Local photographer, Joshua Ford, is doing some super cool stuff at the FIGGE Art Museum in downtown Davenport. He is bringing art house films to the Quad Cities and screening them in the theater, but the events are developing into being so much more than showing a movie on a big screen. I had been hearing about his plans for an event at the museum and decided to check it out on a Wednesday evening in October.
The films Ford chooses are ones the other local cinemas aren’t going to show. They are more cerebral, less mainstream, and thought provoking. There is more than one film showing; the presentation begins with a series of shorts, a brief intermission, then followed by a feature length film.
Part of the greatness of these evenings at the FIGGE is the artistic collaborations that are going on throughout the experience. The cocktail hour features a sampling of brews crafted by Wake Brewing from local home brewers Jason and Justen Parris. The two beers they brewed specific for this event were inspired by and named after elements in the feature film, “Beyond the Black Rainbow”. While the crowd gathers, enjoys some light fare, a DJ on a turntable entertains.
The first short of the evening, “13 Visions” featured a local cinematographer, Jon Burns, and a live score performed by Idpyramid (Dennis Hockaday). On the back of the program was this statement, “This is the second in a series of locally-crafted, collaborative, live-scored short films, commissioned exclusively for performance at Cinema at the FIGGE.”
Several of Quad Cities’ artists are joining together to create things for or during a night that cannot be duplicated, it is an original experience housed in our area’s art museum. And it’s free! There was a cash bar, t-shirt sales, and donations being accepted; the proceeds are split between the FIGGE and a different charity each evening, this night it being The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
There are at least two more of these events coming up, the next is Thursday, December 15th. The short program will be “Driftless” by Danny Wilcox Frazier, a documentary about the disappearing of rural Iowa. The feature film is “The Straight Story”, a David Lynch film.
When asked about a plan for 2017, Ford told me that he’s waiting to see how these first few dates go. He is hopeful, however, for it to grow into something the Quad Cities supports, to continue to build and expand the culture of our area. It is well worth an evening of your time to go check this out and support our local artists.