Amir “Questlove” Thompson’s film directorial debut “Summer of Souls (…or, when the Revolution can’t be broadcast)” will premiere on July 2 in Hulu and some theaters.
But before the music documentary was released Released to the public this summer, “Summer of Souls” Officially unveiled earlier this year At the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Won the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award In the non-fiction category.
Appearing as an official guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Monday, Questlov shared how he found out that he is now an award-winning filmmaker-despite the bad timing.
“I received a call early in the morning saying that I would answer it on time at 11:10 am because Tabitha Jackson, who runs the Sundance Film Festival, wants to talk to me…especially in the morning, on the ground The snow is like three feet,” the Philadelphia native said. “There are eight inches of slush, hail and wind. This is the worst case, next to Hurricane Sandy. At 11:10 in the morning, when I arrived at 30 Rock, she called me and I was trying to figure it out. It’s how I will cross this three-foot-high snow mountain. Tabitha Jackson is from England, she has a strong python accent, Robin Ritchie accent, so she’s really in “Ah Mill, I just want to announce” right For you, you won…’ She’s like a puppet, really excited… She’s like’How do you feel? I don’t know when we entered it was like “Wait , What did I win? “Like a publisher’s clearing house, she announced that way. My only gain was,’Damn it, it’s a terrible idea to wear Crocs in January.'”
Although he has performed at the music festival as the drummer of The Roots many times, Questlove described Sundance’s experience as “fuzzy” and admitted that he did not really understand the importance of the event.
“I don’t know the rules of the Sundance game,” Questrov said. “I just thought we were going to show [the film] In Sundance, that’s it. “
“Summer of Souls” is a music documentary about the 1969 Harlem Festival, which is sometimes referred to as “Blackwoodstock”. It took place during the same “Summer of Love” as the more famous three-day event in upstate New York. The footage of this movie hasn’t appeared in more than 50 years.
From late June to August 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival staged more than 30 performances by musical legends, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simon, Sly and Family Stone, BB King, Gladys Knight and The Pips et al.
One of the producers of the event, Hal Tulchin, filmed more than 40 hours of footage for the summer series.Due to lack of interest in festivals, most of them have never seen the sky, and have been sitting in a box in the basement of Tulchin for 50 years —— Until Questlove was invited to direct this documentary and examine the history surrounding this event. Thompson dedicated this film to Turchin, who died in 2017.
Questlove consulted acclaimed directors such as Spike Lee and Ava DuVernay during the film production process. The Philadelphia native said that no matter he walks to his home or studio, he will constantly watch a 24-hour loop show to choose the shots of this movie.
“So that’s what I did for five months in a row. I just recorded what made me get goose bumps,” the musician explained.
The first draft of the film consisted of more than three hours of footage and had to be shortened to two hours. Questlove described this process as “the hardest thing to do in the world.”
At first, Questlove said that his goal was to “curate 15 truly great songs among these performers.” But Questlove said that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and national civil unrest last year changed the way he and his team handled the project.
“When we entered the lockdown on the first day, we all knew,’Oh, this is true, our lives will never be the same in the future.’ Ironically, I did not forget what was happening in 67 , 68, 69 and 70 years happened 50 years later,” the musician said. “We see this as an opportunity to make people like Gen Z and Millennials unfamiliar with these behaviors, but why they get together and use their voices to support activism. We really delve into why this is so important , So I think it covers everything. Even if you are just for music, or you see information about why this concert must be held, it covers all generations. “
About 300,000 people participated in the Harlem Cultural Festival, but in the following decades, due to the lack of exposure, its historical status has been blurred.
Initially, Questlove wanted to name the movie “Black Woodstock”, which was an endorsement of the overlapping facts before and after the world-famous New York Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. The name was finally changed because he thought it would be a forgotten relevance of the Harlem incident, but it would be unfavorable to compare the two in the documentary.
During the release of “Summer of Souls” SpringFest of the Philadelphia Film Association of the Month The PFS exchange in the old city.