About this project
Take a look at our trailer for The Earth Moves.
An update in the homestretch.
Hi, my name is John Walter and I am the director of The Earth Moves.
My team and I have been making this film for several years. Now, with festival deadlines fast approaching, we urgently need your support to finish it. So, please join us as partners and help us get this film out of the editing room and into the world.
HOW IT STARTED––THE OPERA
Iconic, groundbreaking, game changing, genre defying––these are just a few phrases used to describe Einstein on the Beach, a rarely performed avant-garde opera created by composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson. Called an "opera" because no other term comes close, the four and a half hour work breaks all of the rules of conventional opera and abandons narrative and traditional orchestral arrangements. Through Einstein on the Beach, Glass and Wilson reshaped the old and classical form of opera into something completely new.
Over the last 35 years, four productions of Einstein on the Beach have toured across the globe from New York and Tokyo to Paris and Melbourne. The work was revolutionary when it was first performed and is now considered one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century.
The Earth Moves travels through nearly four decades of Einstein on the Beach performances, culminating in its final 2012 world tour. Our goal for this documentary was to celebrate Glass and Wilson’s revolutionary interpretation of the formal structure of opera as well as show the context and artistic impact of this work.
Like Einstein on the Beach, The Earth Moves offers us a lens for viewing the creative process in both art and science. As such, the film has four-act structure, and each act serves as a frame of reference to explore the opera from a different perspective.
The film outlines new connections between the artistic and the creative community, between artistic expression and scientific exploration.
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his collaborations with artists ranging from Martin Scorsese to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Glass has left an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
Regarded by the New York Times as “the most prolific and popular of all contemporary composers,” Glass has established himself as a supremely innovative and captivating force in the music world. His growing catalogue includes 25 operas, 10 symphonies, and 30 film scores.
Since the late 1960s, Robert Wilson's productions have decisively shaped the world of theater and opera. Through his signature use of light, his investigations into the structure of a simple movement, and the classical rigor of his scenic and furniture design, Wilson has continuously articulated the force and originality of his vision. Wilson's close ties and collaborations with leading artists, writers, and musicians continue to fascinate audiences worldwide.
Those interviewed include: Lucinda Childs, Richard Serra, Laurie Anderson, members of the Philip Glass Ensemble, Christopher Knowles, Wayne Koestenbaum, John Rockwell, physicist Lee Smolin, and key cast and crew members of the opera’s most recent production. And many more.
In 2011, the original creators of Einstein on the Beach brought the opera to life again for what will most likely be its last presentation in their lifetime. Einstein on the Beach is an opera like no other. Telling its story requires a documentary like no other.
We completed shooting and editing The Earth Moves and we are all working very hard to finish the film for upcoming film festivals this fall. Now we need your support to fulfill the costs of color correction, media licensing, and sound mixing. Time is of the essence and every contribution helps our mission to complete this film.
Any additional support beyond the goal will go towards expanding the distribution of the film through educational markets and independent theaters nationally.
The Earth Moves is an independent film about independent thinkers. Kickstarter helps us to reach a global community of scientists, Einstein scholars, opera and modern music enthusiasts, artists, cultural historians, and many more. We want to share this experience with a community of people who care about the project and want to see it brought to life.
In addition, this Kickstarter will help bring Einstein on the Beach to a contemporary audience. Glass and Wilson are celebrated as artists, but younger generations have not had an opportunity to experience Einstein on the Beach. Our goal is to bring attention to this important work which laid the groundwork for their artistic careers.
We hope you are as passionate about this film as we are. Any kind of support will go a long way.
$250: 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of Chuck Close's Philip Glass portrait.
$350: Out-of-print Chuck Close Philip Glass portrait, Whitney Biennial Gap t-shirt.
$500: In honor of the characters wearing Chuck Taylor's in Einstein on the Beach: limited edition Chucks signed by Glass and Wilson.
$1,500: Einstein on the Beach viewmaster from the Brooklyn Academy of Music's archive.
WHO WE ARE
I am a director and editor based in New York City. My first feature-length documentary How To Draw A Bunny about the artist Ray Johnson won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002 and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary.
In 2008, I directed and edited Theater Of War, a film about Bertolt Brecht, which the New York Times called “Inspired, inspiring”. I have also directed projects for Comedy Central, the Independent Film Channel, the Sundance Channel, PBS, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In addition, I have edited several critically acclaimed documentaries including Amir Bar-Lev’s My Kid Could Paint That (2007) and Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story (2009). Most recently, I edited Ry Russo Young’s narrative feature Nobody Walks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012.
MR. MUDD PRODUCTIONS
Mr. Mudd Productions was founded by award-winning producers Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, and Russell Smith. Past productions include the Oscar-nominated Juno, Perks of Being a Wallflower, How to Draw a Bunny, and the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary Which Way Home.
BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC
The Brooklyn Academy of Music has been presenting cutting edge contemporary art, theater, opera, dance and music longer than any other cultural institution in the United States. In 1984 it presented the historic production of Einstein on the Beach as part of the Next Wave Festival and brought the Pomegranate Arts production in 2012 for its 150th anniversary. Due to its regard as a preeminent cultural institution, BAM’s programs have had a major impact on the arts in New York City and beyond.
ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant–making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.
Vann Alexandra is a creative services agency that gets projects financed through crowdfunding with a 100% success rate. The company’s founder has been dubbed the “Crowdsourceress.” Clients include Neil Young, Oscar-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmakers, citizen investigative journalist Brown Moses, New York Times bestselling authors, Pentagram designers, and best-selling girl group of all time, TLC.
© Richard Landry
© Bob Fiore
© Beate Nilson
© Babette Mangolte
© Leo Baeck
Risks and challenges
Our biggest risk is that this film will not be funded and we will not be able to premiere at film festivals in Fall 2015.
Logistically speaking, if the campaign is funded, the only delays we foresee are the delivery of physical rewards and the availability of digital delivery per the terms of the agreement with our distributor.
All delivery dates are estimates and subject to change at any time.
That said, all non-film related rewards should be fulfilled by January 2016, or possibly before that time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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