Lil Buck in Roll Box
It’s a day post-election and I awoke with a feeling of dread, a feeling of being boxed in by the small mindedness of this country, and the ease with which the American people seem capable of being duped. I wanted to share something that would help resurrect some joy, some hope, some positivity in all of us who were looking forward to not being trumped. I looked through my database and found Roll Box, a short by Jacob Sutton featuring Lil’ Buck and thought, this.
Borrowing conceptually from Stanley Donen’s Royal Wedding and its groundbreaking, apparently gravity defying “Dancing on the Ceiling” scene, we see dancer Lil’ Buck in a beautifully crafted wooden box shaped room, wherein the floors become ceilings and walls and vice versa. I had the privilege of knowing and working with Stanley years ago while at the Dance/Film Lab at Sundance, and I remember him saying that he had weeks of rehearsal, something that is largely unprecedented now for a single scene in a film. While it appears more a trick of incredibly precise, astute, and well-done editing rather than a room that actually rotated (as I know was the case in Royal Wedding), it is short, powerful, and incredibly well done. Lil’ Buck is phenomenal and Sutton uses all his most powerful movement. Although this short may read more like an expression of angst and frustration than of hope and joy, it is beautiful, powerful, and I think apropos.
Enjoy and keep up hope.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.