Presents
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts

The run of this film has ended. Thank you for your support of Bozeman Film Society.

Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts

Directed by Jeffrey Wolf

Year: 2018
Running Time: 76 minutes
Country: U.S.
Language: English
English Closed Captions

This illuminating documentary explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land as a sharecropper until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, both memories from plantation days and scenes of a radically changing urban culture.

Having witnessed profound social and political change during a life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration, Traylor devised his own visual language to translate an oral culture into something original, powerful, and culturally rooted. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942. This colorful, strikingly modernist work eventually led him to be recognized as one of America’s greatest self-taught artists and the subject of a Smithsonian retrospective.

Using historical and cultural context, BILL TRAYLOR: CHASING GHOSTS brings the spirit and mystery of Traylor’s incomparable art to life. Making dramatic and surprising use of tap dance and evocative period music, the film balances archival photographs and footage, insightful perspectives from his descendents, and Traylor’s striking drawings and paintings to reveal one of America’s most prominent artists to a wide audience.

Reviews

“Critic’s Pick! A sincere, nourishing account of the artist. Wolf makes excellent use of photo and film archives, laying out the territory that fed Traylor’s vision.”


"Brings the spirit and mystery of Traylor’s art to life and shines a spotlight on a creative gift that was long ignored and marginalized."


“Introduces to a wider audience one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, whose life traversed slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration and each’s accompanying tumultuous social and political upheaval.”


"Jeffrey Wolf’s exceptional documentary Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts seeks to tells its subject’s story in a deeply personal way, while also pulling back when needed to contextualize his work."


“Speaks volumes on the life and times of the artist. The pieces themselves… lend those ghosts of his past a persistent, ethereal relevance.”


"A spry and inventive account of extraordinary transcendence. Traylor was both an artist and a historian, and Chasing Ghosts is appropriately both a work of art and history—a beautiful film with a sense of swing and soul."


"Bill Traylor’s art speaks to the universal language of humanity – a cry for justice, dignity and resilience."


“A celebration of art and the best of humanity transcending poverty, racism and despair.”


“In Traylor, we can see the power of individual voice… the work is transcendent and essential.”


“An extraordinary artist… Traylor’s pictures stamp themselves on your eye and mind.”


Awards
  • Jury Prize for Freedom Award – Fine Arts Film Festival

Cast
Russell G. Jones
Sharon Washington
Jason Samuels Smith

Crew
Directed by Jeffrey Wolf
Produced by Sam Pollard (Executive Producer) , Jeffrey Wolf, Daphne McWilliams, Jeany Nisenholz-Wolf and Fred Barron

Kino Marquee was launched by Kino Lorber in March 2020 as a new initiative to create "virtual cinemas" for independent theaters temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offered audiences the opportunity to watch newly released films that these theaters would otherwise be playing on the big screen from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

We are thrilled that the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has allowed many of these independent theaters to reopen their doors, and that our films can once again be watched on the big screen! In response, we have incorporated links to physical screenings into our listings on Kino Marquee. You can navigate to any film page on our site to see a list of venues showing the film with buttons for "In Theater" and "Virtual Cinema" options.

Join us in supporting your community's theater by watching award-winning international films, acclaimed documentaries, and restored classics on Kino Marquee. Whether you watch them in the theater or from home, you'll be directly supporting your local art house as all revenue from virtual cinemas is split 50/50 with them.

The rest of this FAQ is focused on virtual cinemas hosted on Kino Marquee. Any questions about in theater screenings or virtual cinemas hosted directly by your local art house should be directed to the theater.

To get your ticket, click the Screen button above. You’ll have to register for an account if you don’t already have one. After you’ve entered your payment information, your rental period will start immediately and last for five days. You can watch the film as many times as you want in those five days.

You can watch on your computer, phone, or most tablets. You can also download the Kino Now app for Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV (tvOS 9.0 or later). See below for more detailed information about app-based viewing options. All viewing methods require high bandwidth internet connection.

You must first purchase the film from your theater’s virtual cinema page on Desktop or Mobile. After doing that, please follow these steps to install the Kino Now app on your Apple TV (requires tvOS 9.0 or later).

Important: You will need to log in using the same email address and password you just created.

To install the Kino Now app for Apple TV, search for “Kino Now” in the app store and follow the instructions for installation.

Once installed, open the app and click the “Sign In” button. The app will ask for your email and Kino Now password.

This is a private showing of the film and is hidden from general view. To watch the film please access "My Library" on top of the page. Enjoy the film for five days from the time of purchase.

You must first purchase the film from your theater’s virtual cinema page on Desktop or Mobile. After doing that, please follow these steps to install the Kino Now app on your Roku.

To install the Kino Now app for Roku, click here. Or search for “Kino Now” in the app store and follow the instructions for installation.

The first time you open it, it may take an extended time for the app to load. You will be prompted with a code. Visit kinonow.com/activate to activate the app.

This is a private showing of the film and is hidden from general view. To watch the film please access "My Library" on top of the page. Enjoy the film for five days from the time of purchase.

You must first purchase the film from your theater’s virtual cinema page on Desktop or Mobile. After doing that, please follow these steps to install the Kino Now app on your Amazon Fire Stick.

Important: You will need to log in using the same email address and password you just created.

To install the Kino Now app for Amazon Fire Stick, click here. Or search for “Kino Now” in the app store. If the app does not open immediately upon installing, you can find it under “Apps and Channels.”

Under “Account,” either click “Sign in with Email” and enter the same email and password you used to purchase the film or click “Link Device” and you will be prompted with a code. Visit kinonow.com/activate to activate the app using this code.

This is a private showing of the film and is hidden from general view. To watch the film please access "My Library" from the Menu (three horizontal lines) on the top of the page. Enjoy the film for five days from the time of purchase.

We apologize if your device of choice is not currently supported. We are working on adding more ways to watch, but at this time cannot help further on other setup issues. Some customers have had luck with Chromecast and Airplay while others have not. We recommend you check your manufacturer instructions. Kino Marquee was set up very quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we appreciate your patience.

If you encounter insurmountable issues and cannot watch the film, we guarantee the purchase. For a refund, please fill out the support request form on this page and make sure to include the movie title and the email address you used to make your purchase.

Very good question! If you’re landing on this page, we ask that you only rent the film if you are a customer of this theater. If that’s not the case, please visit kinomarquee.com and navigate to the relevant film page to see a list of theaters where it is playing. Let’s work together to keep all independent theaters healthy in this time of great uncertainty.

Please fill out the support request form on this page with as much detail as possible about your question or problem so we can start a customer service ticket in order to best assist you. We will respond during business hours in the order tickets were received and appreciate your patience.


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