Is different new? Is new good?

Weisman presents a film series of new and obscure work.

by Tom Horgen

Let Me Be Your Band,” a hilarious documentary about one-man bands opens with a hipster twentysomething exclaiming, “anything that’s out of the ordinary is good.”

In these times of pastiche and constant artistic recycling, it’s hard not to agree with him. Of course, that statement doesn’t always ring true. The recent political debacle in California is very much out of the ordinary. But good? Probably not.

Luckily the Weisman Art Museum’s “New Films Independent Artists” film series gives some credence to that statement and does so with magnificent results. The series includes seven documentaries that follow the strange, out-of-the-ordinary lives of some truly creative minds. The funky individuals inhabiting the films run the gamut from a man who finds art in trash bins to a master of mid-century surrealist cinema.

Filmgoers will learn a lot and be very entertained by the series, said Jill Boldenow, the series’ curator.

“They’re going to see different eras of art-making, different approaches. It’s going to make people think. And hopefully, it will spur some artistic activity,” she said.

Two of the documentaries are Sundance Film Festival alumni. “How to Draw a Bunny” was a Jury Prize winner at Sundance in 2002 and “Bukowski: Born Into This” was a Grand Prize nominee at the esteemed indie fest in 2003. Both are now in the hands of distributors and should be in art house theaters next year, Boldenow said. Filmgoers can look at the Weisman film series as a sneak peek to those films.

“A couple of (the films) are destined for the theaters, but many are not so this is a special chance to see them,” she said.