Underground Film Journal

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Maysles Cinema: Jock Docs: Race Car Driving With Maysles, Everson & More

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 23, 2012

Maysles Cinema theater front

Jan. 24
7:30 p.m.
Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Boulevard / Lenox Avenue (between 127th and 128th Streets)
New York, NY 10027

Hosted by: New York Film/Video Council

Launching the latest Jock Docs screening series at the Maysles Cinema, this time devoted to Race Car Driving, theĀ New York Film/Video Council hosts a special, rare screening of the film On the Pole: Eddie Sachs, which will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers: Richard Leacock, DA Pennebaker and Albert Maysles.

On the Pole was produced by Drew Associates and originally aired on the CBS television network in 1960. The filmmakers followed Eddie Sachs, one of the most famous drivers in Indianapolis 500 history, as he prepared for the big race, from one week out all the way to the day after.

The Jock Docs: Race Car Driving series then continues on Jan. 25 with a screening of Asif Kapadia’s Senna (2001) at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., which documents the life of Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna da Silva.

Finally, the series concludes on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. with Kevin Jerome Everson‘s experimental feature film, Cinnamon (2006), in which a young bank teller and a mechanic prepare for a big drag race. Like many of Everson’s movies, Cinnamon blurs the lines between documentary and fictional narrative filmmaking by combining naturalistic scripted scenes with pure documentary footage.

Cinnamon also tweaks conventional notions about drag racing by focusing on an African-American racing crew and casting a female driver for the lead. Everson describes the film as portraying the relationship between the driver and her mechanic “as similar to that of a composer and a musician, in which the mechanic is the composer and the driver interprets the music.”

For more information on all three screenings, please visit the Jock Docs page at the Maysles Cinema website.

Watch the trailer for Cinnamon: