As you know, I took a train to London last Friday for the Urban Outlaw premiere: a documentary by Tamir Moscovici on Magnus Walker and his passion for early Porsche.
It was a great night – really top fun – but I sense some misconceptions rising. Mainstream attention on Magnus is bringing out the sniffiness in a few Porsche corners, and that’s before anyone even sees the film. This is wrong, and I’ll tell you why.
This was a premiere more Walmart than Waldorf. No red carpets, no limos, no TV. Me plus iPhone made up the paparazzi. Ten of us met in a hotel bar beforehand. I had a tonic water, some had a beer, then we walked to a 40-seat theatre. The screening was sold out, but there were two other films shown before Outlaw.
First was a documentary about a Jerusalem jazz double bassist who suffered from MS and mentored a child prodigy, gifted in piano. Sounds like hard work, but it was a sensitive portrait of the struggle of art versus nature, and everyman’s quest for meaning in life.
The next piece was contemplative, beautifully shot and without narration. Following the Ganges from delta to source, the cinematography was breathtaking: a glorious collection of considerate images. Then came Urban Outlaw.
At the bar before, and pub afterwards, director Tamir (below, right) shared some terrific stories about the origins of Urban Outlaw. The deals leading to various elements – soundtrack and audio clips etc – and what has occurred since encountering audiences: Raindance was its third festival. Too much to tell here, but we’ll cover it in Ferdinand on iPad sometime.
Suffice to say, it’s a fascinating tale. The driver was Tamir’s need to tell the story. Magnus took a week to be convinced this was worth four days of his time, and the filmmaker covered the cost of a ten-man crew, plus everything afterwards. Dedication!
I won’t spoil how it opens or runs. There are pivotal moments, but I never felt a sell. All I got was vivid storytelling, following an interesting central character through 30 minutes of a long-standing love for early 911s.
I watched Urban Outlaw on my own at the back, with heads all the way to the screen and people sitting in the aisles. My main thought while walking to the pub afterwards with Magnus’ mum, brother and some Porsche guys we’d met for the first time in the cinema was how unaffected it was. Real-life Magnus is there on the screen: a simple, hard-rocking bloke. Like anyone who’s worked for success in a foreign country, Walker’s got a commercial streak, but the movie doesn’t shove it at you. The hardest thing here is squeezing four days of Magnus talking into half an hour.
As an artist-in-training, storyteller and Porsche fan, I clicked with the film. On October 15th, you can judge for yourselves when the movie is launched online. Ferdinand has rarely experienced such adoration.
Urban Outlaw captures the classic LA Porsche experience. Flat-six fans will bask in the light that is played across their passion. This is a film you can sit any Top Gear-watching wife down in front of and say: “if you can make it through this, you’ll get what I’m doing in the garage at 1am.” If you’re a Porsche-loving girl with no such problems, you know what I mean.
Kudos to Tamir and Mos Media. Here’s to just reward via great creative projects in the future, with someone else footing the bill for a change!