Maureen Gosling—the sensitive and intuitive longtime editor of the seminal films of the late Les Blank—was the editor of the first documentary in the Neighborhoods series, The Mission, back in 1994. Now she has both edited and co-directed This Ain't No Mouse Music! The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records, a fond tribute to that pioneering American roots music label.
Joe De Francesco brought his passion and convictions as an editor to two episodes of the Neighborhoods series, both Chinatown and The Fillmore. (Showing he has either exquisite taste or a tinge of masochism. Or both.) I think back in the 90s he was already working on a crazy project to stage an epic poem about the Civil War with inmates at San Quentin. He pulled it off…and now has crafted a moving documentary of the performance and the experiences of the inmates as they encounter a poetic drama that has much to say about race, love, violence and the American character. Don’t miss the world premiere of “John Brown’s Body” at San Quentin Prison.
Then again…documentary directing/producing is not exactly a paradise. Perhaps after a few miserable dawn-to-midnight shoots…or the 20th rejected funding proposal…or the 50th headache over uncleared music rights…perhaps the pure content focus of editing will lure them back to their chair.
That’s a long shot. Try as one might to pigeonhole these rare birds, the fact is, talent will out. And with these three talents—not to mention a name like Gosling—they are bound to fly.