows, books and exhibitions. Alex is a visual artist with a practice in painting. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad over the past two decades. Kwartler was artist-in-residence at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas in Spring 2017. He has a forthcoming show at Magenta Plains, New York this fall, 2022.

Clare Carter (Executive producer)

Clare Carter is a documentary photographer and filmmaker. She co-directed the documentary film Ziona, and her project Corrective Rape was the runner-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2013. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Independent Magazine, and Slate, among others, and she has exhibited internationally including at the Look3 Festival of the Photograph, the C Gallery, Manchester, the Calumet Gallery and the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. Carter assisted artists Taryn Simon and Nan Goldin before pursuing her own documentary projects.

Amy Foote (Editor)

Amy Foote is an Emmy Award winning documentary editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Some of her editing credits include – Father Soldier Son (Netflix/New York Times, Tribeca Film Festival Jury Award for Best Editing, News and Documentary Emmy for Best Editing, Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Sound); Hail Satan? (Magnolia); The Work (Grierson Awards for Best Single Documentary and Best International Documentary, Grand Jury Prize SXSW 2017, Gotham Award nominated for Best Documentary); Peabody award winning, Mavis! (HBO); Fauci (Nat Geo/Disney Plus); the Emmy-nominated and James Beard Award winning film, A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt (HBO, BBC); For Once In My Life, (PBS Independent Lens, SXSW Audience Award 2010, IDA Best Music Documentary). and the Emmy-nominated film, Finishing Heaven (HBO).

Joe Bini (Editor)

Joe Bini is a film editor, writer and director best known for his long-time collaboration with Werner Herzog, on such notable documentaries as, Grizzly Man, and Into the Abyss, and narrative films such as The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. He has worked with Lynne Ramsay on We Need to Talk About Kevin and You Were Never Really Here, and Andrea Arnold on American Honey. He co-wrote and directed two live theater/film pieces, A Thousand Thoughts, about the Kronos Quartet, and Little Ethiopia, a dialogue about life and film. He lives in London.

Brian A. Kates, A.C.E (Editor)

Brian A. Kates, ACE has edited many acclaimed films and television shows, with 14 films selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and 5 films in Cannes. He has received two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on Taking Chance and the pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He also won two ACE Eddie Awards for his work on Bessie and Lackawana Blues, in addition to two other Eddie Award nominations, and one Independent Spirit Award nomination.
He has worked on films with Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly), Andrew Ahn (Fire Island), Joseph Cedar (Norman: The Moderate rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer), Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger), Tamara Jenkins (Private Life and The Savages), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating), John Cameron Mitchell (How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Shortbus and the podcast Anthem: Homunculus), Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer and The Butler), Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman), George C. Wolfe (Nights in Rodanthe), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), and Jeremiah Zagar (We The Anmials).
In addition to his work in fiction, he was Jonathan Caouette's co-editor on the documentary Tarnation. His television work has included projects with Alfonso Cuarón (Believe), Bill Condon (The Big C), David Simon and Eric Overmeyer (Treme and The Plot Against America), and Jesse Armstrong (Succession).
He was raised in Teaneck, NJ and received a BFA in Film and Cinema Studies at NYU, and minored in Judaic Studies. He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.

SOUNDWALK COLLECTIVE is an experimental sound collective founded by Stephan Crasneanscki in New York (2000 - present) and joined by Simone Merli in 2008.

Their artistic work combines anthropology, ethnography, non-linear narrative, psychogeography, observation and explorations in recording and synthesis. The source of their works is always related to specific places, natural or artificial, and requires long periods of investigative travel and fieldwork. Among her prominent collaborators, other than Patti Smith, are Ethiopian jazz musician Mulatu Astatke, American photographer Nan Goldin, American minimalist composer Philip Glass, French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard as well as international talents Werner Herzog, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Wim Wenders, Willem Dafoe, Jean Nouvel, Catherine Deneuve, Abel Ferrara, Sasha Waltz, Anoushka Shankar, Paul B. Preciado, among others.

Their work has been exhibited and presented at the Opéra National de Lyon, CTM Festival (Berlin), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Barbican Center (London), Kraftwerk (Berlin), Berghain (Berlin), Zaha Hadid’s Mobile Art museum (Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York), Manifesta12 (Palermo), documenta14 (Athens, Kassel), Louvre Abu Dhabi, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), New Museum (New York), Rubin Museum (New York), Bardo Museum (Tunis).

NEON Presents
photography & slideshows by NAN GOLDIN
Archival Producer SHANTI AVIRGAN
Archival Co-Producer OLIVIA STREISAND
Edited by
Executive Producers CLARE CARTER
Produced By NAN GOLDIN

No comments: