Premiere of documentary feature film
INTANGIBLE ASSET NUMBER 82
“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 82nd Intangible Asset, 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 engaging and exotic characters who will eventually lead him to the shaman under portentous circumstances.
Franz documented the journey observationally in High Definition, later utilising the intimacy of a thought diary, various concert footage, interviews, 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 the life of a creative musician, as he is inspired and transformed, and showcases music as a universal language.
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 Number 82 has gone on to screen 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 Canada, and others in places as diverse as Argentina, Chile, China, Korea, Egypt and Israel.
Most recently, the film won 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 was shortlisted for the Cinema Eye Honours in the U.S.A. and currently holds an impressive IMDB rating of 9.0/10.
Featuring music from Sydney’s own Simon Barker, Showa44 and Band of Five Names, Intangible Asset Number 82 will have its long awaited Sydney Premiere as part of the Australian Film Festival on;
Monday 1st March, 9pm at the Ritz Cinema, Randwick
The screening will be followed by a live performance and Q&A with Simon Barker and Emma Franz.
Tickets are on sale now at www.ritzcinema.com.au or by telephone on (02) 9399 5722
Further information about the film and a trailer can be found at www.IntangibleAsset82.com
What people are saying about INTANGIBLE ASSET NUMBER 82…
“The film is well crafted and uses imagery of vast landscapes, both natural and human… It is incredibly stylish and has a sophistication rarely seen in early works.”
– Screen Hub, Australia
“Intriguing debut feature by budding documaker Emma Franz. The climactic meeting with visibly frail Kim Seok-Chul is genuinely affecting.”
– Joe Leydon (Variety Magazine)
“In my opinion, it may be the most profound film of its kind that we will ever show on the channel.”
– Michal Shapiro (Link TV, U.S.A.)
“Franz has skilfully combined the two perspectives of into a multi-narrative, multi-perspective on a journey. She is doing for documentary what Robert Altman did for fiction film. It is a ground-breaking and exciting shift in the usually mono perspective of the hero’s journey.”
– Catherine Gough-Brady, REALTIME
“A fascinating trip from the very first stop. 4 and ½ stars.”
– Jay Seaver (efilmcritc)
“By posing questions about why music matters, Franz’s film becomes a philosophical investigation as much as it is a showcase of fascinating musicians rarely heard outside of Korea. A great tribute to the universal language of music.”
– Guelph Festival of Moving Media
“[Intangible Asset Number 82] blew my mind away. It takes the viewers on the journey, involving them more and more. I found it quite fabulous, moving and unexpected.”
– Paul LePetit (Film Critic, Sunday Telegraph)
“Intangible Asset no. 82 gives us the rare pleasure of witnessing a world of true musical love and commitment. From Australian jazz giant Simon Barker’s quest for expanding his musical and personal universe, to the tale of the Korean shaman drum master Kim Seok-Chul whom he sought out, Emma Franz weaves a tale that is both classic and of our time. In this secret world of visionaries and spirits, a new story unfolds that shows us that today’s musical community is as strong as it’s practitioners beliefs are.”
– Greg Cohen (bassist; Ornette Coleman group, John Zorn’s Masada Quartet, Tom Waits)
“Wow… this film absolutely blew me away! Even if you’re not a drummer, or musically inclined, there is an important message in this film for you, too. I cannot recommend this documentary enough! Awesome! and then some…”
– Austin Daze
“The film was so full of love and energy for music and people, it left me sitting overwhelmed for a while. But the virtue that this film carries transcends to all spheres, whether you are a music lover or not. The beauty of human potential when you have faith in what you do and strive to better yourself, this intangible beauty is the true asset and power that moves our world. This is the intangible lesson this film shows without ever preaching.”
– Cho Sung-Eun (Film Critic, Korea)
“A very deep and unique film, [Intangible Asset Number 82] manages to capture those slight but significant moments which are so difficult to portray in cinema.”
– Ryota Kotani (NHK, Japan)
“[Franz] is clearly a dedicated documentarian, with the ability to suss out narrative in a complex story.”
– Katie Alderman (Walrus Magazine, Canada)
“A complex musical and cultural exploration that taps into the spiritual essence of an art form.”
“A masterly conceived and filmed documentary, ‘Intangible Cultural Asset No. 82′ represents a beautiful balance between an educational document and a moving human drama.”
– Dr. Nathan Hesselink (Ethnomusicologist, University of British Colombia)
“Intangible Asset Number 82 is a fantastic film. A look into a world I never knew existed. Totally inspiring. It blew my mind. Thank you.”
– Bill Frisell (Grammy Award winning guitarist)
“Sensitive, confident, but also demonstrating a deeper understanding of music, and the creative process in general. So many discussions on Art today focus on what and how art is being done, but Franz manages to go beyond this to ask a more important question – why. Why is music an essential part of life? The film deals with this without implicitly telling us the answer. We discover it through a kind of participation which all art initiates; a participation of the viewer. It is beautiful and inspiring.”
– Rafi Segal (Architect, Author)
“Intangible Asset 82 has deeply touched me ever since I saw it for the very first time. Beyond words, the film dives into the mixing pot of cultural diversity, bringing to the audience a wonderful insight into the similarities and synchronicities of different cultures through the unique and most universal language of music. Thru the eyes of director Emma Franz, we can feel that believing in art and intuition is still one of the best roads one can take.”
– Rodolfo Stroeter (Music producer, award winning Bassist with Gilberto Gil, Joyce, Tutty Moreno and others)
“It’s not often we’re given an opportunity to experience life and music through the eyes and ears of people who perceive them so utterly differently from the way we do ourselves but Emma Franz’s film tries to make it possible—and succeeds admirably.”
– Bill Leak (painter, cartoonist, writer; excerpt from review in Extempore Jazz Literary Journal)
“In the true tradition of transformative filmmaking, Emma Franz has documented an artist’s personal odyssey that results in a universal cultural epiphany. Intangible Asset #82ʼ is that rare work of alchemy where the power of music and film combine to transform character and transport an audience through art.”
– Richard Lorber (Lorber HT Digital)
“A sublime ending.”
– Chris Knight (National Post, Canada)
“The long waited appearance of Kim Seok-Chul has more impact than that of Marlon Brando’s in ‘Apocalypse Now’.”
– Cho Sung-Eun (Film Critic, Korea)
“[Intangible Asset Number 82] had a flow that resonated with the subject matter in a most glorious fashion… Incredibly entertaining on its own, [the film is] also a special gift for those who are wise enough and aware enough to grasp its import.”
– Dony Wynn (Drummer; Robert Palmer, Steve Winwood, Patty LaBelle)
“Franz does an incredible job. Her lighting (mostly natural) is beautiful and her images are powerful. She is able to capture a singer perched on a waterfall and a private shamanic ceremony, both difficult circumstances under which to film, and disappears into both scenes easily so that the audience feels like its participating in the action… I found myself totally captivated by Barker’s journey and Franz’s strong imagery.”
– Ellen Spiro (University of Texas)
“[Intangible Asset Number 82] is a testament to the power of music and mysticism.”
– Justin Mover (Washington City Paper)