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Dance > Documentary / Interview

Speaking for Myself

Produced and directed by Bert Shapiro

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Speaking for Myself


DVD Price $175
Streaming Price (1 year) $175
Streaming Price (1 year) + DVD $263
Streaming Price (3 years) $420
Streaming Price (3 years) + DVD $508
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This documentary film captures the core of New York City on a human scale, focusing on the work of eight widely varied performing artists: A dancer, a concert pianist, an actress, a Noh performer, a multi-instrumentalist, a tabla virtuoso, an organist and a singing poet. Manhattan: The provocative, dense and iconic home to 8 million human stories, ever changing and often over-whelming to countless masses of visitors. Often-unseen and surprising images of the city’s unique atmosphere lend an evocative dimension to the very personal glimpses into the lives woven throughout the film. This rare view of Manhattan’s creative heart powerfully conveys the intensity and scope of the city that is both humanistic and intimate.

Filmed in New York City, Beijing, Bali, Munich, Tokyo

During a long career as a publisher of educational materials, I became interested in documentary video making. To this end, in 1995 I decided on a career change. Finally in 1997 I began to work full-time at acquiring the technical skills necessary for effective camera work and non-linear editing. In the absorbing process during these years I have found the work very exciting, sometimes frustrating, never boring. At the same time I found some similarities with my publishing experiences which have been helpful, such as concept development and finding ones own ‘voice’ during the production process. Whilst admiring the production skills in managing a large-scale film, and in spite of the obvious limitations, I have taken particular pleasure in working alone. To date I have completed 14 films.

“…a wonderful, unpretentious and intimate film from a talented filmmaker who cares about his subject…introduces us to 8 individual NYC artists who speak to us through honest monologue and clips of their work. What is revealed is their character, their soul, their roots, their vision and tenacity…and interestingly, their intimacy with the City of New York. The artists are as diverse in culture and ethnicity as they are in artistic pursuits, but they all share a uniform love of craft, mountain of creativity, integrity of purpose and love of the city they find truly inspiring… I’m ready to charge into the Apple and get my own stuff done, damn it.” “’Speaking For Myself’ is an entertaining, thoughtful and honest look at some tough “working” artists who, despite the odds, are leaving their mark in a tough, yet vibrant city.… I left the screening inspired…” - Wayne Miller, Sugar Moon Entertainment Capital

“Brilliant, Rich, Beautiful...Art from the inside-out, creation from a creators perspective! Great work…” - Chris Cave

“…impressively high level of production craft. Across the board - composition, video quality, audio, editing, DVD encoding - it's very strong…” - Nick Ravitch

Perfectly represented, is Elliott Sharp’s music, words and images. Hyperactive, brilliant, open to many influences and always able to meld them in a personal synthesis, Sharp is the perfect symbol of this never-ending research process. Welcome to New York City!"

Andrea Rossi (Italy)


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