While IMDB's list of "Most Popular Music Documentaries" reveals the flavor of the moment - you know them, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, One Direction and the rest of their ilk - it's still a nice list to trail through. Some oldies are still on it and also more recent ones that did well. Provided me with some reminders and some inspiration.
Before we move in let's just namedrop a few of the films that popped up in 2013 that we might have forgotten. I had to enlist the help of the world's biggest search engine whose named shall not googled, eh, mentioned. Quite a few films I haven't even seen, but remember hearing about.
There's "Good Ol' Freda" about The Beatles secretary. Squeezing the lemon? Maybe. But it seems this president of the band's fanclub must have had some stories to tell.
Another one is "Muscle Shoals" about Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios and the so-called signature sounds he developed in songs such as "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman". It came out this October, so still very new. Sounds interesting, but of course another of the more "historic" kind of music films.
Dave Grohl & Co's tribute to and resurrection of Sound City Studios was fairly well-received, as far as I remember, and also got plenty of attention (but in this day and age a buzz doesn't last for long, of course - hence a reminder such as this blog). "Sound City" attempted to tie the past to the present and it's still a movie I have not had the pleasure of seeing.
One that should get way more attention than it does is "Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer". Yes, a documentary about the shameless treatment of protest punk band Pussy Riot in Putin's increasingly worrying Russia.
One film that might not get a wide audience could be "Art Gods". But I love the narrow and odd angle of it: It's about the promotional displays that set the scene in each Tower Records store and how viewing them became a part of the record buying experience. A niche film, surely, but I got curious when I read about it. I wonder if it's one that will make the rounds so we can see it. There's a trailer here.
I know there were plenty more in 2013, but let's keep it short... ish.
In the Coen Brothers coming feature film "Inside Llewyn Davis" it looks like they yet again too a turn down the road to darkness. It's hard to tell from the trailer whether it's going to be good. But it certainly looks amazing. And they usually attract good actors while also trying out new talent, so my hopes are high. Even though it looks like a "struggling artist" story we have seen before.
A quick look on IMDB's list of coming music documentaries reveals some interesting ones.
There are already several films about rap and rhyming. And now comes another one. The title is "Check The Rhyme" and it features Chuck D, Ice T, KRS-One and loads of others. There there is also a few more: "Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise" (the reggae legend), "Shot: The Mick Rock Documentary" (famed rock photographer) and one called "Art Officially Favored" about Californian street musician and "bowhammers" player Michael Masley, which sounds like a nice story.
Anyways, just a quick look around the room. I'll post more non-review blog entries along the way when I come across something interesting. And of course write more reviews.