Bereits seit einigen Monaten geistert der Titel „Raising the Hustler“ durch das Internet. Was es damit auf sich hat, kann man den folgenden Zeilen entnehmen. Ich habe Angel Levine (Regisseurin von Raising the Hustler) aus Chicago darum gebeten einige Zeilen für Sixpockets.de zu schreiben, um uns einen kleinen Einblick in dieses spannende Projekt zu geben. Angel Levine ist in den USA eine der bekanntesten Persönlichkeiten in der Pool Billard Szene und hat in Ihrem Leben viele Events auf der ganzen Welt besucht. Ich bin wirklich sehr gespannt auf diese Dokumentation und kann es kaum erwarten. Im nächsten Jahr soll Raising the Hustler beim Sundance Film Festival vorgestellt werden.
Geschrieben von Angel Levine Chicago/USA
My name is Angel Levine and I am the director of the documentary „Raising the Hustler“ our documentary on professional pool and billiards.
Growing up in Chicago’s most famous rooms with legends of the sport like Billy Incardona, Larry Schwartz, Glenn „Piggy Banks“ Rodgers, and Freddy „the Beard“ Bentivegna, I came to know most every professional player coming through to hone their skills. This has enabled me to film and capture ephemeral moments with champions both living and posthumous, on and off of the table. Efren Reyes, Rafael Martinez, Manny Chau, Rudolfo Luat, Santos Sambajon and Sang Lee are among the champions that have called Chicago home. I never fully understood how special a position I was in at the time. Which was good because my naiviete and curiousity were both in ample supply. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so off I went, very Forest Gump-like outside of my Chicago pool world to find and capture the beauty of pool.
When I started to capture Chicago’s professionals, it was to film the passing down of knowledge, like from father to son, something so warm and touching; for me not to film them would have been a sin. It’s a rare thing, so much so, that when I saw it, it awoke my senses. Hustler’s giving away information, shocking.
As I got further away from Chicago, it started to become abundantly clear that pool was dying in America and pool had hurt itself.
We discuss the impact of Martin Scorsese’s film „The Color of Money“ which was shot in pool rooms around Chicago, (but especially notable because key scenes were filmed in my home room of Chris’s Billiards, with my mentor, BD Columnist, Larry Schwartz and Pro „Capt’n Hook, Mike Segal hired as extra’s and consultants ) and it’s predecessor „The Hustler“.
For 7 years I traveled to capture the story of pool and billiards featuring the greatest players in the world today. I draw comparisons between Golf and Pool and visit The FedEx Cup to interview the pro’s on the course. The 2 have influenced each other greatly and both are notablely gambling games, yet Golf has shaken it’s hustler stigma and pool/billiards has not.
Professional Poker players David „Viffer“ Peat, Jean-Robert Bellande, and Chris Gentile are featured as well as the greatest cueists from pool/billiards in the world.
I started filming the aftermath following the collapse of late-night pitchman, Kevin Trudeau’s International Pool Tour and its subsequent attempts to revive interest in their professional pool tour. Professional sports players and celebrities have always courted pool and is pointed out throughout the film.
One of the pool world’s current salvations comes from promoter, Barry Hearn’s three Matchroom Sport pool events -The Mosconi Cup, The World Cup of Pool and The World Pool Masters (U.S., U.K, Philippines).
I have traveled to 7 countries outside the USA, (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and the Philippines) to showcase the beauty, the people, the players and the problems facing pool’s players and the industry. I do this because I love pool and the people who play and make their livelihood from the sport. I have watched time take its toll on the legends I grew up with, and they, like the game, are dying in America.
The only vehicle that has ever propelled the billiard industry is film.
While anyone can tell a story about a pool player, I think it’s more important to show the rest of the world who is playing, how and what they’re playing, and why they are playing. No actor is more interesting and can portray the skill of a professional pool player, like a professional pool player. The world surrounding professional pool is a microcosm of the universe, and pool/billiards touches every class and caste. It knows no gender or age, includes all and excludes few, and forces an individual to think, not feel. Create and solve an ephemeral puzzle, forsee and create a reaction, both in your mind and on the table. Pool rooms are amazing places for personal growth-master your body and mind on the table, socialise, share knowlegde and growth off of the table.
The goal of the film is get accepted into Sundance Film Festival 2015.
„Raising the Hustler“ hopes to debut its exclusive World Premiere at The Sundance Film Festival 2015 with submissions to 2 categories- U.S. Documentary Feature Film and U.S. Dramatic Competition
Sundance is owned by actor, Robert Redford and Redford was best friends with actor Paul Newman, the original „Hustler“.
Know someone who loves pool, billiards, or snooker? Then „Raising the Hustler“ is the gift that gives back to anyone who’s ever held a cue and smiled as well as those who long to see pool’s greatest players immortalized in film.
Go play pool, Angel