In a festival as big as SXSW, it is easy to miss out on films. Here at the Baby, we like to shine a light on movies that we think you should try and see. Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play is a small gem that both charms and informs.
We were fortunate enough to get a few minutes with Jerome Thélia, the director of Bounce, so this is what we asked him.
What movie inspired you, as a child, to become a filmmaker?
In 1979, I was 9 and in the same year I saw APOCALYPSE NOW, Francois Truffaut’s POCKET CHANGE and acted in a USC film school short where I played an angel, really badly. There were oceans separating those films but I started to connect the dots.
What, if any, unexpected challenges did you face during filming?
Well, we filmed all over the world and in some pretty unusual situations, here are some snapshots:
- we froze our asses off on Christmas day on a small Scottish island filming an ancient football game played on the streets by brawny men.
- we bribed Indian officials on the streets of Mumbai after they confiscated our camera for ‘unpermitted filming of street cricket games’.
- we were very nearly assaulted by a group of drunk football fans in Congo after we were caught surreptitiously filming a voodoo ritual they were performing against the opposing team.
How did you choose this particular subject?
My friend and colleague, writer and anthropologist John Fox, wrote the book that inspired the film called “The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game.”
What message would you like your audiences to take away from the movie?
That ball games carry profound meaning wherever and whenever they have been played, which is everywhere and as far back as we can see and as far into the future as we can predict.
Finally, other than your screenings, what are you looking forward to doing at SXSW?
I actually make a version of Trudy’s Mexican Martini at home in New York, so I’m looking forward to more research.
Sounds yummy! Screening in the Documentary Spotlight category, catch the film at one of these spots:
Saturday, March 14 -11:00AM – 12:11PM
Alamo Lamar A
Sunday, March 15-8:45PM – 9:56PM
Satellite Venue: Marchesa
6226 Middle Fiskville Road
Wednesday, March 18-4:15PM – 5:26PM
Rollins Theatre at The Long Center
Saturday, March 21-2:00PM – 3:11PM
Topfer Theatre at ZACH