Sam Green’s new film-performance THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS explores the fringes of humanity

Inspired by the Guinness Book of World Records, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green embarked on THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS, an ode to the jagged edges of human experience. This curious live-cinema creation blends film with performance and live ensemble music by yMusic, an acclaimed group of New York City neo-classical instrumentalists who recently toured with Ben Folds, to examine the tallest, the oldest, the longest.

The project, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, continues Green’s exploration of a form he calls “live documentary.”  These projects deconstruct the elements of a documentary film and rebuild them as a live event: Green narrates the piece onstage and cues images – photos, film footage, interview clips – while a live band performs the soundtrack.  It’s all the elements of a film, but live.

Photo courtesy of the Noorderzon Festival

Photo courtesy of the Noorderzon Festival

Green situates his recent work at the intersection of performance, film, and lecture.  His live documentaries – including The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, which saw a hugely popular run at FringeArts in 2014 –have been presented around the globe.

THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS is a meditation on fate, time, and the outer contours of the human experience. It weaves together a series of portraits of record-holding people, places, and things, including the tallest man (7 feet 9 inches), the oldest living thing (a 5,000-year-old bristlecone pine in Southern California), the woman with the longest fingernails, the oldest living person (116), and the person with the world’s longest name. Some portraits are funny, some are heartbreaking, but all add up to a poignant meditation on the mysteries of existence, our individual and collective search for meaning, and the beauty and tragedy of human folly. [FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Boulevard (at Race Street)] June 26, 2015; fringearts.com.

 

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Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.