2010 Ponderosa Stomp
Clandestine Celluloid Film Series

24th & 25th of September One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans, Louisiana

Ponderosa Stomp Film Series 2010

CLANDESTINE!!! A scarcely screened documentary about Mississippi blues featuring R.L. Burnside. A scarcely screened documentary about Mississippi blues featuring R.L. Burnside. (dir. Bradley Beesley, 1999, 60 min) Friday, September 24th, 3:30 pm

So you think you know the Blues? Think again. Bradley Beesley's scarcely seen documentary tells it how it really is. This is a foot-stomping work about a small record label’s chase to find "real" blues: Gutbucket Mississippi blues. According to the film, the further you get from Mississippi, the worse the music gets. What is ultimately revealed are the conditions from which the blues are born. Hardships, poverty and lots of moonshine are the common binders for the artists featured. 

The film focuses on R.L. Burnside, a late bloomer who didn't dedicate his time to music until he was in his late 50s. Also featured is  T-Model Ford, who didn't pick up a guitar until the tender age of 77. This musical journey shows you the real side of the blues. The soul and pain of those who live in the northern Mississippi hill country shines through in its music, as well as this film. Under their living circumstances, it is obvious what helps these folks get through the day: music and humor.

Filmmaker Bradley Beesley in attendance; Q&A to follow screening.

Bradley Beesley

Austin-based filmmaker Bradley Beesley (Clandestine Mississippi Blues documentary) has made a cinematic career-documenting oddball Americana, strange sub-cultures and homegrown rock stars. Post art school and somewhat damaged, he began filming with legendary bluesman R.L. Burnside to make his first feature. He has since directed nine feature-length films, including seven documentaries, a concert film and a sci-fi narrative. Bradley is the producer and director of the backwoods cult classic Okie Noodling (PBS). The film chronicles the lost art of barehanded catfishing in his home state of Oklahoma. In 2005, Shout! Factory released ‘The Fearless Freaks’, a documentary starring The Flaming Lips. He has collaborated on over ten music videos with the Lips and recently teamed-up with Wayne Coyne to make ‘Christmas on Mars’. (Warner Bros.) ‘Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo' (HBO) is his latest effort and goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls as they compete in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. Other films include ‘The Creek Runs Red’ (Independent Lens), ‘Summercamp!’ (Sundance Channel) and ‘UFO’s at the Zoo’ (Warner Bros.). His TV credits include ‘Roller Girls’ (A&E), ‘Paranormal State’ (A&E) and ‘Storm Chasers’ (Discovery).