Burn to Shine

Burn to Shine is a film series produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty and directed by film maker Christoph Green. The films feature a group of local rock bands performing one song each in a house facing imminent destruction. The second film in the series, filmed in Chicago, which happened to be playing last night at the DC Underground Film Festival, features bands including Wilco, Shellac, Tortoise, The Ponys, and many others. During the Q&A afterwards, one of the filmmakers mentioned future Burn to Shine films set for Portland, Iceland, and Louisville, so it looks like the series should thrive for some time.

Aside from the pleasure of watching several great bands perform, I really enjoyed the atmosphere set up by the film of a slice of time, conveyed in part by the changing amounts of sunlight coming through the windows, in this old, soon to be destroyed house. In voice-over at the beginning of the film, we learn a little about the history of the house and the reasons it will soon be torn down. The filmmakers made effective use of the house’s colors and textures and how those spaces might tell us something about the history of that space. The Chicago film culminates in the actual destruction of the house during a gray, wet midwestern day, the yellow of the bulldozer sharply contrasting with the rest of the scene.

The Burn to Shine concept is a cool one, and I’m hoping to go back and see the first film in the series, set in DC and featuring personal faves, Ted Leo and Bob Mould (blog).


  1. Dylan Said,

    October 2, 2005 @ 10:08 pm

    I had no idea there was another film. I just saw the one in the house, and liked it a lot.

    Of course, Ted Leo takes the cake for me. I’m developing quite the man-crush on him.

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 2, 2005 @ 10:33 pm

    Yeah, Ted Leo is definitely a current fave. I had a chance to see him in concert twice in Atlanta, and both shows were fantastic. I haven’t seen the DC one, but the Chicago one is very cool. I’m pretty fond of Wilco, so really enjoyed their performance.

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