Rocky’s Review
The Bowmakers

The photograph at the top of today's newsletter is of master bowmaker Charles Espey. The image is from THE BOWMAKERS, a new documentary directed by Ward Serrill. In the classical music world, Port Townsend is often referred to as "The Mecca of Bowmaking" because it is home to five world-renown bowmakers who still practice this centuries old trade. Collectively they have won 23 international awards.

     From the workshops of these Port Townsend masters, to France where the modern bow began, and to Brazil, home of the imperiled tree from which all bows originate, THE BOWMAKERS will change the way you hear music. 

     A special advance screening of THE BOWMAKERS will take place Saturday, August 17th at 6:00 PM. Tickets go on sale this Friday, July 26th at 2:30 at the Rose box office and online. If you're unable to get tickets to this show, please know that on September 27th THE BOWMAKERS will open at the Rose for a regular engagement. The PT Film Festival will also have one showing of it at the September event. (Full Disclosure: I am the proud producer of THE BOWMAKERS)

     Two excellent films - one narrative, one documentary - open this Friday. TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM offers an artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. From her childhood in the steel town of Loraine, Ohio to the '70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis, to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature.

     "Moving and profound. Look for this one to be front and center come Oscar time." -Los Angeles Times

     Jessie Buckley is a 29-year-old Irish singer and actress, and her talent is on full throttle display in WILD ROSE, an unforgettable, star-making performance as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a rebellious country singer who dreams of trading the working-class streets of Glasgow for the Grand Old Opry of Nashville. Complete with an electrifying soundtrack, WILD ROSE is a joyous story steeped in music, courage and family. 

     "As Rose-Lynn, stomping along in white cowboy boots, she is ballsy and fiery, at once wised up and dangerously immature. Does she sing "I'm Moving On" while vacuuming the rug, whipping the power cord like a lasso? Damn right she does. Would Woody, from "Toy Story ," take one look at her and ride for the hills? Yes, sir." -The New Yorker

     Our sneak preview of MAIDEN this pass weekend was a resounding success. People loved the movie. It will be returning for a regular engagement August 2nd. And our sneak preview of Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME IN...HOLLYWOOD is this Thursday at 7:00 PM. The film opens on Friday for regular run at the Rose.

     Ben Medina - Port Townsend High School class of 2001 - has achieved the near impossible. In rare multi-hyphenate fashion, he has written, produced and directed a narrative feature that is about to go into national and international release, with its premiere at the Rose on August 9th. ECCO is a dramatic thriller about a former covert assassin. His peace and anonymity are shattered when his old employers return to bury their last surviving operative. With his truth exposed, he must protect his family and pursue his only chance at redemption when he hunts for those behind the organization where all his sins were born. There will be a Q&A with the director following the August 9th show.