by Jim Ridley
"Is there a better, cooler label than Sublime Frequencies?" the Washington City Paper asked two years ago of the Seattle film and music imprint founded by Sun City Girls bassist Alan Bishop and ethnomusicographer Hisham Mayet. Some fans would say the same for Third Man Records, which hosts a night of films from the Sublime Frequencies vaults this evening.
If you admire Les Blank's or Werner Herzog's nonfiction films — or if you're one of the hundreds who've been flocking to The Belcourt for the current Samsara — you should check out the work of Rockaway, N.Y.-based filmmaker Olivia Wyatt, who'll be at Third Man 7 p.m. tonight to show two of her short documentaries. In a Vice interview, Wyatt (who shot one of the films on a visit to Ethiopia's Festival of a Thousand Stars that she financed via Kickstarter) said she tries to balance her goal to preserve the world's vanishing cultures on film with the awareness that her films might make people want to seek them out ... and thus hasten their demise. The Third Man site describes the night's double bill:
In Staring Into The Sun Olivia explores 13 different tribes throughout Ethiopia and takes in Zar spirit possession, Hamer tribal wedding ceremonies; wild hyena feedings and more in a blend of ethereal images, landscapes and sounds from the horn of Africa. The Pierced Heart & The Machete is a film exploring two Haitian Vodou religious pilgrimages that take place each year in mid-July.
The former was the basis for an ambitious project encompassing photographs and a double LP. The latter was screened last year at NYC's Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, a program spotlighting innovative documentaries, alongside docs by Agnes Varda and Maya Deren. Tickets for Wyatt's Third Man appearance are $10; the store is located at 623 7th Ave. S. Below: the trailer for Staring Into the Sun.