Directed by Matt Wolf
Visit Film Site: arthurrussellmovie.com
“Rather than producing an encyclopedic or definitive film that reconstructs Arthur’s entire musical trajectory, I chose to make a portrait. I retraced Arthur’s footsteps on the Staten Island ferry and I ran through the cornfields with a VHS camera. I interviewed Tom Lee in the small apartment where Arthur once obsessively worked and I met Chuck and Emily Russell in Arthur’s idyllic childhood home. These experiences helped me imagine Arthur’s point of view and enabled me to form a deeper interpretation of his music.” -Matt Wolf
Top 10 Film of 2008: Artforum, San Francisco Bay Guardian, LA Weekly, Hammer to Nail; Critic’s Choice New York Times
Award for Artistic Achievement, Outfest (Los Angeles); Grand Jury Prize, In-Edit Documentary Film Festival (Barcelona); Best Documentary, Gaze Film Festival (Dublin)
Wild Combination is director Matt Wolf’s visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art. Now, over fifteen years since his passing, Arthur’s work is finally finding its audience. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthur’s family, friends, and closest collaborators—including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg—to tell this poignant and important story.
Matt Wolf was recently named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. Wild Combination was critically acclaimed and played in over 60 international film festivals, museums, and cinemas (Edinburgh, IFC Center, MoMA, ICA London) and was released theatrically in the US and UK. It is distributed by Plexifilm and has aired on the Sundance Channel.
Matt has produced and directed short documentaries for the New York Times, including a webby-nominated series on Art Basel Miami Beach. He directed “High Line Stories,” a series of ten short documentaries for the Sundance Channel about the High Line park in Manhattan. Most recently Matt directed documentary components of Opus Jazz, a film collaboration with New York City Ballet dancers and WNET/PBS Great Performances about Jerome Robbins’ groundbreaking choreography. Matt is a graduate of New York University’s Film School, where he received the prestigious W.T.C. Johnson Fellowship.
Matt is currently working with seminal punk journalist and author Jon Savage on a documentary film entitled Teenage about the history of youth culture before the 1950s and the origins of the teenager. He is also completing a short experimental documentary about the artist and poet Joe Brainard.