Private Project

Big Eater

A documentary that records choreographer David Neumann as he creates a new dance piece called "Big Eater" to be performed at the Kitchen in New York City. The documentary records David and his dancers for one year as he creates his dance piece from scratch. Slowly David builds a dance, at first, based upon the behavior of animals in captivity and the alien motion of octopi then, shifting gears, incorporating a famous You Tube video showing an inebriated David Hasselhof as his daughter implores him to stop drinking. The ballet soon integrates the final tragic act from the famous ballet 'Giselle' into the mix. Through the lens of these disparate elements fuses a stark elegiac meditation on our present American culture. The documentary shows the complexity of building a dance piece from the false moves and hardships of creating a simple schedule to the magic when all the elements in a dance finally come together. This documentary tries to reveal something of the mystery behind the creative process of an artist. And, that said, this film is for artists.

  • Richard Sylvarnes
    Here Comes Everybody, The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, The Cloud of Unknowing
  • Creative Capital
  • David Neumann, Neil Medlyn, Will Rawls, Kennis Hawkins, Weena Pauly, Andrew Dinwiddie, Natalie Agee
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 56 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 15, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Richard Sylvarnes

Richard Sylvarnes is a filmmaker, photographer, and sound artist. His latest feature film, "Here Comes Everybody" was released by Cinema Purgatorio in 2015 and premiered at The Horse Hospital in London in early 2016. His prior feature, "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz", is a found-footage film that featured a live music performance to accompany the film which premiered at The Microscope Gallery in New York City and then at the Anthology Film Archives. In 2009 he received a Creative Capital Grant to work with the four time Bessie Award winning choreographer David Neumann on a work titled "Big Eater" which premiered at the Kitchen in 2010. He filmed the process of making the work and is presently editing the results into a documentary. Also, in 2008, he was nominated for a Rockefeller Renew Media Fellowship. His first feature film, "The Cloud Of Unknowing", premiered in the International Dramatic Feature Competition at the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 continuing on in festivals throughout Asia and Europe and was released by Possible Films in 2004. "H.C.E.", his second feature, also premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in the NYNY Narrative Competition in 2006. Sylvarnes's commissioned work includes Matador Recording artist Interpol, fashion designer Miho Miho, and "Bate Papo Em Nova Iorque" a pilot for Brazilian television. He has shown his photography and films at the Galerie Du Jour in Paris, The Ragged School in London, Galerie Tristesse in Berlin, Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles, Emerson Gallery Berlin, Thessalonica Film Festival in Greece, Dances Camera West in Los Angeles, the Chelsea Art Museum, the Museek International Music Video Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, Raindance Festival in London, among others. His music and sound works have been released on three CD’s, "Viva" (2005), the soundtrack to "H.C.E." (2006) and "And Then She Heard The Echo Of The Big Bang" (2007), on the Skrymir label with "Metal Skyline" being distributed in 2017. He is also working with the band Zero Times Everything which is preparing a release for 2017 and the Underworld Oscillator Corporation that released a CD entitled "Phantom" in 2016. He also formed "Kaisar" with two Berlin artists. Sylvarnes currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for The Film-makers’ Cooperative and has guest lectured at Harvard University.

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