Pickin’ & Trimmin’ in a Down-Home North Carolina Barbershop: Award-Winning Short Film

Pickin’ & Trimmin’ is a documentary short film from 2008 profiling “The Barbershop” in Drexel, North Carolina, where Lawrence Anthony and David Shirley have barbered for decades, and where bluegrass musicians have jammed in the back room every weekend. Directed by Matt Morris, the award-winning film showcases the people and atmosphere of a small community in rural America, perhaps better than anything you’ve seen before. And the music played in the back room is simply wonderful.

You can find photos taken at The Barbershop on Flickr here. The film itself has been added to the Documentary section of our Free Movies collection.

Update: Lawrence Anthony, the head barber portrayed in this film, passed away in 2009. His son continues to run The Barbershop, but severe water damage has left the shop in need of repair. Here is a video showing the current situation.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

“Lift” – A Portrait of Life in a London High Rise

How do you adequately portray life in a high-rise building? London filmmaker Marc Isaacs found a rather unconventional answer to this question. He installed himself inside the lift/elevator of a high rise on the East End of London. And for ten hours a day, over two months, he would ride up and down with the residents, with his camera pointing at them. It is fascinating to see how the residents react to him being there – some are suspicious or even hostile at the beginning. Others open up about their personal lives and their daily life in the building. And then others bring him something to eat, a chair to sit down on, or even little presents. The result is a moving and “quietly fascinating meditation on the mundanities of London life.” Writing about the film, the Times Online put it best: “Isaacs has an astounding gift for getting people to open up to him and he uses film the way a skilled artist uses paint. The result is beautiful, heartbreaking and profoundly humane.”

Here’s some bonus material: a review of “Lift” and Isaacs’ two other short documentaries “Calais” and “Travellers,” a Sunday Times article entitled “Marc Isaacs on his documentary art,” and an interview with Mark by The Documentary Filmmakers Group dfg.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

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