THE REAGAN YEARS
A PROLIFIC ACTOR’S DEFINING ROLE: LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION'S INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION CAPTUREs THE SPECTACLE OF AMERICAN MIGHT AT ITS ACME.
There are three ways to understand the American political landscape of the 1980s. From the left wing perspective, it is the end of America’s commitment to New Deal progressivism. From the right wing perspective, it is the moment that conservative ideals successfully entered national politics. But from the perspective of our generation, the “Reagan Babies,” it looks like a deeply bizarre interlude in the pageantry of American political life: politics as if it were staged by David Lynch, a mix of surrealism and cold hard political fact.
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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 @ 7PM
GRAND LAKE THEATRE
Director: Pacho Velez
Producer: Sierra Pettengill
Editor: Daniel Garber
Length: 3 min, 3 min, 2 min
plays in concert with THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD
The House on Coco Road is an intimate portrait of Fannie Haughton, an activist and teacher who moves her children from Oakland, California to participate in the Grenada Revolution – only to find her family in harms way of a U.S. military invasion.
This film is her son's search for historical and emotional truth that will confirm his mother’s place in American history. With an original score by Meshell Ndegeocello, filmmaker Damani Baker (Still Bill) creates an intimate family portrait of nationalism, freedom and the dream of a more livable world.
Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His current project, The Reagan Years, explores a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. Told entirely through a largely-unseen trove of archival footage, the film captures the pageantry, pathos, and charisma that followed the 40th President from Hollywood to the nation’s capital.
His last film, Manakamana (co-directed with Stephanie Spray) won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. His earlier film and theater work have been presented at venues such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, and on Japanese National Television.
In 2010, Pacho completed his MFA at CalArts. He has taught at Harvard University, Bard College, Parsons the New School, and MassArt. In 2015, he was awarded a Princeton Arts Fellowship.
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