The debut screening of The Surprise Tour will be followed by a discussion with the band and filmmaker, a special look at deleted scenes from the film, and a special performance by the band. We’ll also be screening an unreleased short about The Best Thing Ever by Ben Safdie and Red Bucket Films.
The Best Thing Ever is an underground musical/comedy/performance art group known for holding free public performances in non-traditional venues. The Surprise Tour showcases the band’s second tour and follows them for three weeks across the country as they perform surprise concerts in unusual locations for unsuspecting audiences.
The Surprise Tourby Eric Williams
Usa, 2011, 75 minutes, Digital Projection
The Surprise Tour documents The Best Thing Ever’s 2007 national tour, where they played exclusively at uninvited concerts in unusual venues, from Waffle Houses to The White House.
“A few days ago, we met The Best Thing Ever, and they sort of are.” –The Boston Phoenix
“Britton has this lanky, melancholic-genius thing about him and this deep, Stephin Merritt-ate-the-National-frontman voice”- The Boston Phoenix
“Consider this a hearty endorsement.” – The Village Voice
The Best Thing Ever, a band formed in 2003 by Jen Page, Alex Billig, Emily Brodsky and autistic singer/songwriter Noah Britton, have become renowned for performing uninvited at non-musical venues, starting with 2006’s The Bathroom Tour, which premiered on film at the Galapagos Gallery in 2007, and, most recently, 2010’s Animals Tour, where they performed for animals at venues including a zoo, an aquarium, and a dog shelter.
Eric Williams is a filmmaker for Flipswitch Films. His previous credits include The Best Thing Ever’s Bathroom Tour, The Showpaper Documentary, and The Bourne Ultimatum. He also sings for the Brooklyn band, The Eskalators.
Ben Safdie is a New York-based filmmaker, and a founding member of Red Bucket Films. His most recent film, Daddy Longlegs, was cowritten by his brother, Josh, and inspired by their experiences as children of divorced parents. It was debuted at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, premiered in the US at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and is currently being distributed by IFC Films.
Jeffrey Lewis is a singer/songwriter, cartoonist and journalist from New York City, whose bands include The Jeffrey Lewis band, The Bundles (with Kimya Dawson), and Antsy Pants, who were featured on the best-selling soundtrack to Juno.