This film, written by David Tankersley and me, is based in a true story from my family. We made the film in 2009 and released it in 2010. This was one of the most difficult things I've done in my career, but it was also one of the most satisfying.
This is my love letter to the place I come from.
In 2004, a leap year, several writer and photographer friends and I made a film that took a different look at Memphis. We took at least one photograph each day of the year. Here's some of what we saw.
This film is a tribute for Mose Allison by Memphis drummer Tom Lonardo, who played and traveled with Mose for many years. Tom was part of The Memphis "Pair", a term that comes from Delta cotton farmers when referring to their pairs of mules. Mose had "pairs" around the country. George Larrimore and I put this tribute together in gratitude for the many years of inspiration and enjoyment we gained from Mose's music and philosophy. We also love Tom Lonardo.
I was asked to go long on the Horn Island trip with the Memphis College of Art in 1997. 8 days in the sand. No running water. No electricity. That was a watershed event for me. I have spent 52 nights on Horn Island since that time. Horn Island changed me in a good way.
This is a film made for WKNO as a part of the Memphis Wonders series. Much of the footage was used in two films I made as a part of the exhibition. The best part was getting to spend two weeks in Florence, Italy.
The View From Adams Avenue
Memphis Garage Bands
Cotton Culture has played a role in most of what we know as American popular culture. Slavery, the Blues, Southern literature, and global economics all have their roots in the growing and selling of cotton.
Visualizing the Blues
I made this film in 1994, and to my knowledge it is the first documentary on cigars. I went to the Dominican Republic twice and stayed with the Arturo Fuente family, arguably the world's most recognized and successful cigar makers. Time Life Home Video carried the film for several years. This was my first independently produced documentary.
The Perea Story
By the end of the nineteenth century many
wayward children were still being placed in jails alongside adult offenders. The Juvenile Court idea was promoted by women's groups and progressive politicians. This is the story of the movement in Memphis.