Tony Bennett as seen in THE ZEN OF BENNETT, a film directed by Unjoo Moon. Photo credit: Josh Cheuse. Picture courtesy Abramorama. All rights reserved.
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The Zen of Bennett (2012)
Opened: 10/24/2012 Limited
|IFC Center||10/24/2012 - 11/01/2012||9 days|
|The Landmark||11/02/2012 - 11/08/2012||7 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
A seductive and soulful view into the mind and creative process of legendary singer Tony Bennett.
The Zen Of Bennett is a seductive and soulful view into the mind of singer Tony Bennett as well as an intimate portrait of the artist's creative process as he turns 85 years old. In a first person narrative, Tony reflects back over his 60 year career while looking ahead within the context of his latest recording project. We experience inspirational insights as Tony discusses his philosophies of life, lessons learned, and his passion for art and music.
Artfully filmed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, the documentary employs a voyeuristic approach while exploring and illustrating the isolation experienced by the artist in the midst of the whirlwind of activity that surrounds Tony during the recording.
The film is a stylistic and compelling meditation of contradictions: memories & reality, crowded rooms & isolation, art & commerce, family & career, a golden age & a brave new world, the icon & the everyman.
The Zen Of Bennett is the definitive study of the artistic process and how an artist can endure and still be at the top of his game for over 60 years, true to his art and social conscience, while remaining relevant to a multitude of generations. The film will remain an indelible testament to the living legend that is Tony Bennett.
About the Filmmakers
Danny Bennett (Conceived, Created and Produced by)
Bennett has produced a variety of broadcast productions including the 7X EMMY Award winning TARGET PRESENTS -- TONY BENNETT: AN AMERICAN CLASSIC, the NBC variety special directed by Rob Marshall (CHICAGO, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA); In association with Clint Eastwood, the EMMY Award-winning PBS American Masters documentary TONY BENNETT: THE MUSIC NEVER ENDS; the EMMY Award-winning live music series LIVE BY REQUEST, 36 shows that ran for 9 seasons on the A&E Network showcasing such artists as David Bowie, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, James Taylor, The Bee Gees, Tony Bennett and Don Henley. LIVE BY REQUEST's unique interactive concept was conceived by the Bennetts and went on to become the longest running live music performance special on U.S. television; Bennett collaborated with Oscar winner T-Bone Burnett on THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF COLD MOUNTAIN, a live multimedia event and DVD for Miramax Films.
Bennett founded RPM Productions established in 1979, an artist management and entertainment marketing entity, having represented recording artists from diverse musical genres including Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello and Jamiroquai. Bennett has spearheaded innovative and multi-faceted marketing campaigns for Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett and John Legend among others. Most recently, Bennett launched the U.S. debut of the UK's The Mighty Boosh, with overwhelming success and will be representing the cult phenomenon comedy/music group internationally. RPM specializes in creating unique opportunities with major U.S, retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Starbucks as well as cross-branded corporate partnerships specializing in both talent and new technology innovations. Bennett is an Emmy award-winning producer and was named one of the Top 100 Marketers by Advertising Age and has been profiled in a variety of publications including Time Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes and Billboard magazines.
Unjoo Moon (Director)
Born in South Korea and raised in Australia, Unjoo Moon studied Arts/Law at the University of NSW before working at ABC TV as an on air reporter and later as a print journalist. Her passion for story telling led her to the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS) where she not only won the Kenneth Myer Producing award but where she also met her creative partner and future husband, cinematographer Dion Beebe. Together they moved to Los Angeles where Unjoo attended the American Film Institute, graduating with a master of fine arts and receiving the Franklin J Schaffner Directing Award for her work.
Unjoo has directed & produced many award winning short films which have screened at film festivals internationally, including the London Film Festival, Karlovy Vary, Chicago, Asian Pacific, Shorts International, Miami and Sydney Film Festivals. Her short films have also been purchased and broadcast by the Sci Fi Channel and SBS TV.
Unjoo has worked extensively as a television commercials director and has been nominated for a Positive Portrayal of Women award.
Jennifer Lebeau (Producer)
Emmy Award winning producer Jennifer Lebeau began her career at Sony Music where she was Executive Producer / Director of Special Projects. Lebeau has gone on to produce and direct programming with the who's who of entertainment. Her clients and credits include among others CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, PBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Disney, Sony, Universal and Warner Brothers. She has been a producer on some of television's biggest events including the Superbowl, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and New Years Eve Live from Times Square. Her feature documentaries include "The Harmony Game, The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Celebrity Detox" and "Taboo: an Ode to Attention Seekers". Lebeau was Senior Vice President of Production & Development for Rosie O'Donnell's KidRo Productions and Vice President of Production & Development for Danny Bennett's Media Push Entertainment. Jennifer received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communication.
JDion Beebe, ASC, ACS (Director of Photography)
Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS, was born in Australia. He was mainly raised in Cape Town, South Africa and then moved back to Australia to study at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, where he won an Australian Film Institute Award and an Australian Cinematographers Society Golden Tripod Award (ACS) for two of his student films. After graduation, Beebe worked for a small production company in Sydney directing music videos.
He earned his first narrative feature credit in 1992 for Crush, only a year after graduating from college. Beebe continued to compile around a half a dozen documentary and feature film credits during the following five to six years. He won another AFI award for the documentary Eternity and a Golden Tripod at the ACS Awards for the short film Down Rusty Down.
Beebe moved to Los Angeles in 1998 and earned his first U.S. film credit for My Own Country. He compiled a half a dozen feature film credits during the next three to four years, including Praise, Holy Smoke, Equilibrium and Charlotte Gray.
In 2003 he earned an Oscar nomination and a nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for Chicago, his first film with director Rob Marshall. In that same year he was also awarded the Byron Kennedy Award by the Australian Film Institute. The following year he received a Golden Tripod Award from the ACS for In the Cut, his second collaboration with director Jane Campion. His work with Michael Mann on the movie Collateral went on to receive nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and top honors from the BAFTA in 2005.
In 2006 Beebe won the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Memoirs of a Geisha as well as the BAFTA and ASC Award.
In 2008 he received another Gold Tripod from the ACS for the television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic. His collabration with director Rob Marshall continued in the film Nine which was honored with an ASC nomination in 2010.