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A look back at John Scoular documentary ‘Marcus Jansen: Examine & Report’


Paradise Reef 06The Fort Myers Film Festival takes place at several Lee County venues March 8-12. One of the films included in this year’s edition is Paradise Reef, a 56-minute documentary directed, filmed and edited by John Scoular. Three years in the making, the documentary follows a visionary’s quest to secure BP disaster funds, rally community support, and deploy 18,000 tons of concrete to create 36 artificial reefs along Florida’s Paradise Coast. Paradise Reef is the third Scoular film to be screened by FMff.

The first was a feature film John wrote while he was a student in the Los Angeles Film School. Produced by Madeline Smith Scoular and Jeremy Robinson of Brickyard Films, Lunatics, Lovers & Poets won six awards at Scoular No. 10film festivals across the country, including Best Screenplay at Methodfest and Best Feature at the Fort Myers Film Festival.

Last year, his documentary Marcus Jansen: Examine & Report was chosen to open the Fort Myers Film Festival at its red carpet gala the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Not only was the film well received, it was selected as Best Local Film.

Examine & Report explores Jansen’s motives for painting and gives historic insight into his socio-politically charged works, which have roots in Graffiti, Street Art and German and American Expressionism. The documentary was shot Examine Report Promoduring 2015 at locations in New York, Miami, London and Fort Myers and is now an integral part of Jansen’s museum and DECADE book tour, which opened in 2016 in Milan, Italy.

“This is pretty cool,” said Scoular, visibly moved by the award. “We’re very grateful that we got the opportunity to show it here first. Listen, this was the best opening we could ever imagine.”

Not only does the documentary provide insight into Jansen’s life and art, it furnishes an introduction to the uninitiated into the larger world of contemporary art by means of a series of interviews that Scoular Scoular No. 5conducted with art world luminaries including Steve Lazarides (who was street artist BANKSY’s first agent), Lawrence Voytek (who was Robert Rauschenberg protégé and decades-long gallery director), West Rubinstein, Noah Becker, Dieter Rampl and Brooke Lynn McGowan (an art historian, curator and writer who is recognized worldwide as the leading expert on Jansen’s works).

Scoular 05“I feel fortunate that all these people so generously shared their expertise with me and [everyone who views the film],” Scoular acknowledged.

Special footage includes revealing interviews with Jansen along with peeks of the artist at work.

“I just tried to stay out of the way of the film, which kind of told its own story,” Scoular humbly told the small crowd that gathered at the Broadway Palm Dinner Examine and Report 02STheater for the FMff champagne dessert and awards ceremony. “We’re very lucky to witness Marcus’ rise. He’s gone from [selling his art on] Prince Street in New York to museums in Milan, Germany and beyond. He’s at the top of his game, and he gets to enjoy it while he’s still alive. That’s pretty unprecedented.”

Scoular 08The film is being screened at each stop in Jansen’s tw0-year worldwide museum tour, which wraps up later this year. Scoular is trying to get it shown in New York, as well. The film will not only play a pivotal role in familiarizing art lovers, collectors and professionals around the globe with Jansen and At 2016 Awards Ceremony 05his art, it will build upon the reputation that the legendary Robert Rauschenberg began when he made Captiva the site of his international headquarters and working studio and the loci of the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange (ROCI), an initiative that Rauschenberg launched in 1982 for purposes of forging communication with other nations through the language of art by Scoular Gets the Award 1providing carefully-selected venues where artists, sculptors, poets and authors from around the world could meet and exchange creative ideas in the spirit  of collaboration.

If you saw and loved Marcus Jansen: Examine & Report, you’ll definitely want to see Paradise Reef. It won a local Emmy this past December.

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