Process manna: Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn’s ” A Good Man” follows often-controversial choreographer Bill T. Jones during the two-year creation of his “Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray,” a piece commissioned by the Ravinia Festival to commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Patient and observant, as the best work from Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films always is, “A Good Man” studies the daily dynamic between Jones and his dancers: the emotional and sometimes heated give-and-take of creating meaning from motion, of extracting consequence from gestures of the human form. “When I was a 5-year-old boy, he was the only white man I was allowed to love,” the nearly Lincoln-tall Jones says. But the piece, and the film’s greater meaning, is realized in what he draws from his dancers, and the depiction of what it requires to bring that forth. 86m. HDCAM video. (Ray Pride)
“A Good Man” opens Friday at Siskel. Hercules, Quinn, cinematographer Keith Walker and editor David E. Simpson will appear at Friday’s 8:15 show. A trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.