Rock Doc Summer

I have no idea why this happens but I guess things do occur in cycles. I have friends/acquaintances involved in four music documentaries screening around the country this summer and I wholeheartedly recommend that you track every one of them down:

Color Me Obsessed – I have to imagine this film is Gorman Bechard’s dream come true. A self-described ‘Mats fanatic, Bechard has put forth a ballsy, unique proposition—a music documentary that sings the praises of a band without using any of that band’s music. Instead, the film is a comprehensive collection of interviews with fellow Replacements fans like Greg Norman and Grant Hart from Hüsker Dü, Craig Finn from The Hold Steady, celebrities like Dave Foley and Tom Arnold, and writers like Greg Kot and Robert Christgau, just to name a few. It’s been recommended to put this mix tape together for pre and post-screening enjoyment.

Searching For Elliott Smith – A touching tribute to an extremely talented and extremely troubled artist who was never comfortable with his increasing popularity. This is the first real document of Smith that he actually took part in and also has the cooperation of former girlfriend Jennifer Chiba, someone who still, years after Smith’s death, is saddled with the undeserving burden of being a target of the lies, accusations, and outright libel that emanate from the darkest corners of the internet. It’s a chance for his loved ones to finally remember him as a person and appreciate the legacy of his music without the tabloid bullshit as accompaniment.

Blank City – A chronicle of the “Cinema of Transgression,” a film scene clearly born of, and filled with, the music of NYC’s No Wave movement of the early eighties. Fueled by a brilliant soundtrack assembled by music supervisor Dan Selzer, owner and founder of Acute Records, the movie sketches out this post-punk, DIY school of filmmaking born of the fury, talent and bad taste of filmmakers like Amos Poe, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd and Jim Jarmusch. Also, of special interest, it just finished its run at the Magic Lantern (a theater which holds a very special place in my heart) last week. Which brings me to…

SpokAnarchy – An unflinching look at how a punk scene can rise and flourish—in its own rollicking, unique fashion—in the middle of a cultural wasteland… in this case, Spokane, Washington circa nineteen-eighties. David and Theresa Halsell, Jon and Heather Swanstrom, Cory Wees, and Erica Schisler all collaborated to craft this authentic and deeply satisfying testament to the liberating and transformative power of punk rock. Through interviews with the movers and shakers in the scene and beautifully scarred, analogue period footage (some of which I was happy to provide), the film offers a glimpse into what can bloom anywhere there’s creativity, desire and a heavy dose of dissatisfaction.

Find ’em, watch ’em.

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