A Thousand Thoughts – A Live Documentary by Sam Green and Kronos Quartet

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Castro Theatre

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Guests Expected

Director Sam Green and subjects Kronos Quartet expected to attend.


Academy-Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green and film editor Joe Bini have partnered with the legendary New Classical pioneers Kronos Quartet to create a “live documentary” about the classical music group that is a powerfully moving experience. The Kronos Quartet will take the stage and provide the musical score to a multi-screen film about them, while Green narrates from the stage. Blending archival footage; interviews with longtime collaborators such as Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Laurie Anderson; along with interactive storytelling, A Thousand Thoughts creates a profound connection to the music and the musicians, one that celebrates their talent and influence while allowing the audience to experience it first-hand.  

“Live scorings of conventional films can feel like an unwieldy compromise, a concert periodically interrupted by dialogue and sound effects, but in A Thousand Thoughts, the interplay and overlap is its reason for being. The ideas that normally underlay the quartet’s music are moved to the front, existing in counterpoint with the music itself. Composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, whose Sea Ranch Songs was performed in excerpt, observed in an interview clip that talking about music is ‘like trying to describe a perfume,’ but that ephemeral quality was embodied in the interaction between image and sound, notes and words.” – Sam Adams, Slate

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Directors SamGreen and JoeBini

Bay Area filmmaker Sam Green’s previous work includes the Oscar-nominated The Weather Underground (2002), Utopia in Four Movements (Festival 2010), and The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (2012). Of his live cinema collaborations like A Thousand Thoughts he says, “I sort of stumbled into this form, or backed into it accidentally. That was 2010. What’s more interesting to me was I just suddenly was very smitten with the idea of this form. It was weird. I had never heard of anyone doing a live film before. But there were a lot of things that appealed to me about it. A whole range of reasons from political to economic, aesthetic reasons. I keep making them, because I’m still charmed by the form. Still fascinated by it. Still trying to figure out what it can do.” (Extended Play)

San Mateo-born Joe Bini is a veteran film and television editor and a longtime collaborator with Werner Herzog, beginning with Little Dieter Needs to Fly (Festival 1999), and including Grizzly Man (2005), The Wild Blue Yonder (Festival 2006), Encounters  at the End of the World (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Festival 2011), Into the Inferno (2016), and more. Other projects include Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008), for which he won the Sundance Film Festival documentary editing prize and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programing and won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming; We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011); American Honey (2016); and You Were Never Really Here (2017). A Thousand Thoughts is his directing debut.

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2018
  • Running time: 85
  • Director(s): Sam Green, Joe Bini
  • Producer(s): Janet Cowperthwaite, Sam Green
  • Cinematographer(s): Kirsten Johnson
  • Editor(s): Sam Green, Joe Bini

Print Source:

Kronos Quartet Performing Arts Association