The 11th Green

About the Filmmaker

Christopher Munch on location during Letters From the Big Man

Critic Graham Fuller summed up the work of writer-director CHRISTOPHER MUNCH by stating that his films “meditate quietly on the perennial struggle people face in communicating with those they love, on mortality, on the role of memory in the mosaic of conscious­ness, and the evanescence that drives his restless protagonists to grasp futilely, and often nobly, at impossible dreams.” Critic and cinema historian Jonathan Rosenbaum called him “one of America’s most gifted independent filmmakers.” 

Munch’s most recent picture, The 11th Green, was a New York Times Critic's Pick, as was his previous feature, the wilder­ness drama Letters from the Big Man (2011). Several of his features have played at Sundance, and his first, The Hours and Times (1992), a speculative biopic about Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, won a special jury prize there. An impossible dream was the overarching theme of Munch’s sec­ond feature, the period drama Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (1996), based on the true story of a young trolley mechanic who tries to save a doomed short-line railroad to Yosemite National Park. Munch then undertook the sprawling, unconventional mother-daughter story The Sleepy Time Gal (2002), which Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times wrote “has a depth, range and subtlety far greater than most American films” and which David Ansen of Newsweek upon its release stated was Jacqueline Bisset’s “finest performance.” Munch followed this with another unconventional family dissection, Harry and Max (2004), about two pop star brothers. 

He is a past Guggenheim fellow,
recipient of the Wolfgang Staudte Prize at Berlin, winner of two Independent Spirit Awards, including the “Someone To Watch” Award, and has been featured in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions. He has received competitive awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (for science in film), Creative Capital Foundation, and the American Film Institute, among others.

Writing in the magazine CinemaScope, critic Bérénice Reynaud described Munch’s cinema as “like an echo chamber, painstakingly recreating the most minute aspects of our exis­tences . . . moments of private longing that we cannot describe even to ourselves. . . . [H]is cinema explores the traces left by forgotten (or not-so-forgotten) lives, their often-secret impact on the lives of others and their intricate contradic­tions; he poetically recreates what made them unique rather than generic.” 

2020 The 11th Green - writer, director, producer Trailer

2013 Return to Elektra Springs (short) – writer, director Trailer
2011 Letters from the Big Man – writer, director, producer Trailer
2004 Harry and Max – writer, director, producer Trailer
2001 The Sleepy Time Gal – writer, director, producer Trailer
1996 Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day – writer, director Trailer
1991 The Hours and Times – writer, director, producer, cinematographer Trailer

Select feature articles, interviews, and essays
"President Eisenhower and Extraterrestrials?" Greg Archer writing in The Desert Sun, Jan. 9, 2020  
”Sporting Big Feet and a Heart to Match,” Dennis Lim writing in the New York Times, Nov. 4, 2011
Munch interviewed by Damon Smith in Filmmaker Magazine, Nov. 9, 2011
”Adventures of an Indie Gem on Its Way to the Screen,” B. Ruby Rich writing in the New York Times, Feb. 10, 2002
”Unanswered Questions: The Life and Times of Christopher Munch,” Bérénice Reynaud writing in CinémaScope Magazine, Spring 2001
“Station to Station,” Munch interviewed by Paul Harrill and Chris Cagle in Filmmaker Magazine, Spring 1997
 Select publications
"Staunchly Independent," Munch's remembrance of director Robert M. Young in, Apr. 15, 2024
"Filling In the Blanks," Munch discussing speculative history in, Mar. 1, 2019

Select feature credits as film editor
2016 Search Engines (dir. Russell Brown) Trailer
2014 Redemption Trail (dir. Britta Sjogren) Trailer
2008 The Blue Tooth Virgin (dir. Russell Brown) Trailer
2002 La Presenza (dir. James Herbert, Italy)

Prizes, honors, and special exhibitions
2010 Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Sleepy Time Gal (special screenings as part of Creative Capital retrospective)
1999 The American Century (Group Exhibition), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Hours and Times
1997 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

1996 Someone to Watch Award, FIND/Independent Spirit Awards
1993 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Hours and Times
1993 Award of Special Distinction, FIND/Independent Spirit Awards, The Hours and Times
1992 Wolfgang Staudte Filmpreis, The Berlin International Film Festival, International Forum, The Hours and Times
1992 Special Jury Prize for Artistic Achievement, Sundance Film Festival, The Hours and Times

The 11th Green

A respected journalist uncovers the truth behind the folklore of President Eisenhower's long-alleged involvement in UFO events.

Watch Film on Amazon–U.S.

Watch Film on iTunes

 (search if available in your country – 4K streaming available through Apple TV)

Watch Film on YouTube

(all regions available to rent through Vimeo-on-Demand)  

Watch Trailer

USA 2020, 109 minutes, Antarctic Pictures, Destination Maitland LLC
Origination format:  Red 5K and film
Exhibition format: DCP 4K

Major festival showings:  Palm Springs International Film Festival 2020 (premiere), Maine International Film Festival.


“The bottom line: a thoughtful and compelling what-if starring a never-better Campbell Scott. . . . A bracing example of Munch’s fearless knack for casting a new light on official stories. . . . that information unwinds with a provocative and illuminating slant, and in combination with the film’s eccentric mix of genres, time periods and SoCal desert atmosphere, it makes for a heady revisionist saga. . . . Munch’s premise rests on the two prexies’ assumed integrity, and their flawed humanity. Well past his personal expiration date, a prescient Ike longs to see the release of closely guarded information that would affect the well-being of humankind and the planet. The Obama-like character is on the cusp of realizing Eisenhower’s wish, but the drama’s idealism is tempered by an understanding of the ways that matters of national security, not to mention personal safety, can trump the best intentions. . . . For all the story’s machinations and dark doings, The 11th Green is concerned not with narrowly defined party politics but the power of cabals, and the relative powerlessness of figureheads. . . . [I]n its precision and poetry, the language is alive, and Munch gives each character a distinctive voice. A particularly choice line, delivered with emotion by the usually even-tempered Ike, spins around a colorful turn of phrase that could also describe this odd and elegant mongrel of a movie: 'We’re all,' the long-dead president says, 'cosmic mutts.'"
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF 2020.  “Extraordinarily imaginative. . . . Munch plays these elaborate games of historical impersonation and speculation with a restrained, poker-faced delight. His wry, sophisticated, and tight-lipped mimicry captures, in tone, style, and detail, a world of brute power masked by byzantine diplomatic ruses and military discipline, the crude threats and psychological maneuvers of cloak-and-dagger operatives, and the range of manners—from reserved to chipper, from beefy to brassy—that go with it. . . . Munch has the daring to yoke this world-menacing science fiction and world-historical politics to peculiarly intimate settings. The drama is filmed, in images of tightly restrained giddy delight, as high-stakes face-offs of duos and scrums of trios and quartets, and even a set of solo scenes in which private calculation resonates with mighty implications. The results never seem trivial or petty, however, because the characters are fittingly grand and forceful, and the vast views of empty deserts and skies provide a mighty natural setting for supernatural wonders. What’s more, the intergalactic forces that Munch marshals have a metaphysical dimension, which bends time to bring about a remarkable series of intergenerational meetings of the minds. These revelatory sequences explore inaccessible recesses of psychic experience while, nonetheless, exposing seventy-five years of political verities as reckless shams—and questioning the very nature of life on Earth."
Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“[B]oth whimsical and dark. . . . Christopher Munch has a near-unique filmmaking voice, possessed of an understatement that can register either as droll or profound, and sometimes as both. . . . The measured tone with which the movie presents its ostensible revelations is more than half the fun; nothing that comes up is ever played as a twist.”
Glenn Kenny, New York Times (Critic’s Pick)

“We often hear there are no new movie ideas, but I beg to differ. . . . Suggestion: If you’re the type of individual inclined to ingest a marijuana edible now and then, a perfect time to do so would be about 45 minutes before watching 'The 11th Green,' a trippy and mind-bending deadpan indie gem from writer-director Christopher Munch. . . . I won’t divulge any more so you can experience the cool madness of 'The 11th Green' for yourself. Suffice to say it’s out of this world.”

Letters from the Big Man

Lily Rabe and Isaac C. Singleton Jr. in Letters from the Big Man

Against the backdrop of a controversial fire salvage in the Oregon wilderness, an artist-forester unwittingly finds herself interacting with a mythic creature who changes her life profoundly.

Home Video:  Amazon
Vimeo-On-Demand (all regions)
Website of the Film

USA 2011, 104 minutes, MBG Art and Film, Antarctic Pictures
Origination format: Red 4K
Exhibition format: DCP

Major festival showings: Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (2011); San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Sydney International Film Festivals (2011); BAM Cinemafest, Brooklyn, NY (2011); Biografilm-Bologna (2012).

“Lovely, delightfully idiosyncratic.”  Manohla Dargis, New York Times (Critics' Pick)

A remarkable film. . . . [t]he gradually spiralling construction is the heart of the film, and it’s ingenious; the narrative result—an opening-out onto a moment of a potentially historic import—is up to the audacity of Munch’s ambition.  Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“‘Letters From the Big Man’ Presents an Evolved Sasquatch Rendered with Earnestness and Filmmaking Skill.  The Bottom Line:  Original and affecting take on the sasquatch legend. . . . This is clearly not a film made for everyone, but for a fortunate few, it will feel like a cleansing in nature. . . . The exquisite natural light captured by cinematographer Rob Sweeney and a sweeping score by the chamber group Ensemble Galilei helps make the magic seem plausible. But it’s Rabe who you really can’t take your eyes off of.”  James Greenberg, The Hollywood Reporter

“Among other must-sees: Chris Munch’s Letters from the Big Man, a fairy tale for adults about a young woman who encounters a bigfoot in the deep forests of southwestern Oregon and forms a mutually protective relationship with him (I believed every minute of it).”  Amy Taubin, Artforum

Letters from the Big Man will mystify some, please others with its serenity, and be unlike any Bigfoot movie you have ever imagined.”  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Graceful, uncynical and transporting, Letters is an original and a beauty.”  Ray Pride, New City-Chicago

Letters from the Big Man sustains its deeply felt love of nature’s mystery – and majesty.  Melissa ​Anderson, Artforum

“[P]leasurably eccentric. . . . the kind of off-Hollywood production that still makes Sundance surprising.”  Manohla Dargis, New York Times (Sundance Roundup)

“​Rest assured that Big Man is open-ended and gently playful throughout. . . . Its quiet plea for reconnection with the non-human world is persuasive, and the engaged, agile meditation on the limits of communication at its center aligns it with Munch's earlier work. Oregon's million-dollar scenery, a sweet cameo by Karen Black, and Rabe's tough/tender performance sweeten the pot. . . . Its inspired alignment of personal and ecological loss will disrupt someone's serenity at least a little.”  Mark Holcomb, Village Voice

“This oddball take on a naturalist (Lily Rabe) surveying the local woods and the sasquatch who silently surveys her shows Munch returning to form in a big way; its deadpan take on mythic creatures and the messy business of love harkens back to the days before outside-the-studio moviemaking became the province of pop-culture referencing hit men and twee twentysomethings. See it.”  David Fear, Time Out New York

“[E]motionally involving. . . . Big Man mashes a few genre moves (the title refers to a soulful sasquatch) against complex political concerns (forest conservation and logging) to cross-pollinate a field in which some new form of emo-indie intimacy can take root. . . . Christopher Munch’s hybrid winds up feeling like an authentic discovery of indie territory left unexplored since John Sayles’s 1984 Brother From Another Planet.”  Seth Colter Walls, Village Voice

“I can't imagine a moviemaker other than Munch bringing so much conviction to such a wigged-out premise. Letters isn’t a spoof, a horror movie or a new-age metaphor. . . . It’s closer to a fairy tale that retains its hold on the adult imagination, even though one might feel silly admitting it... Shot with the RED–a great camera with which to capture the deep green of the forest by day and by night–Letters reverences the natural world, finding in its beauty and order a way to fulfill one’s life.”  Amy Taubin, Film Comment

“Shot in the sprawling forests of southern Oregon, Letters From The Big Man has the novelty value to achieve profile in today’s marketplace and could easily tap into a grass-roots appetite for well-told environmentally conscious stories. . . . Munch explores both the scenery and the character’s calm within it with sometimes mesmerising grace.”  Mike Goodridge, Screen International

“Director-writer Christopher Munch just wants to tell a light-handed, low-key story about several people who like the woods, while he photographs those woods lovingly enough to make us fall for them as well. There happens to be a sasquatch in the background, but he never channels King Kong.”    The Province-Vancouver

“[A] powerful meditation on the environment without the heavy handedness of a Greenpeace ad.”  Brooklyn Based

“Another under-appreciated Sundance selection, Christopher Munch’s contemplative tale about a wildlife researcher (Lily Rabe) studying forest fire damage in Southern Oregon takes on a surreal twist when the character forms a mystical bond with a furry Sasquatch tracking her every move. More metaphor than man, the creature symbolizes the love affair that all creatures share with the nature surrounding them. With the creature’s livelihood threatened by invasive government agents, Munch heightens the fragility of that relationship. An unwillingness to take the movie seriously, as impatient viewers might, only strengthens its keen ecological message.”  Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Christopher Munch’s latest feature explores the odd, mystical connection between a relationship-phobic wilderness expert (the excellent Lily Rabe) and an earnest sasquatch (featuring first-rate makeup effects). There is an environmental theme afloat in this beautifully shot film, but Munch isn't in the mood to big-foot us with a message.”  David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

“Lily Rabe manages to command our attention in scene after scene without dialogue.  Munch just has her work, exercise, and paint while we (and the sasquatch) develop a silent bond with Sarah.”  Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly

“[A] willfully naive poetic reverie about lost souls trying to get close to nature in the Pacific Northwest and about the giant man-beasts who watch over them – and, by extension, us – like hairy angels. The star is Lily Rabe (daughter of the late Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe); she plays an Amazonian US Forestry Dept. surveyor who finds her deepest peace camping out in the backcountry. Munch’s film touches on many things, including the logging/ preservation debate (the director finds room for the people on both sides), idealism, young lust, CIA advanced-weaponry programs, and Native American animism.”  Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“[A] strange dance of love with a sasquatch, handled with just the right touch. . . . Well played by the entire cast, beautifully shot, and, although a mite goofy, delicate, haunting and sweet.”  Shawn Levy, The Oregonian

The Sleepy Time Gal

Martha Plimpton and Jacqueline Bisset in The Sleepy Time Gal

Two women search for meaning in lost loves and missed chances. As one mother looks to her past to gain strength to face the future, a daughter investigates the emotional wounds which have kept her from finding love.

Watch Remastered Trailer
DVD (poor-quality standard-def):  Amazon
VOD:  Remastered Edition Coming September 2024 to Criterion Channel

USA 2001, 94 minutes (final released length), C-Hundred Film Corp, Antarctic Pictures, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment

Origination format: 35mm color
Exhibition format: Print (1.85/Dolby SR)
Archival Print Source: Academy Film Archive 

Major festival showings: Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (2001, competing); Filmfest München (2001, special tribute); Edinburgh International Film Festival (2001); Vancouver International Film Festival (2001); Rencontres internationales de cinéma à Paris (2001, three-film retrospective); MIFF Milano Film Festival (2001); London International Film Festival (2001); Moscow International Film Festival (2002).

“In ‘The Sleepy Time Gal,’ Munch daringly portrays the mysterious crisscrossings of destinies and the seemingly metaphysical echoes of distant lives as matter-of-fact occurrences. Yet he avoids exaggerations, guiding his actors to embody the characters’ actions with a similarly modest but emotionally engaged vigor.”  Richard Brody, The New Yorker (2023 retrospective assessment)
The Sleepy Time Gal exerts a gentle but definite narrative pull, with a style that immerses us so fully in every scene that they seem absolutely flooded with life.”  Caryn James, New York Times

“It’s thanks in no small part to Jacqueline Bisset’s candid and complex performance that for all its gossamer, death-haunted poetics, The Sleepy Time Gal in the end conveys the irreducible weight of a singular life.”  Dennis Lim, Village Voice

“Munch’s screenplay is tenderly observant of his characters. He watches them as they float within the seas of their personalities. His scenes are short and often unexpected. The story unfolds in sidelong glances. His people are all stuck with who they are and speak in thoughtful, well-considered words, as if afraid of being misquoted by destiny.”  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

As usual, Münch is chasing down something exceedingly delicate. Distances across time are linked to distances in space, and characters are dispersed both emotionally and geographically, but it's all handled softly, without emphatic prodding. The final effect of Sleepy Time Gal is of a lovingly crafted patchwork quilt, sewn by hand, billowing as it falls over the bed. . . . Sleepy Time Gal is about searching, trying to complete one’s self, not as a quest but as a biological urge."  Kent Jones, Film Comment

“I’ve called Munch’s style neat and decorous, but the way this movie — a period piece, like his other two features — leaps about in time and space may initially seem restless and unsettled. It starts off with Frances in New York City in the summer of 1982, moves to Frances in San Francisco six months later, leaps to Rebecca in New York, lurches forward another year to Frances in San Francisco, switches to Rebecca in Boston, then follows her as she boards a plane for Daytona Beach. Yet the persistence of feelings and personalities registers more than the temporal and spatial shifts — becoming a duet between mother and daughter, many miles and lives apart, singing in perfectly staggered harmony.”  Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

The Sleepy Time Gal has a depth, range and subtlety far greater than most American films . . . Bisset’s superb, unsparing portrayal. . . .” Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

[D]elicate, haunting and sultry.  At times, it seems so diaphanous that its about to slip into the ether, made weightless by its own clandestine longings.”  Gene Seymour, New York Newsday

“There’s a wistful poetry and dramatic clarity about Munch’s work that matches the sensitive acting.”  (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune)

“The richest and most distinguished effort to date from a major independent talent, The Sleepy Time Gal may seem ‘European’ in sensibility, but only because there’s so little room for American films of its kind.” (Scott Tobias, The Onion)

“Munch provides wonderful counterpoints to the entwined stories – each bound by variations of pain and reconciliation, doubt and discovery. He moves through time and space with preternatural ease, drawn to setting and location, architecture and landscape. He locates symmetries and reversals, the search for origins against a deeper plea for understanding, the shared characteristics and the similarities of their pursuits.”  Patrick Z. McGavin, Indiewire

Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

Peter Alexander and Michael Stipe in Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

Eighty years after Chinese laborers built the railroads that forged a new America, one of their descendants fights to save the short-line train through Yosemite Valley.

Watch Original Trailer
Watch Extended Trailer
Home Video:  Amazon
U.S. VOD:  Amazon Instant Video

USA 1996, 85 minutes, IFC Films, Stark Productions, Antarctic Pictures, Blurco, Artistic License Films
Origination format:  35mm B&W
Exhibition format:  Print (1.85/Dolby SR)
Archival Print Source:  Academy Film Archive

Major festival showings:  Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (1996, competing); The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, "New Directors/New Films" (1996); Locarno International Film Festival (1996); Toronto International Film Festival (1996); Filmfest Hamburg (1996); International Film Festival Rotterdam (1997); Hong Kong International Film Festival (1997); Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm (1997).


“Whereas the great Hollywood westerns were nostalgic for a time and place that didn't exist, Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day is nostalgic for a time and a place that did – but that is no less elusive. . . . [A] metaphysical meditation on the past – and memory – as a repository of ideals, including romantic love, that exist only to haunt us with their ungraspable perfection, with what once might have been but can never be. . . . [T]he movie has the aura, too, of a '40s picture postcard – the kind you can find on any market stall or in any thrift shop – sent and received by people long dead.  Ultimately, though, Münch's film isn't an elegy, but an exploration of the elegiac mode and the dreams we lose as each of us, in our own way, heads West.”  Graham Fuller, Interview Magazine

“Münch has taken a kernel of a true story and made of it a richly contemplative work.  It is a celebration of cinema and of railroads, which when joined, have a unique and romantic capacity for transporting us to a different time and place.  In turn, we experience the juxtaposition of nature and technology as images of Yosemite reminiscent of those of Ansel Adams are interwoven with the machine age glories of an old fashioned working train. . . . Against this setting and situation Münch creates an exceedingly subtle portrait of a young man, as exceptional in his way of thinking as in his good looks, who in trying to save the Y.V., has embarked upon a journey of self-discovery, a quest for identity. . . . ‘Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day’ is charged with eroticism and suffused with feelings of longing. . . . [I]n its wedding of dreams and technology, [it] is a  beguiling, unique reverie.
”  Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“The Sundance Film Festival’s one brush with the sublime this year. . . . Its filmed in breathtaking immaculate period-style black and white, incorporating stunning Ansel Adams-esque landscapes and seamlessly interwoven stock footage from the era (Rob Sweeney instantly jumps to the front ranks of new cinematographers).  The railroad represents not just a link to a vanished past – the protagonist's grandfather helped build it – but all ways of life facing extinction (hence the hero's oblique romantic liaison with a Native American park ranger). . . . Munch orchestrates his dreamer heros introspective equilibrium and the films tranquil narrative suspension to yield a kind of dazed, displaced eroticism reminiscent of the films of Marguerite Duras.  In its refined sensibility, uncompromising visual purity, and elegiac lyricism Munchs film is at once sui generis and kin to both Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven and Wong Kar-wai's Days of Being Wild.  Gavin Smith, Film Comment  

“Messier and more enigmatic, Christopher Munch’s Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day is nevertheless a film touched with greatness.  Its fetishizing of an irretrievable past, its haunting sense of place, and even the catatonia that affects its actors are worthy of comparison to Vertigo.  Hardly the perfect object that Munch’s earlier The Hours and Times was, its relation to history is more complicated and ambitious.  At the very least, it’s a transitional work by an exceptional filmmaker. . . . [I]t examines a moment in American history from the point of view of an outsider by birth who’s also out of step with his times.”  
Amy Taubin, Village Voice 

“[B]oldly atmospheric and mystically beautiful. . . .  Echoing the stately pace of the sound track, the dialogue is delivered with a rhythm that intensifies the drama even as it draws attention to the artifice of acting. Munch’s self-conscious blend of documentary and fiction conventions reveals both the limitations and possibilities of received ideas about storytelling, as this movie gives many levels of meaning to the apparently contradictory notions of preservation and progress at the heart of Lee's – and the filmmaker's – restoration project.  Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader (Critic's Choice)

“[A]ll the real concerns are kept suppressed and discreet, occasionally betraying themselves in a gesture or a reaction. . . . Münch presents Lee’s story in a flat, nearly documentary style.  There is little background music beyond some quiet Erik Satie piano pieces, and the camera remains relatively static within shots.  The effect is of a docudrama or home movie, albeit a beautifully lit one.  There are no grand dramatic moments, no carefully wrought speeches, no comic relief.  The performances are so unaffected, the film so stripped of obvious artifice, that we feel as if we are eavesdropping on real people. . . . The movie is full of hints, devoid of explanations.  Like the characters, it is utterly repressed.  But the dissonance between the unembellished style and the intrusion of these troubling, outrageous implications is fascinating.  Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day plays like V.C. Andrews, filtered through the rigorous style of Robert Bresson.”  Andy Klein, New Times (Los Angeles)

“[D]reamy, intense and finally elusive. . . . Whether capturing the natural beauty of clouds and wilderness or the grand old trains that summon a vivid American past, the film’s look is extraordinarily eloquent and pure.”  Janet Maslin, New York Times

“This (true) story, which evokes Coppola’s Tucker, is directed with the usual subtlety of Munch, who enchants the spectator with his atmosphere and by a series of barely visible signs in the composition of the image: a sudden look, the beginning of a gesture, a laconic phrase.”   Bérénice Reynaud, Cahiers du Cinema (from the original French)

“For those who have ever offered up their hearts on a platter with no prospect of getting it back, this movie will be their benediction.”  Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly

“At first glance, ‘Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day’ seems a simple tale of a confused young man who sets out to save something he loves.  But in the hands of director Christopher Munch, the understated simplicity is intertwined with a breathtaking beauty that is meditative and thrilling. . . . In the end, ‘Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day’ is not a tale of one man's success but rather his ability to fail and move on.  With a refined sensibility, Munch has created a striking visual tale that focuses with fine nuance on the building blocks of racial identity, family, love and responsibility.  It is also an epic poem to trains and a sadly beautiful moment in American history that is forever gone.”  Mary Houlihan-Skilton, Chicago Sun-Times

The Hours and Times

David Angus and Ian Hart in The Hours and Times

Chronicles a short holiday taken by a young John Lennon and his brilliant manager Brian Epstein in Barcelona in 1963.

U.S. home video, VOD and theatrical re-release –
Now Available from Oscilloscope Labs

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance and the Wolfgang Staudte Filmpreis at Berlin.

USA 1991, 57 minutes, Good Machine, Artistic License Films, Antarctic Pictures
Origination format: 35mm B&W
Exhibition format: Print (1.85/mono), DCP (restored by Sundance Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive)
Archival Print Source: Academy Film Archive

Major festival showings: Toronto International Film Festival (1991); Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (1992, competing); The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, “New Directors/New Films” (1992); 42. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, “22. Internationales Forum des Jungen Films” (1992); Taormina Arte ‘92 Cinema (1992); IV Mostra Banco Nacional del Cinema, Rio de Janeiro (1993); Athens International Film Festival (1993); Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm (1997).


Like a scientist, Munch considers the phenomenon in isolation; rather than looking at the band on tour or going behind the scenes of the music industry, he constructs a cinematic petri dish. . . . Munch’s re-creation of the moment is a kind of intellectual archeology, a rediscovery of states of mind and mood—ones in which Lennon’s explosive sense of freedom, inner and outer, resounded around the world.”  Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“[A] sharp, concise, evocative film about friendship, about its limitations and the recognition of those limitations. It is novel-size yet short (60 minutes), and utterly specific. Everything superfluous has been cut away.” Vincent Canby, New York Times

The Hours and Times is so far removed from biopic, docudrama, or cinema verité as to seem sui generis. . . . . The best American indie in many, many years.” (Amy Taubin, Village Voice)

“[U]ncategorizable, unforgettable. . . . Munch’s brave and moving film achieves his goal beautifully.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“A pensive, unmelodramatic time-trip back to an era when rock stars wore ties, The Hours and Times is true to its title: without a whiff of self-importance, first-time director Münch kicks around in the quiet off-hours of a famous 20th century pair of lives, exploring moments that are so inconclusive, yet fraught with significance, that they may as well have really happened.” (Michael Atkinson, Movieline Magazine)

“Exquisitely written and performed. . . . Munch’s understated vignette announced the arrival of a young but fully mature talent.” (David Ansen, Newsweek)

The Hours and Times delivers on the gossipy allure of its subject without falling into cheapness or hero worship. Though only an hour long, it's the most unexpectedly engrossing American movie I've seen this year.” (John Powers, New York Magazine)

“[U]nassuming and utterly original. ” (David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor)

“Extraordinary performances, a tight script, and elegant, witty direction make this a shining example of independent film making at its best.” (Paul Burston, City Limits, London)

“[B]eautifully paced, the dialogue elegantly tuned, the performances by David Angus (Epstein) and Ian Hart (Lennon) emotionally revealing and scrupulously unfussy. Whatever really happened between the men, this poignant, fragmentary film rings true. Validation enough, surely.” (Tom Charity, Time Out London)

“[A]n elegantly no-frills chamber piece . . . a narrative of remarkable precision – conventional without seeming clichéd, raising deftness and economy to a form of elegance. . . . Münch's work is as steeped in eternal ambivalence as it is in ancient history – it’s as true to the hours as it is to the times.” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)

“This very quiet chamber drama, meticulously acted and written with what feels like an uncannily accurate ear, is as much about differences in class and talent as it is about differences in sexual orientation.” (Larry Gross, Movieline Magazine)

“The first-rate performances and the kind of mature conversation and emotion [are] missing from today’s homogenized and so often juvenile American movies.” (Siskel & Ebert)

“One of the best films of the year.” (Film Comment, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Interview Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Movieline, etc.)