Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” is a tough read, but well worth the journey once the last page turns. Such is also the case with a Tacoma-based documentary that focuses its lens on MLK Ballet’s Moving Company and its journey to produce a show.
The film by Mick Flaaen will be screened at the Washington State History Museum on Wednesday, May 8, at a special event sponsored by the Seattle True Independent Film Festival, the first time the festival has ventured to the 253 for a screening that will also include the web series “Look Up in the Sky.”
The locally shot series is a suspense thriller by Arthur Rains-McNally about a murder on the mound of rocks to Tacoma’s Eastern sky. The series, now at episode seven, describes itself as: “A race against time, nature, science, and strangers. ‘Indian Summer’ meets ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ ‘Lost’ meets ‘Cloverfield.’”
Local film buffs simply know it as yet another of Ashley Cozine’s film projects. Love you, Boo.
Anyway, “A Funeral Dance” is a full-length flick that spans two months of rehearsals and behind-the-scenes drama that went into 2011’s production of “Funeral,” an original work by the tuition-free troupe.
The movie is part montage, part music video and part reality show, but it’s all things real and beautiful, personality warts and all. Stitched together with gorgeous dance footage, personal interviews of dancers and fly-on-the-wall moments, the movie shows a dance troupe in crisis amid the flowing movements and driving spirits that want to dance.
That fact makes it tough to watch. The tension, like a marriage going sour, tightens over time with pulls of assumptions, misunderstanding and clashes. But the dancers go through the motions and struggle for the good of the show. A score by Justin Tamminga adds what words and actions don’t.
“A Funeral Dance” screens at 7 p.m. on May 8 at Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Tickets are $8. More information can be found at trueindependent.org and washingtonhistory.org. An after-party is set for the Harmon Brewery across the street from the museum. Both film projects have ties to the 253 Film Collective.