Monday, November 29, 2010

The World Premiere of Sick-Amour, The First Documentary Movie by Film-maker Joel Tauber took to the large screen on September 11, 2010! Screened in San Francisco in October 2010!

Movie Review by Ginger Van Hook
The story of how a mortal fell in love with a Sycamore Tree is not your everyday love story, and yet, in an almost mythological occurrence this actually happened in the local parking lot of our Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. One day, Joel Tauber contemplated the life of a lonely tree that had been the brunt of many cars and SUV bumpers...Under several layers of black tar and asphalt, Dry and Wilting in the blazing sun, this Sycamore Tree was graced with the love and attention of an artist who had recently graduated from Art Center College of Design (also a lonely young man at the time).
And that was several years ago, mind you, so not only is this love story unique, it is additionally a story that resulted in the Sycamore Tree blessing his patron with love in return! In a very moving account of how Joel Tauber came to meet the Sycamore tree and how he became the self-proclaimed patron and lifelong caretaker of this tree's children, this documentary movie will inspire you to feel that miracles are still possible.

I interviewed Joel Tauber for a story in 2008 for Ginger's Art Journal:

At the time, the documentary movie was just beginning to build an audience. But as Tauber continued to support the latest treebabies with tree-planting events all over California and select places around the world, the children of the "Sick-Amour" tree, a new level of appreciation grew between the tree and Joel Tauber. In his latest version of the "Sick-Amour" movie, Joel Tauber includes the heartwarming authentic love story that will leave audiences with hope, joyful tears and reveal the most beautiful result: a romantic wedding, celebrated around the tree.

If you have a chance to see the movie, don't miss it! The story is timeless and romantic. The message promotes the love of trees, the love of our community and the love of our planet. An award winning movie, Joel Tauber has revealed his talents as a documentary film-maker and will delight audiences all over the world.  (Below are some of the places where "Sick-Amour" has screened recently and be sure to keep your eyes on this title, as it is likely to win numerous more awards in film-festivals world-wide. ...Could even be opening in a movie-theatre near you, sooner than you think!)

Announcing the world premiere for Joel Tauber's movie, Sick-Amour!

Sick-Amour premiered at the Downtown Film Festival-Los Angeles
( on Saturday September 11 at 2:30 pm.
After the screening of the 33-minute film, the artist and film-maker
Joel Tauber discussed the making of the project until about 4 pm.

Joel Tauber discusses the making of his latest movie
Photo by Ginger Van Hook©2010

The screening took place at the Downtown Independent Theater
which is located on 251 S. Main Street LA,
California 90012.

Here are some web links:
The trailer for Sick-Amour:
The IMDB page for Sick-Amour:
The Downtown Film Festival-Los Angeles:
The Downtown Independent Theater:

Sick-Amour is screening next at Blue
Planet Film Fest on October 8 @ 10 am, October 9 @ 10 am & October 10
@ 9:45 am at 1210-1211 4th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401. There will
be a tree baby planting after the October 8 screening and lunch after
each of the screenings. Please see the festival website for tickets &
more info:

The movie is then travelling to the San Francisco Documentary
Festival. It will screen at the Roxie Theater (3117 16th St San
Francisco, CA 94103) on October 17 at 5 pm and on October 20 at 7:15
pm in the collection of short films called "All Kinds of Love."
Tickets and other info are available at the festival website:

Press Release

Sick-Amour  A Film by Joel Tauber
Blue Planet Film Fest San Francisco Documentary Festival
1210-1211 4th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 

Roxie Theater: 3117 16th St. SF CA 94103
10/8@10 am, 10/9@10 am & 10/10@9:45 am 10/17@5pm & 10/20@7:15 pm
Tickets & other info: Tickets & other info: 
Look for the collection of shorts: “All Kinds Of Love”
Sick-Amour, a 33-minute documentary film / love story, 
by Joel Tauber is screening at Blue Planet Film Fest on October 8 at 10 am, 
October 9 at 10 am, and 
October 10 at 9:45 am. A special “tree baby” planting will take place in Santa Monica after the screening on October 8.
The movie will then be shown at the San Francisco Documentary Festival 
at the Roxie Theater on October 17 at 5 pm and on October 20 at 7:15 pm.

Tauberʼs film, Sick-Amour, is an evocative portrait of something utterly ignored and neglected – a forlorn tree stuck in the middle of a giant parking lot. 
The tree is starved for water and oxygen, attacked by pathogens, weakened by pollutants, hit by cars, and deprived of any chance of reproduction.
Joel Tauber, a young and amorous man, is drawn to the tree. 
Outraged by the indignities that the tree is forced to endure, he devotes himself to improving the treeʼs life – watering it with giant water bags, installing tree guards to protect it from cars, building giant earrings to celebrate its beauty, lobbying to
remove the asphalt beneath its canopy and to protect it with a ring of boulders, and helping the tree reproduce…

Passionately narrated by Tauber and peppered with interviews by experts 
in a variety of disciplines (environmental philosophy, tree pathology, biology, ecology, urban forestry…), the film is a highly unusual documentary. It examines the tree in a personal and multi-faceted manner, offering it as a microcosm of the plight of urban trees and of forgotten individuals, in general.

At the same time, the film is a love story between Joel and the tree. A love story that leads to – among other things – the planting of one of the treeʼs offspring / tree babies in Santa Monica on October 8.


Joel Tauber received his MFA in art from Art Center College of Design and his BA in art history and sculpture from Yale University. Tauber has presented his work at numerous art galleries and museums, including Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects (LA, California), Galerie Adamski (Berlin & Aachen, Germany), the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, California), the De Appel Centre For Contemporary
Art (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and the California Museum of Photography 
(Riverside, California). 
Tauber won the 2007 Contemporary Collectors of Orange County Fellowship 
and the 2007-2008 CalArts / Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts.

Sick-Amour is Tauberʼs first documentary film; the movie
premiered at the Downtown Film Festival-Los Angeles on September 11.

Sick-Amour (the movie) is screening next at the Hartford
International Film Festival on Sunday November 7 at 2:30PM. Sick-Amour
will be presented in "Short Program #2" at the Wadsworth Atheneum
Museum of Art (600 Main Street Hartford CT 06103). Tickets and more

Movie website:
IMDB page: 18279/

A Film by Joel Tauber

Lived, directed, produced, filmed, & edited by Joel Tauber
Cinematography: Liz Rubin and Chris May
Additional Cinematography: Greg Shin, Jeff Schwartz, Germaine Chang, Paul Yoshida, & Jeff
Audio Recording: Liz Rubin and Mike Weinstein
Post-Finishing: Roush Media
Digital Colorist: Keith Roush
Sound Post-Production: Dino Herrmann
Music: Dino Herrmann
Guitars: Kevin Michael Gray and Byron Nemeth
The Tree
Grandma Lee Swerdlow
Joel Tauber
Scott Cameron Ph.D., Loyola Marymount University, environmental philosopher
Greg McPherson Ph.D., UC Davis, Urban Forestry Research
Jan Scow, arborist
Fred Roth, Ph.D., Cal Poly Pomona, Horticulture department, tree pathologist
Cheryl Swift Ph.D., Whittier College, biologist and sycamore expert
Glenn Fitzgerald Ph.D., US Water Conservation Lab, Phoenix, Arizona
John Gamon Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, Cal State LA
Scott Wilson, Northeast Trees founder
Ken, sanitation worker
Ellen Mackey, Senior Ecologist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Tim Brick, Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, Pasadena, CA
Steve Madison, Vice Mayor of the City of Pasadena
Sid Tyler, Councilmember of the City of Pasadena
Tree Baby Parents & Sites in the film:
Mark Snyder and Alma Cielo (violin), Altadena, CA
Grant Miller, Jimena Arenas, & Carmen, Redwood City, CA
Bill Wheelock and Anne Hars, LA, CA
Gary Kornblau and Scott Freeburg, LA, CA
Denise Bratton and Jessica Fleischmann, LA, CA
Tad Beck, Los Angeles, CA
Laurie Firstenberg, Peter Zellner, & Edie, LA, CA
Martin, David, and Jennie Marie Fockens, and Constance Somerfeld
Donna Stein and Sophie Korn, Pasadena, CA
Joel Tauber, LA, CA
Sam Freeman, Venice, CA
David, Cheryl, Charlie, and Olivia Smith, Pasadena, CA
Marty and Deena Singer, Beverly Hills, CA
Theodore Payne Foundation, Sun Valley, CA
Audubon Middle School
Walteria Elementary, Torrance, CA
Walden School, Pasadena, CA
University of Southern California, LA, CA
Washington Park, Pasadena, CA
Melanie Bono, NAK, Aachen, Germany
Aram Moshayedi, LA><ART, LA, CA
Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA
Central Arroyo Seco Valley, Pasadena, CA
Joel Tauber
Alison Joy Goldberg
Their families