Trailers for Restoration of Classic Doc 'Streetwise' + Its Follow-Up 'Tiny'
by Alex Billington
July 5, 2019
"That's part of my past, now…" Janus Films has debuted an official trailer for a brand new restoration of the classic documentary Streetwise, which originally showed at the Sundance Film Festival (then known as the "U.S. Film Festival") back in January of 1985. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1985, but lost to The Times of Harvey Milk that year. Made by filmmaker Martin Bell, the documentarian returned thirty years later with the new follow-up / sequel titled Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell. The original doc is a groundbreaking film on homeless and runaway teenagers, and one of the main subjects was a woman named Tiny. They caught up with her again 30 years later for an update. "Now a forty-four year-old mother of ten, Blackwell reflects with Mark on the journey they've experienced together, from Blackwell's struggles with addiction to her regrets to her dreams for her own children…" Both of these doc films look like fascinating, compassionate portraits of people who choose the street over a broken home.
Here's the official restoration trailer for Martin Bell's doc Streetwise, direct from Criterion's YouTube:
Seattle, 1983. Taking their camera to the streets of what was supposedly America's most livable city, filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of those society had left behind: homeless and runaway teenagers living on the city’s margins. Born from a Life magazine exposé by Mark & McCall, the Academy Award-nominated Streetwise follows an unforgettable group of at-risk children—including iron-willed fourteen-year-old Tiny, who would become the project's most haunting and enduring face, along with the pugnacious yet resourceful Rat and the affable drifter DeWayne—who, driven from their broken homes, survive by hustling, panhandling, and dumpster diving. Granted remarkable access to their world, the filmmakers craft a devastatingly frank, nonjudgmental portrait of lost youth growing up far too soon in a world that has failed them. More info.
Here's the original trailer for Martin Bell's doc Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell, also from YouTube:
Thirty years in the making, Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell continues to follow one of the most indelible subjects of Streetwise, the original groundbreaking documentary on homeless and runaway teenagers. Erin Blackwell, a.k.a. Tiny, was introduced in filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall's earlier film as a brash fourteen-year-old living precariously on the margins in Seattle. Now a forty-four year-old mother of ten, Blackwell reflects with Mark on the journey they've experienced together, from Blackwell's struggles with addiction to her regrets to her dreams for her own children, even as she sees them being pulled down the same path of drugs and desperation. Interweaving three decades’ worth of Mark's photographs and footage that includes previously unseen outtakes from Streetwise, this is a heartrending, deeply empathetic portrait of a family struggling to break free of the cycle of trauma, as well as a summation of Mark's life's work – an irreplaceable artistic voice. More info.
Both films – Streetwise and Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell – are directed by American filmmaker Martin Bell, his only two docs in his career. He also directed the feature film American Heart in 1992, as well as a few music videos and short films. Streetwise originally screened at the Sundance Film Festival in early 1985. Tiny originally premiered at the Seattle Film Festival in 2016. Janus Films will be re-releasing both films in select theaters again starting July 19th this summer as a special double feature. For more on the release, visit the Janus Films website or visit the Metrograph in NYC for showtimes. Anyone interested in these two?
Sadly not much has changed in the PNW...history is still repeating itself. This looks raw and real and sadly incredibly accurate. The helpless always needing help...
THE_RAW_ on Jul 5, 2019
Looks heartbreaking. A lot of stories like this. Still, this looks good and, as might be expected, sad ...
shiboleth on Jul 5, 2019
Looks very good and quite sad. I'll probably avoid this, just because I can't take more sadness in my life.
DAVIDPD on Jul 6, 2019
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