- Film Guide
Presented by WMSE 91.7FM, The Pabst Theater, and The Hotel Foster.
Tom Waits said it best: “I always thought songs are movies for the ears and films are like songs for the eyes.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we pulled all our music documentaries together in one place this year. Your eyes and ears will be equally happy.
SOUND VISION 2012 FILM LINE-UP:
An Affair of the Heart
Aussie heartthrob Rick Springfield appears to be a hypnotist. He’s entranced thousands of fans since 1981, when he released his hit song “Jessie’s Girl” and joined the cast of General Hospital. In this wildly entertaining documentary, we get to tag along with his diverse and devoted groupies as they storm his concerts, flood his cruises, and swarm to his book signings to bask in his presence and pour out their hearts.
Andrew Bird: Fever Year
Andrew Bird’s fans often sweat and shiver during his stunning violin solos. Bird also exhibited these symptoms during the 165-show tour he launched in 2009. Instead of admitting he was sick, he insisted he was morphing into an “animal perfectly adapted to the music hall.” Kartemquin Film’s Xan Aranda captures Bird’s sometimes-peculiar perspective in intimate documentary segments and showcases his inventive, multi-instrumental looping technique with concert footage from Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater.
Bad Brains: A Band in DC
In the mid-1970s, four black teens bond around a love of jazz fusion, then make history by inventing a loud, fast, punk spin-off called “hardcore” through their band Bad Brains. Their impact and influence can be heard in groups like Beastie Boys, No Doubt, Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, and countless more. Filled with concert footage, animation, and interviews with music legends, this high-energy documentary reconstructs Bad Brains’ rich and complicated history.
Charles Bradley: Soul of America
By age 62, most Americans are contemplating retirement. For Charles Bradley, this age marked the takeoff of a career he started long ago, with the lauded release of his debut album, No Time for Dreaming. Director Poull Brien glimpses into the boxes that have confined this genial musician, which range from homelessness to illiteracy and constant poverty, and reveals the extraordinary journey of a man who never gave up.
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
While searching for a new singer, iconic rock band Journey stumbles across a YouTube video of a Journey cover band in the Philippines. Guitarist Neal Schon is stunned at the vocal similarity of their lead singer, Arnel Pineda, to Journey’s legendary former lead singer Steve Perry. And so begins the rags-to-riches whirlwind journey of Pineda, told to us through candid interviews and rockin’ concert footage that’ll have you singing along.
Step inside the creative world of Icelandic cult hero Sigríður Níelsdóttir, who at the ripe old age of 70 finally decided she couldn’t keep the music inside any longer and released 59 albums over the course of seven years. This delightful doc shows the DIY aesthetic that Níelsdóttir’s work is infused with, and one can’t help but be inspired to create when faced with her charming anything-goes methods.
I Want My Name Back
The Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 megahit “Rapper’s Delight” drew hip-hop into the mainstream with a catchy incantation: “I said a hip hop, the hippie, the hippie, to the hip hip hop.” As thousands of fans shouted these words, the trio’s money, name, and fame quietly drained into their managers’ pockets. In this documentary, Roger Paradiso follows two founding members as they work to reclaim their identities as hip-hop pioneers.
Miriam Makeba wasn’t just a Grammy-winning singer. She was a real-life angel who used her voice to fight Apartheid. After her native South Africa revoked her citizenship, she launched a music career in America, only to lose it by wedding Black Panther Stokely Carmichael. Director Mika Kaurismäki combines archival footage from Makeba’s personal life, interviews with friends and family, and clips from her historic Cape Town concerts to celebrate her legacy.