Deep Ellum Sounds
Visual documents of popular music genius, in the spirit of Dallas’ legendary entertainment district

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Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape
USA/UK/Germany/Netherlands, 2016, 93 min., Color

If only you'd kept them! After vinyl, cassettes are also making a comeback. Contemporary hipsters, midlife daydreamers and octogenarian pioneers idiosyncratically declare their love for the handy format. With musicians Henry Rollins and Thurston Moore, and a leading role for Dutch inventor Lou Ottens. Oh, that magic moment when you pushed two buttons—record and play—enabling you to record whatever you liked: top 40 songs for your beau, potential hits for your future record deal and messages for family overseas.

The compact cassette, as it is officially known, helped democratize music in the 1970s and is now experiencing an unexpected revival. Philips staffer Lou Otten, generally viewed as the medium’s inventor, talks about its development and global success thanks to his relaxed attitude towards competitor Sony. Underground icons Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore and Ian MacKaye laud the humble cassette tape, which has now been discovered by young bands and music venues as a hip analogue music medium. The spaces between Otten’s understated anecdotes and current fans’ enthusiasm is fabulously filled by excerpts from the warm sound of tapes from back in the day.

— International Film Festival Rotterdam
Screening with: The Function of Music,
Screenings
Director
Zack Taylor
Screenwriter
Georg Petzold, Zack Taylor
Producer
Seth Smoot
Cinematographer
Zack Taylor
Editor
Georg Petzold, Zack Taylor
Featuring
Damien Jurado, Ian MacKaye, Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, Lou Ottens, Rob Sheffield, Daniel Johnston, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Lily Rothman, DJ Red Alert, National Audio Co.

Director Bio

Zack Taylor is a director and cinematographer based in New York City. He completed is MFA in film production from the University of Wales. As a lifelong fan of music who could never actually play an instrument, Zack began making mixtapes for close friends in elementary school as a way to share his musical tastes. CASSETTE: A DOCUMENTARY MIXTAPE is his debut as a director.
Screenings Co-presented by:
Oak Cliff Film Festival
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