Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Don's Basement Awards or DBA for 2013

Sorry about the late recap of the DBAs this year. But here goes. There were so many fine candidates that I don't know where to start.

Documentary Films: SILK, directed by Benjamin Shearn

This film by Benjamin Shearn holds up the mirror to a music/dance culture of diversity, inclusion, and joy that is remarkable for its sincerity and intensity.

SILK had its world premiere at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen in November.

Gatling Pictures - a young company based out of L.A. has picked up the film for worldwide distribution. They are planning a Summer 2014 release. There will be a limited edition physical DVD release of the film, distribution through digital platforms, and possibly a limited theatrical release.

The film has been accepted into the Melbourne International Film Festival, F.A.M.E. Paris and Planete+Doc -





Book of the Year: Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn





This tale of a young woman's struggle to keep her family together in the small village of Park Slope has been seriously underrated despite the author's claim  (later retracted) of winning a National Book Award. It is actually the act of claiming the National Book Award that gave Shearn, the nod for the BDA book of the year over Jim Schutze's, The Dunking Booth.




Painting of the Year: So What by Peggy Shearn


So What: 12" x 72" Mixed Media on Canvas


There is a sly reference to the  jazz composition, "So What," in Shearn's word and picture play in paint.  Viewers of the painting see a blue sky...some see the sail boats bobbing in the sea...and others comment on the energy and motion emanating from the canvas.

The actor Dennis Hopper, in an interview in 2008 with Men's Journal, claims that Davis named the song after intellectual conversations with Hopper, in which Hopper would reply, "So what?" 

Congratulations from all of me at Don's Basement.