Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to The Village Detective: a song cycle, Bill Morrison’s latest exploration of the forgotten histories that endure on celluloid. The film had its World Premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam, has its North American Premiere this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, and will open in theaters starting with IFC Center in New York on Wednesday, September 22 before expanding to select cities nationwide.
Kino Lorber previously released Morrison’s film Dawson City: Frozen Time, which took home prizes at the International Documentary Association and Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and featured on more than 100 critics’ lists of the Best Films of 2017.
During the summer of 2016, a fishing boat off the shores of Iceland made a most curious catch: four reels of 35mm film, seemingly of Soviet provenance. Unlike the film find explored in Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time, it turned out this discovery wasn’t a lost work of major importance, but an incomplete print of a popular comedy starring beloved Russian actor Mihail Žarov. Does that mean it has no value? Morrison thought not. To him, the heavily water-damaged print, and the way it surfaced, could be seen as a fitting reflection on the life of Žarov, who loved this role so much that he even co-directed a sequel to it. Morrison uses the story as a jumping off point for The Village Detective: a song cycle, his latest meditation on cinema’s past, offering a journey into Soviet history and film accompanied by a gorgeous score by Pulitzer and Grammy-winning composer David Lang.