Cue the Strings – a film about Low by Philip Harder
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Cue the Strings – a film about Low by Philip Harder

Soon after Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals) formed Low, Minneapolis filmmaker Philip Harder brought his 16mm camera north to make the Duluth band’s first music video on a frozen Lake Superior. From that moment, Harder continued to film Low’s iconic live performances and create visuals for the band’s music videos. Harder’s nonnarrative feature beautifully reassembles the span of his collaboration with Low, from first record to final show. 2023, US, DCP, 73 min.

Both screenings will be introduced by filmmaker Philip Harder, Low cofounder and songwriter Alan Sparhawk, and bassist Zak Sally.

Philip Harder is a commercial and music video director famous for iconic spots for Apple’s iPod, Gap, and Target, and music videos for artists including Prince, Foo Fighters, and Cornershop. His debut 2020 feature film Tuscaloosa (Natalia Dyer, Stranger Things; Tate Donovan, Argo) brought to life the novel of the same name—a southern gothic story set in 1973 Alabama. Harder’s newest feature documentary, The Claw (2023), tells the Jekyll and Hyde story of one of the greatest supervillains in wrestling history.

Zak Sally is a musician, cartoonist, author, and printer based in Minneapolis. He has owned and operated La Mano 21, a micro-press publishing concern, since 1992. Sally was the bass player in Low from 1994 until 2005, and continues to produce weird shit on a regular basis.

Thirty years into a career of music-making, Alan Sparhawk finds himself entering uncharted territory in 2023. Sparhawk cofounded the band Low alongside vocalist and drummer Mimi Parker, who passed away in late 2022. Their music derived elemental power from its fearless exploration of quiet, gentle places. Low released 13 albums and influenced a movement of spacious, graceful, intimate, and ever-evolving music. Over time, Low’s anthemic songs heightened in urgency and tone, unearthing new layers of musical exploration and lyrical questioning. Their acclaimed final album, Grammy-nominated Hey What (2021), marked a high point in their musical evolution and trajectory. Sparhawk has recently been playing with various collaborators and projects with friends and family members, including guest appearances with Yo La Tengo, Trampled by Turtles, Peder Mannerfelt, Damien, and funk band Derecho Rhythm Section. He will perform European solo shows in November 2023.

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