Virtual Speaker Series: Filmmaker Beth Harrington Presents a Screening and Discussion of “The Musicianer”
Date: Tuesday, June 1
Time: 7:00 p. m. EDT
Location: Zoom (free but registration required)
Join us on Tuesday, June 1, at 7:00pm EST for a screening of filmmaker Beth Harrington’s new short film (22 minutes), The Musicianer, followed by a discussion with Beth and music from Petunia, the lead actor/musician. This fictional film – Beth calls it “Supernatural Americana” – is based around a yodeling hillbilly singer from the 1920s who finds himself immortal, playing his music down the years and intersecting with some present-day musicologists. One of Beth’s most well-known films is The Winding Stream: The Carters, the Cashes, and the Course of Country Music, and a lot of the research that went into this Carter Family film found its way into The Musicianer, especially the history of the early recording industry, talking pictures, etc. Beth will share the story behind the making of the film, how it intersects with the work she did on The Winding Stream, and much more!
The Musicianer has been part of numerous film festivals as an official selection, and it has won several awards, including Best Short at Rails to Reel in Meridian, Mississippi (Jimmie Rodgers’ hometown!), Best Music Film at the Franklin International Indie Film Festival, and Winner at the Director’s Cut International Film Festival.
* “Beth Harrington Presents a Screening and Discussion of The Musicianer” is free and open to the public, but please register to attend below. Donations are welcome and help to support free and low-cost museum programming.
Beth Harrington is an independent producer, director and writer, whose fervor for American history, music and culture has led to a series of award-winning and critically acclaimed films.
Whether exploring the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, chronicling the history of the Aleutian Islands or drinking up the world of craft beer brewing, Beth seamlessly straddles the line between objective journalistic integrity and a passion for every subject. As a result, her films are both thought provoking and heartfelt.
Beth’s most recent works, The Winding Stream – The Carters, The Cashes and The Course of Country Music and the Grammy-nominated Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, reflect her long-standing love of music. A rock-and-roll singer and guitarist, she is most noted for her years as a member of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers on the Warner Bros. Sire Records label.
Petunia is more than just an entertainer, he’s a modern musical enigma. Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby, that yodeled…or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s hobo junction. This is just one way of describing the man known simply as Petunia. He’s an adventure seeker, a poker player, and a mysterious stranger. He’s been referred to as “The Savior of Country Music”, and a man who exists in a different era, bringing the past forth as something new to be celebrated and not forgotten.
Petunia grew up in rural Quebec, in exactly the sort of surroundings that a country musician would find idyllic, with old dilapidated barns, secret forts, and acres of unspoiled land. As an adult, the wandering spirit took a firm hold on his life, so he set out on the road, playing every major street corner across Canada and throughout the NYC subway system, before graduating to full-fledged touring musician. When he’s not on the road playing shows, Petunia is also involved in the theatre world: building side projects, writing scores, acting, or collaborating with theatre artists. Petunia & The Vipers played Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in 2017.