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Carmine Street Guitars

(Rated Unclassified 15+)

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"I called them 'the bones of old New York'"

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Once the centre of the New York bohemia, Greenwich Village is now home to luxe restaurants and exclusive clothing stores catering to the city’s wealthier residents. But one shop in the heart of the Village remains resilient to the encroaching gentrification: Carmine Street Guitars. There, master guitar maker Rick Kelly, and his young apprentice Cindy Hulej, build handcrafted instruments out of reclaimed wood from old hotels, bars, churches and other local buildings. Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Rick Kelly guitar, which is the reason they are embraced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Jim Jarmusch, just to name a few. Featuring a cast of prominent musicians and artists, and some virtuoso performances, this film captures five days in the life of one small shop that still carries the torch for an all-too-quickly vanishing way of life.

"A love letter to downtown musicians — and an absolutely essential documentary about the importance of community"
— Rolling Stone
“The most unassuming, sneakily beautiful, goddamn treat of a film I have ever seen. Hyperbole? Nope.”
— Screen Anarchy
"A one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic"
— Variety

Why You Should See This Film

Premiering at the 75th Venice Film Festival and screening to acclaim at TIFF, SXSW and this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, Carmine Street Guitars is a blissful cinema experience akin to taking a neighbourhood stroll with an affable old friend. With warm cinematography from Becky Parsons and John M. Tran and even warmer anecdotes from the old-fashioned, unhurried Rick Kelly, this is a thoughtful documentary portrait of professional dedication, decades-old community and musical expertise.

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  • Year: 2018
  • Rating: Unclassified 15+
  • Director: Ron Mann
  • Duration: 81 minutes
  • Language: English
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