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STRUT! in the News

MUMMERS ‘STRUT’ TO WILMINGTON FESTIVAL

September 2002

“STRUT!” — a joyous documentary that tells the story of the Philadelphia Mummers — has been chosen for the first Wilmington Independent Film Festival. “STRUT!” ran away with the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2001 Hamptons International Film Festival and, as the opening night film for the 2002 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, took home the Programmer’s Grand Prize. Applauding “STRUT!” as the “feel-good celebration of America we need,” audiences laughed, cried, and cast their votes.

The Wilmington Festival will screen “STRUT!” on 9/26 at 6:00 pm and 9/28 at 5:00 p.m. at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.

“STRUT!” celebrates the world of the Mummers and the Mummers Parade, the annual New Year’s Day event that for 14 captivating hours transforms Philadelphia from the city of brotherly love to the world capital of Surrealism.

Shot with no specific script and improvised on a day-by-day basis, the colorful and ebullient tale is told through revealing interviews, new and vintage newsreel footage, dazzling still photos, and glorious music. The result is a cinematic gem that is at once personal and epic, touching and funny, specifically Philadelphian yet quintessentially American.

From the parade’s pre-colonial historic roots and the contributions of European and African immigrants…to the Vaudeville slapstick routines and the 4-minute Broadway shows…to the remarkable bonding of Mummer families and the powerful loyalty of fraternity…to the marvelous inclusiveness and social tolerance of everyone except the competition — “STRUT!” captures the pride, passion, and pure soul of America.

“STRUT!” was produced and directed by Max L. Raab, the Philadelphia native and apparel maker who got his start in show business supplying the wardrobe for Frank Perry’s “David and Lisa”, and went on to become the executive producer of “A Clockwork Orange” and “Walkabout” among other films.

Raab on the making of “STRUT!”: “As filmmakers we were treated to an enchanting experience that will not easily be forgotten. The whole caper took three years to complete and our lives were enriched by the many unique characters we met along the way.”

Over 100 hours of tape have been masterfully edited into 68 minutes running time. The Mummers’ inspiring dedication, liberating abandon, sweet comedy, grand spectacle, shameless extravagance, and totally infectious spirit is all there on the screen in one loving visual portrait.

And so is that one-of-a-kind sound they strut to. The extraordinary soundtrack includes the signature anthems of banjos, glockenspiels, mandolins, drums, and saxophones — plus some unexpected and elegant selections that speak to the Mummer’s deeper essence. A CD of music adapted from the film hits the stores in November.

For more information visit www.strutthemovie.comor www.wilmingtonfilmoffice.org