New York, NY, July 23, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- After nearly six years of production, director/producer Johnny Boston has completed his feature length documentary titled, "My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures," a film that documents the life of Alan Russell Cowan which is slated for its US Premiere with the NY International Independent Film Festival on July 25. After winning the honor of Best Documentary at the Monaco Film Festival, this New York story comes home.
Alan Streets, as he refers to himself, is a painter struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. Well known on the streets of New York, Alan sets up his easel every day and paints canvases of the New York urban landscape from the Upper East Side to the Bronx and everywhere in between. "My Name is Alan and I Paint Pictures" follows this talented artist from the suburbs of London to the wards of Bellevue Hospital in New York City and back out on to the streets. The film has been canceled by Alan dozens of times because of fears of exploitation or worries about being represented poorly. “What if people see the film and want to beat me up” asked Alan after an interview.
Over the course of six years, the story reveals a character who struggles as an artist while coping with this difficult and degenerative disease. Paranoid and fearful of establishment, Alan tries to brush off the art community, but it is clear his need for recognition drives him to be a part of it. With commentary and critique by prominent historians, critics, gallerist and other artists, we get a sneak peak into the ruthless and difficult life of someone who wants to make it as an artist as well as conflicting reviews of Alan’s talent.
Interviewees include Robert Storr - Art Historian and Former Curator, MOMA; Arnold Lehman – Director, Brooklyn Museum; Shamim Momin – Whitney Biennial; Pamela Willoughby – Gallery Manager of Marc Borgi Gallery; John Maizels – Editor, Raw Vision Magazine; and Daniel Kunitz – Critic, Art Review.
The film is born from the best of hundreds of hours of footage shot of Alan and dozens of interviews with him throughout the years combined with interviews of friends and family. Together, they reveal Alan’s growth as an individual, the development of his work, his haunting psychosis, and the changing ways in
which he deals with his disease. In a particularly vulnerable moment on camera, Alan reveals, “I don’t have a choice, I have to get up everyday and paint or I will go crazy”. Alan’s struggles and difficulties as an artist are so fully delineated that one is left wondering if Alan’s paranoia is generated by his illness or rather is just part of the reality of trying to make it as an artist in New York City. Whatever the case, the viewer comes away from this memorable film with a heightened appreciation for all artists, a better understanding of a complex disease – and the fervent hope that Alan will somehow persevere.
The film was produced by Raw Films, Inc., a film and video production company started by Johnny Boston in 1998. The company’s projects range from documentary films and music videos to television and web development. By combining special effects, animation, and video footage with Alan’s work- Raw Films has skillfully illustrated the feelings and emotions that Alan describes throughout the film, previously experienced only through his work. Running at seventy four minutes, the film was shot on Digital Video and High Definition.
For more information and to view trailer visit:
For interview or screener requests contact:
Raw Media Network