Music documentaries

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Searching For A Wrong-Eyed Jesus.

A couple of southerners were annoyed by it, they thought it was a very British take on "the weird south" (the film makers were Brits) but I absolutely loved it.

Harry Crews was ace, the acts appearing are wonderful, only David Johanssen is a bum note. And the Johnny Dowd clip is gorgeous:

As Flannery O'Connor remarked, "anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

this is the shit. jim white's still waters is an amazing song too.
 

slim jenkins

El Hombre Invisible
From an entirely parochial point of view I concur with Slim above. Really placing them as a product of their environment - Canvey Island (a byword for backwards and insularity down here on the Estuary), it makes a good case for their importance, particularly as a live band.

Wilko is fascinating - owning every frame he is in.

ohh... and my butcher is in it too expalining how Lee Brilleaux was a gourmand and polite to the ladies in the queue

I enjoyed the way Temple put it all together...the use of Brit gangster films to illustrate stories and add a humorous twist...location shots...sound effects etc. In Wilco he had a great central figure, as you say. He came across as tragi-comic...the whole 'philistine' pose and the final scene in his room with the space-travel software. I saw them in '75 and although we didn't realise at the time their look, attitude and approach to R&B really was a primer for Punk in many ways, as the doc rightly suggests. With this and the Detroit doc he made, I've forgiven Temple for 'Absolute Beginners'.
 

slim jenkins

El Hombre Invisible
Searching For A Wrong-Eyed Jesus.

A couple of southerners were annoyed by it, they thought it was a very British take on "the weird south" (the film makers were Brits) but I absolutely loved it.

Harry Crews was ace, the acts appearing are wonderful, only David Johanssen is a bum note. And the Johnny Dowd clip is gorgeous:


As Flannery O'Connor remarked, "anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

That looks excellent.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I watched this Downtown Calling doc the other day in Village Underground in Shoreditch, pretty decent telling of the downtown scene in late seventies NY I thought. You've heard most of the stories before but some new footage and a good narration from Debbie Harry - worth checking I think.
 

DigitalDjigit

Honky Tonk Woman
Saw three music documentaries at a film festival this weekend.

Until The Light Takes Us - rather amateurish documentary about the Norwegian Black Metal scene. Mostly concentrates on Fenriz (of Darkthrone) and Varg Vikernes (aka Burzum). These two are very interesting people and quite charismatic so they make the movie worthwhile. Unfortunately the film doesn't spend enough time on the music itself and I didn't understand the relevance of about a quarter of the stuff included in the film. I am not sure fans of the genre would get much out of the film whereas non-fans such as myself would feel lost a lot of the time.

We Don't Care About Music Anyway - this is what a music documentary should be like. No interviews, over half the running time taken up by the music in question and beautifully shot and edited. This film concentrates on the Japanese experimental/noise scene (Otomo Yoshihide, Sakamoto Hiromichi...). There's about a dozen musicians participating. You get alternating scenes of them sitting around a round table talking about their music and then a performance. Really enjoyed this.

Wheedle's Groove - this covers the soul scene of Seattle in the late 60's - early 70's. Interviews with some key bands. You get to hear some of the songs. There's not really any footage from the time so you only get some photographs. There's a crate digger guy who I could relate to a little, he tells some interesting stories about record hunting. The stories the bands tell could apply to any black band at the time: the club scene, racism, the coming of disco, trying to get paid and get a record contract etc. I would strongly recommend it to fans of this music.

Also, I compiled this list of films/books related to dance music:

http://www.ilyay.com/serv.php?file=music/books_and_films

It's a bit out of date, I lost a more updated version of it. Working on recovering it.
 

nochexxx

harco pronting
Saw three music documentaries at a film festival this weekend.

Until The Light Takes Us - rather amateurish documentary about the Norwegian Black Metal scene. Mostly concentrates on Fenriz (of Darkthrone) and Varg Vikernes (aka Burzum). These two are very interesting people and quite charismatic so they make the movie worthwhile. Unfortunately the film doesn't spend enough time on the music itself and I didn't understand the relevance of about a quarter of the stuff included in the film. I am not sure fans of the genre would get much out of the film whereas non-fans such as myself would feel lost a lot of the time.

We Don't Care About Music Anyway - this is what a music documentary should be like. No interviews, over half the running time taken up by the music in question and beautifully shot and edited. This film concentrates on the Japanese experimental/noise scene (Otomo Yoshihide, Sakamoto Hiromichi...). There's about a dozen musicians participating. You get alternating scenes of them sitting around a round table talking about their music and then a performance. Really enjoyed this.

Wheedle's Groove - this covers the soul scene of Seattle in the late 60's - early 70's. Interviews with some key bands. You get to hear some of the songs. There's not really any footage from the time so you only get some photographs. There's a crate digger guy who I could relate to a little, he tells some interesting stories about record hunting. The stories the bands tell could apply to any black band at the time: the club scene, racism, the coming of disco, trying to get paid and get a record contract etc. I would strongly recommend it to fans of this music.

Also, I compiled this list of films/books related to dance music:

http://www.ilyay.com/serv.php?file=music/books_and_films

It's a bit out of date, I lost a more updated version of it. Working on recovering it.

wicked, they all sound great! i think i've seen the first one though.

incidentally, does anyone know of a death/black metal doc that focuses heavily on the satanic aspect? it tells a story of a father, who investigates his sons favourite metal group, after he is found tragically murdered during a satanic ritual. there's a scene where the father goes to a gig and confronts the band in question. it's an interesting insight into the mexican black/death metal scene.
 
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robin

Well-known member
i really enjoyed on the rumba river,its a documentary about papa wendo,who was one of the leading lights of congolese rumba in the 1950's.

its a fairly gentle,slowpaced film with some really great musical performances when he organises a reunion of his old band.

http://www.rumbariver.com/

i'd love to see some documentaries about non-western music back in the day - watching this made me really want to see some footage of kinshasha in the fifties,but thinking about it now,there's loads of other places where there was similarly amazing music being made that i've never seen any video footage of,anyone got any recommendations?
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
Oil City Confidential is a wonderful film. I watched it not giving a toss about Dr Feelgood's music and hadn't changed my mind by the end, but the story is so well told and the people so compelling (Wilko, come on down) that none of that matters.

Best of Temple's trio of music docs by a mile.
 

empty mirror

remember the jackalope
I just saw American Hardcore and it was good if you have any connection to the music. Not sure why you'd watch it if you didn't. Lots of great footage. And Henry Rollins comes off as likable.

The extras on the Arthur Russell DVD are amazing. That's one to own.
 

jenks

thread death
Last night BBC4 showed Bird On a Wire - a Leonard Cohen docu that was just shot beautifully and had all these bizarre Cohen pronouncements and a half time stoppage of a gig in Jerusalem where Leonard only returned to the stage after he had had a shave! His voice throughout was totally captivating.
 

nomos

Administrator
watched this last night and couldn't help thinking Wigan Pier could be the next Jersey Shore.
 

nochexxx

harco pronting
Tod Phillip's Hated. doc on GG Allin. one of the greatest things i've ever seen.
up-gg_allin_lg.jpg
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Oil City Confidential is a wonderful film. I watched it not giving a toss about Dr Feelgood's music and hadn't changed my mind by the end, but the story is so well told and the people so compelling (Wilko, come on down) that none of that matters.
Yeah, I agree with everything that's been said about this. Fantastic film as much for the background psychogeography and the social history as for the band and the music.

Contrast with the BBC4 krautrock docu that was shown recently, which us about a bunch of bands that I am interested in and don't know much about and yet still came out pretty boring. "In sixties germany, popular music was pretty boring and youth culture was angry and revolutionary. Against this backdrop, a group of radical young people in <city> formed <band>, and made exciting progressive music with synthesizers, but never really had much commercial success." - repeat x 6.
 
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