Posts Tagged ‘documentaries’

I’m sad to say I don’t remember these guys, but you can bet I’m going to see this movie. It’s in theaters right now. More info here: http://www.anvilmovie.com/

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This looks so good. And unlike It Might Get Loud it will actually play here in Portland.

Throw Down Your Heart follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album. Béla’s boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa. Using his banjo, Béla transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds.

The movie was made by Sascha Paladino, Béla Fleck’s half-brother, and is the second the two have made together, the first being the documentary short Obstinato: Making Music for Two. A CD is already available under the title Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions.
Limited screenings start in New York today, April 24th. We in Portland must wait until July 17th.

July 17-23, 2009

Hollywood Theatre

Portland, OR


List of screenings: http://argotpictures.com/throw-down-your-heart.html

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DIY before it was cool. U.K. Subs: Punk Can Take It was directed by Julien Temple who you may know better as the director of The Great Rock And Roll Swindle (Sex Pistols, y’all). Resting on the pastiche of World War II films Temple shows the disillusionment and anger that fueled the punk movement in England. This film is messy and vile and not well done. Exactly as it should be. There’s not really a whole lot going on here, but that’s OK. Punk Can Take It is a wonderful little snapshot of a time when punk was no longer in its infancy and you get to see the U.K. Subs live. By 1979 the second wave of punk had already been around for two years, Sid Vicious was dead, Hardcore, Oi! and New Wave were under way. Check out U.K. Subs: Punk Can Take It. Have some laughs, get inspired, learn a little history (or remember it if you were there). At the very least it’s only 18 minutes 59 seconds out of your day.

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Why 7? Because this is filler. Plus, haven’t lists rounded to the nearest 5 or 10 been overdone? In the meantime, if you want a top 10 list, post a comment with 3 more movies to round this list out and you will get my eternal gratitude and a cookie!


Wonderful movie about the mutual admiration of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre and how it all goes wrong, for one band. Best line in a movie EVER, “You fucking broke my sitar, mother fucker!”

The Flaming Lips: Fearless Freaks

Made me really appreciate what they’e about by learning more about their process. It’s all about the process.

Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster

Band loses bass player, band finds bass player, band loses bass player, band loses singer, singer comes back, band finds bass player, and Bob Rock is adorable. I should know. I watch this movie 40 times a year.

Les Paul: Chasing Sound

Just amazing. See why every recording artist, regardless of genre, owes this man just about everything.

Shut Up & Sing

Or Why Country Music Fans Hate America No Matter How Patriotic They Sound. In all seriousness this is a must see. The Dixie Chicks kick ass.

History of Rock ‘N’ Roll

Want to learn how every major genre of rock music started and be entertained? No? Oh. Well watch this anyway.

LoudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies

Find out that indie cred doesn’t make you cool in real life. Oh, and Frank Black’s man boobs!

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You’re Gonna Miss Me is a documentary about Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson. For those of you not in k the know Roky was a co-founder, guitarist and singer for 13th Floor Elevators, one of the first psychedelic bands of the 1960s. The film opens with a court scene in which Sumner Ericskon, Roky’s youngest brother, is attempting to gain guardianship of Roky from their mother Evelyn. So we have our set up for the movie-a family power struggle of sorts. Next we see the band performing their best known song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” on a 1966 TV appearance on Dick Clark’s show of while the likes of Billy Gibbons extol the talents of Roky and the glorious future 13th Floor Elevators should have had. Director Keven McAlester then juxtaposes the image of a young Roky and words of how amazing he was with a shot of his current self; older, heavy set, and, well a little off his nut and in need of someone else’s care. The rest of the film takes us through Roky’s drug use and persecution by local law enforcement and his incarceration in a mental facility. We get to see that even after 10 years of being commited Roky was able to come out and be fairly successful and prolific as a musician. And here’s the kicker, his music with Roky Erickson and the Aliens was good! But this is not a story of triumph, not yet anyway. Roky was mentally ill and needed treatment and medication the whole time after he was released. Instead he self medicated with a variety of illegal substances that contributed to his decline and eventual need of care.

You’re Gonna Miss Me is as much about Evelyn Erickson as it is Roky. She clearly has her own issues and spends a lot of time creating large murals and collages chronicling Roky’s rise and fall. We also get a little bit about how her husband and father of her four boys may have been a pedophile that completely jacked up one or all of the boys, but there is no follow up. Roky and Evelyn are kindred spirits. Both artistic and both a little bonkers. We get to see the filth they both live in. Evelyn and Roky appear to need visual and aural clutter to calm their frantic minds.

In the end Sumner does get guardianship of his brother and helps him get treatment with Sumner’s own therapist, or “mentor” as he calls her. The therapy scenes were physically painful for me as they don’t look at all like they would be helpful. She has the brothers march/walk in a circle. There is also a moment when the therapists asks Roky what he wants to do when he is better and he says he wants to go see his mother and talk to her. Sumner is visibly upset. Despite my opinion, the therapy has apparently worked as Roky has Roky Erickson and The Explosives and has been playing shows again, including 2007’s Bumbershoot.

This is an interesting film and is full of interesting characters. There is actually a lot to digest and I recommend multiple viewings. So much I haven’t touched on, like Evelyn’s exploitation of Roky for her wacked out home movies or a beautiful shot of the Erickson patriarch leaving Sumner’s house and walking right next door to his own. You have to see this to understand why it had such an impact on me. You’re Gonna Miss Me is a great documentary about some one who should be more famous and more successful than he is, but it is also a story of the triumph of brotherly love and responsibility.

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