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Calypso Dreams to open in LA

By Terry Joseph
January 30, 2004

Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne, directors of the highly-anticipated film Calypso Dreams, announced today that the movie has been invited to stage its premiere in Los Angeles at the prestigious International Pan-African Film Festival on Friday, February 7, at the Magic Johnson Theaters in downtown LA.

"We are absolutely thrilled," said an ebullient Dunn, who telephoned the Express from California. "This is the perfect venue to launch our premiere, as it sits right in the heart of the film industry."

The California-based filmmakers also announced that they will be bringing their film to Trinidad some time during the Carnival season, but said formal details for the local premiere were still being tidied.

Calypso Dreams captures acoustic performances by a host of legendary calypso performers, including Mighty Terror, Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Lord Superior, Duke, Black Stalin, Bomber, Warlord Blakie, Brother Valentino, Relator, Gypsy, Regeneration Now, (the late) Mystic Prowler, Singing Sandra, Striker, Power, Poser, Explainer, Mudada, Brother Akil, Trinidad Rio, Scrunter and Sugar Aloes.

The film, which was shot entirely on location here, a process that took fully three years, pays homage to recently deceased calypsonians, including Lord Kitchener and Lord Pretender. Chalkdust, David Rudder and Brother Resistance provide narrative commentary. Superior and composer Alvin Daniell have served as co-producers of the project in Port of Spain.

Since last October's US premiere of Calypso Dreams at the Mill Valley Film Festival, where the movie was widely regarded as the hit of that event, stellar reviews have come in. Dunn and Horne said they've been putting some final touches on the film, particularly its soundtrack.

Horne, a well known music promoter in his own right, described as "simply fantastic" additional work on the soundtrack put in recently by Superior at a California recording studio. "His virtuoso guitar work adds a whole new dimension to the film," Horne said.

The filmmakers said that since their premiere in Mill Valley several major distributors have expressed interest in Calypso Dreams and the LA screening will allow an even wider group of distributors to measure crowd response to their work.

"It's one thing to read a newspaper review or hear a TV or radio critique," said Dunn, "but quite another to see how a live audience reacts to the film.

Anyone who saw the film in Mill Valley knows that the crowd response there was electric."

Superior, who traveled from Port of Spain to Mill Valley, along with Lord Relator, confirmed Dunn's assessment of the evening. "It was one of the greatest night's of my life," Superior said. "I saw the appreciation of true-true kaiso by a predominantly non-Caribbean audience. Crazy, who also attended the film premiere in Mill Valley, was equally ecstatic. "It was huge," he exclaimed, "The film played to a packed house and the audience loved it."

Popular American performer Bonnie Raitt also attended the premiere and sang along with Calypso Rose during a post-film performance. Dunn and Horne stated that there will also be at least one Calypso Dreams performance scheduled in Port of Spain in association with the premiere here.

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