Although primarily devoted to film exhibition, Kier-La Janisse has been involved in film production since 2003 when she started editing together rather elaborate “compilations” for use as part of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s $1 Music Monday series, that came to be known as “bibliodocs” (see details and filmography below). An attempt to go legit led to an ill-fated documentary project about singer-songwriter Wreckless Eric, as well as an invitation to act as producer on the independent production EUROCRIME! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films that Ruled the 70s by Mike Malloy (details below). Stay tuned to this page for updates about anything in the works.
Kier-La Janisse is a producer on Subgenre Entertainment’s EUROCRIME! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films that Ruled the 70s, written, directed and edited by Atlanta-based filmmaker Mike Malloy, completed in 2012 and currently making festival rounds. This documentary takes a comprehensive look at the evolution of the Italian “poliziesco”, not only offering an overview of the many films, directors, stars, composers, stuntmen etc who typified the genre but also the turbulent political and social context that made the genre so unique and popular.
EUROCRIME! features interviews with many of the genre’s key players, including Franco Nero, Chris Mitchum, John Saxon, Henry Silva, Enzo G. Castellari, Ottaviano Dell’Aqua, Joe Dallesandro, Antonio Sabato, Sal Borgese, Luc Merenda and more.
So far EUROCRIME has screened at the Atlanta Film Festival, the Imagine Film Festival in Amsterdam, the Oak Cliff Film Festival, Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival and London's Frightfest, with Sitges and many others down the pipeline.
A bibliodoc is a documentary film made entirely using pre-existing footage, and is distinguishable from a video mash-up or collage film due to a reliance on narrative structure and historical context through either intertitles or offscreen narration. In addition, the bibliodoc’s primary purpose is historical as opposed to artistic.
The term “bibliodoc” was coined by filmmaker Hope Petersen in 2008 to describe the music history compilations of video collector and film programmer Kier-La Janisse. The first bibliodocs were collaborations between Kier-La Janisse, film historian Lars Nilsen and sound artist Anne Heller, with Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema providing the backdrop for these collaborations.
In winter of 2003, Janisse, Nilsen and Heller collaborated on PRETTY THINGS: THE RISE AND FALL OF GLAM ROCK, followed in 2004 by YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME: CASUALTIES OF ROCK and THE IN SOUND FROM WAY OUT: AURAL ODDITIES AND MUSICAL MADMEN. In 2005 each started doing their own films, resulting in Kier-La Janisse’s I WAS A TEENAGE QUINCY PUNK (2005) and BUBBLEGUM MUSIC IS THE NAKED TRUTH! (2005), the latter based on the book of the same name by editors Kim Cooper and David Smay. Anne Heller created SOUND UNBOUND Volumes 1 & 2, a two-part series exploring experimental music and free jazz (2005-2007), and Lars Nilsen created GOD vs. ROCK (2006), a compendium of Christian anti-rock propaganda.
There have been other collaborators: Tim League, founder of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, served as editor on the earliest bibliodocs; Scott Telles of ST37 was Janisse’s compiling and writing partner on METALMACHINEMUZIK: THE KRAUTROCK STORY (2005); Film historian Zack Carlson was a consultant on I WAS A TEENAGE QUINCY PUNK! (2005), Boyd Rice of NON narrated MY AUTUMN’S DONE COME: THE LEE HAZLEWOOD STORY (2006) and film critic Ken Lieck collaborated and narrated on Lars Nilsen’s A STAR IS PORN (2005).
Bibliodocs are by nature self-sufficient guerrilla productions with little work done outside the confines of a single room. While individual artists may be contacted for permission prior to inclusion in a bibliodoc, major film, television or record companies are not consulted or paid for copyright approval. The footage used in bibliodocs comes from personal video collections, and is of varying quality. As a result, bibliodocs are rarely screened publicly.
Bibliodocs are an active extension of video collecting culture. Where internet sites like YouTube have contributed to the evolution of the video mash-up and collage film, they have simultaneously contributed to the decline of video collector culture by creating the illusion of eternal accessibility. Video collecting and the underground trading circles that have facilitated this activity over the years have become devalued with the rise of downloading and YouTube. The bibliodoc is an attempt to reinstate this value by providing a mixture of full-length musical clips and historical context, while simultaneously providing a constructive alternative to collector hoarding.
Kier-La Janisse’s Selected 'Bibliodoc' Filmography:
YOU’RE BREAKIN’ MY
HEART: THE MUSIC OF HARRY NILSSON (2007)