The UK’s only music documentary festival returns to London for its second edition with another program of films and Q&As. Starting today and until the 4 October the festival will screen a whole host of World, European, UK and London premieres at its brand new home, Picturehouse Central. This year the festival features two Brit Es films we are really excited about; the UK premiere of the the intimate ‘Paco de Lucia: A Journey’ directed by his son Curro Sánchez and ‘The nightingale and the night’ the breathtaking stories of Mexican singer Chavela Vargas and Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
The UK’s only music documentary festival returns to London for its second edition with another programme of films and Q&As. Starting today and until the 4th of October the festival will screen a whole host of World, European, UK and London premieres at its brand new home, Picturehouse Central.
This year the festival focuses on the work of Instigators & Innovators across a broad spectrum of musical genres spanning everything from flamenco and gospel to boogaloo, indie rock and Irish folk. The outstanding program features two Brit Es films we are really excited about; the UK premiere of the the intimate ‘Paco de Lucia: A Journey’ directed by the musician’s son Curro Sánchez and ‘The nightingale and the night’ the breathtaking stories of Mexican singer Chavela Vargas and Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Save the dates for such an outstanding program!
MORPHINE. JOURNEY OF DREAMS
Dir. Mark Shuman | USA-Italy | 2015 | 91 min. | UK première
The story of the iconic genre-busting 1990s ‘Low Rock’ band Morphine told by its surviving members and the coterie around them, without narration, and made palpable through saxophonist Dana Colley’s tour journals. Rare live performances from throughout the group’s career are woven into the tale and display why the trio’s unique and mesmeric sound continues to resonate with its fans and music lovers worldwide.
Q&A with director
Fri 25th Sep | 7.00pm
THEORY OF OBSCURITY: A FILM ABOUT THE RESIDENTS
Dir. Don Hardy | USA | 2015 | 87 min. | London première
The avant-garde music and multimedia collective known as The Residents has never revealed the identity of its members, always appearing in costume in extravagant live musical performances and filmed projects. Don Hardy’s fast-paced documentary tells the story of the group’s start in rural North Louisiana, their artistic awakening in late-‘60s San Francisco and follows them to the present day where they are still going strong creating and performing.
Sat 26th Sep | 5.00pm
Dir. Jessica Edwards | USA | 2015 | 80 min. | London première
The first feature-length documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group the Staple Singers. The film moves from the delta-inflected gospel sound she helped pioneer in the 1950s and the message songs of the civil rights era marching beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to her massive success with hits including I’ll Take You There during the soul-filled Stax era and her more recent Grammy-winning work with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
Sat 26th Sep | 7.00pm
SALAD DAYS: A DECADE OF PUNK IN WASHINGTON DC (1980-90)
Dir. Scott Crawford | USA | 2014 | 90 min.
A documentary film that examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation’s Capital. 1980-90 was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows – without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry’s subsequent implosion).
Sun 27th Sep | 4.00pm
PACO DE LUCÍA: A JOURNEY
Dir. Curro Sánchez | Spain | 2014 | 95 min. | UK première.
An intimate and exhilarating look at the life of legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, composed of modern-day interviews and a wealth of archival footage. Featuring B.B King, Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin and directed by de Lucia’s son Curro Sánchez, the film captures a relaxed and candid side of the great musician and his unparalleled talent.
Sun 27th Sep | 6.00pm
THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE NIGHT
Dir. Rubén Rojo Aura | Mexico | 2015 | 73 min. | European première.
This is the story of Mexican singer Chavela Vargas and the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Poetry and music are their meeting points. Chavela ́s gut-wrenching renditions of Mexican popular classics and revolutionary ballads, combined with her hard-drinking, pistol packing lifestyle, ensured she lived her own legend to the fullest. The ninety year old woman and Hispanic emblem fulfilled her last wish in her last year of life: to make a tribute to the allegorical poet from Granada and finally, to meet once again, her beloved friend in the ranks of death.
Tue 29th Sep | 7.00pm
JOHNNY WINTER: DOWN AND DIRTY
Dir. Greg Olliver | USA | 2014 | 80 min. | London première.
Lemmy co-director/producer Greg Olliver spent two years following Johnny Winter from his home in Connecticut to France, Japan and beyond to create an intimate portrait of the Texas musician who played at Woodstock, partied with the Rolling Stones and John Belushi, dated Janis Joplin, and jammed with Jimi Hendrix. Aptly named Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty by Johnny himself, this documentary explores what it’s like to live a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll debauchery with only a few regrets, but not without consequences.
Wed 30th Sep | 7.00pm
SHAKE THE DUST
Dir. Adam Sjöberg| USA | 2014 | 108 min. | European première.
From journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg and executive producer and rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones, Shake the Dust chronicles the influence of breakdancing, exploring how it strikes a resonant chord in the slums, favelas and ghettos of the world and far beyond. Criss-crossing from Colombia, to Yemen, to Uganda and onwards to Cambodia and showcasing some of the most jaw-dropping breakdancing moves ever committed to film, Shake the Dust is an inspiring tribute to the uplifting power of music and movement.
Thu 1st Oct | 7.00pm
THE SOUND OF YOUNG SCOTLAND – THE BIG GOLD DREAM
Dir. Gant McPhee | UK | 2015 | 94 min. | London première.
Big Gold Dreams is the first music documentary to focus on two influential Scottish independent record labels – Fast Product and Postcard Records – that operated in the post-punk years. The two labels were only small but had a significant role in creating what would go on to be known as indie rock. Fast Product released records by influential left-field outfits such as Scars, The Mekons, The Human League and Dead Kennedys; Postcard’s roster of acts included Orange Juice, Josef K, Aztec Camera and The Go-Betweens. It almost seemed like Fast were on the post-punk side of the fence, while Postcard were the new wave guys.
Q&A with director
Fri 2nd Oct | 7.00pm
WE LIKE IT LIKE THAT – BOOGALOO
Dir. Mathew Ramirez Warren | USA | 2014 | 82 min. | European première.
Latin boogaloo is the product of the melting pot of funk, soul and Cuban influences, a colorful expression of 1960s Latino soul, straight from the streets of El Barrio, the South Bronx and Brooklyn. Starring Latin boogaloo legends such as Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon and Pete Rodriguez, We Like It Like That explores this lesser-known, but pivotal moment in Latin music history, through original interviews, music recordings, live performances, dancing and rare archival footage and images.
Q&A with director
Fri 2nd Oct | 8.00pm
SLEAFORD MODS – INVISIBLE BRITAIN
Dir. Nathan Hannawin and Paul Sng | UK | 2015 | 90 min. | World Exclusive Preview.
Part band doc, part look at the state of the nation, the film follows the Sleaford Mods on their tour of the UK visiting places which probably don’t even exist in the minds of many – the neglected, broken down and boarded up parts of the UK that most would prefer to ignore.
Q&A with filmmakers
Sat 3rdOct | 3.00pm
AN IMPROVISED LIFE
Dir. Tom McInnes | UK | 2015 | 60 min. | World Premiere.
Although best known for his profound collaboration with Pink Floyd on their first No. 1 album Atom Heart Mother, Geesin has had a multi-layered career as a musician, composer, performer, humorist, writer and collector. This intriguing profile of his life features contributions from Pete Townsend, Peter Gabriel, Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Robert Wyatt, and Bridget St. John.
Q&A with Ron Geesin and director Tom McInnes
Sat 3rdOct | 5.00pm
TASTE: WHAT’S GOING ON – LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL 1970
Dir. Murray Lerner | USA | 1971 | 82 min. | World Premiere.
The film tells the story of Ireland’s seminal rock band Taste, formed in Cork in 1966 by Rory Gallagher. They had a brief but influential career, releasing two studio albums in 1969 and 1970 and disbanding shortly after their legendary appearance at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival, which is the centerpiece of this film. The core of the film is the band’s performance at the festival on August 28th but it is encapsulated by a documentary on the history and importance of Taste and setting the scene for their Isle Of Wight Festival appearance.
Q&A with former road manager Donal Gallagher
Sat 3rdOct | 7.00pm
THE GLOAMING: MOMENT TO MOMENT
Dir. Philip King and Nuala O’Connor | Ireland | 2014 | 55 min. | UK Premiere.
This is a film about five individuals for whom artistic freedom is a given. Their work both as individuals and as a group has been viewed as a departure from the guiding principles and precepts of practice from within the traditional Irish music establishment. The regard of the artistic world for The Gloaming outside of the expected genre has sometimes served to reinforce the impression of the group as iconoclasts.
Q&A with director
Sun 4th Oct | 3.00pm
LOST SONGS – THE BASEMENT TAPES CONTINUED
Dir. Sam Jones | USA | 2014 | 106 min. | European Premiere.
A documentary that goes behind the scenes with some of today’s most talented songwriters as they make new music based on long-lost, newly discovered lyrics from Bob Dylan’s legendary Basement Tapes sessions. T-Bone Burnett brings Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, and Marcus Mumford together in a dramatic, cross-generational two-week studio session at Capitol Studios. The film features an exclusive interview with Bob Dylan and a cameo from Johnny Depp as a supporting guitarist.
Sun 4th Oct | 5.00pm
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Image © Ziggurat Films (2014) ‘Paco de Lucía: La Búsqueda’