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Watch: 18 Trailers For FSLC's 'Sound + Vision' Series, Docs On Low, Bill Callahan, Charles Bradley, Green Day & More

The Playlist By Diana Drumm | The Playlist July 26, 2013 at 6:36PM

Kicking off tonight, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting Sound + Vision, a week long film series featuring choice documentaries on the people behind the music. And we're talking about serious cinema here, not a revival of VH1's "Behind the Music." Ranging from the rebellious to the political to the uplifting personal story, each of these films has been chosen to celebrate the connectedness of music and music on film. Not only will a bunch of these films be making their premieres (New York, North American & U.S.), but there will be a few director and subject Q&As for you lucky New Yorkers. From Atlanta's underground funk scene to Korean pop to Mumford & Sons, there's something for everyone.
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Sound + Vision' Series

Kicking off tonight, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting Sound + Vision, a week long film series featuring choice documentaries on the people behind the music. And we're talking about serious cinema here, not a revival of VH1's "Behind the Music." Ranging from the rebellious to the political to the uplifting personal story, each of these films has been chosen to celebrate the connectedness of music and music on film. Not only will a bunch of these films be making their premieres (New York, North American & U.S.), but there will be a few director and subject Q&As for you lucky New Yorkers. From Atlanta's underground funk scene to Korean pop to Mumford & Sons, there's something for everyone.

For those looking for an in-depth portrait reexamining a long-overlooked artist, there's opening night film "Charles Bradley: Soul of America" about funk/soul/R&B singer-songwriter Charles Bradley, the Grammy-winning and still-touring country artist Jim Lauderdale in "Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts," the Minnesota-based slo-core cult band Low in "Low Movie (How To Quit Smoking)," and "The best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced!" aka James Booker in "Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker."

If you're a classic rock and soul fan, there's "Muscle Shoals" about the legendary Alabama studio that recorded the likes of Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones along with "Born in Chicago" about the impact of Mississippi Delta blues on a group of middle class white boys (featuring interviews with Bob Dylan, B.B. King and Jack White). If the underground music and political scene is more your thing, there's "Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War!" about underground Cuban rap duo El Aldeanos and their "revolution against the revolutionaries," along with "Funkjazz Kafe: Diary of a Decade (The Story of a Movement)" about Atlanta’s underground music scene from the late '80s to the early '00s (featuring interviews with Erykah Badu, George Clinton and Cee Lo Green). For the young-ish crowd who are still head-banging to "American Idiot," there's "Broadway Idiot," documenting Green Day bringing their album-based musical "American Idiot" to the Great White Way.

There are films even for those who'd rather be at a concert right now with "Big Easy Express" documenting the 2011 Railroad Revival Tour featuring Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and the revealing look at enigmatic underground rocker Bill Callahan on tour in "Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour." That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Check out the whole line-up with full descriptions (via The Film Society of Lincoln Center) below, and here's a bunch of trailers from the documentaries as well. Last but not least, want to win a signed copy of the aforementioned Low documentary, "Low Movie (How To Quit Smoking")? Just fill out the form below all the trailers.


OPENING NIGHT

New York Premiere!
CHARLES BRADLEY: SOUL OF AMERICA (2012) 74m
Director: Poull Brien
Country: USA
Filmmaker Poull Brien met Charles Bradley while they were shooting a music video together and decided to follow this unassuming, talented singer in the months leading up to the release of his first album, No Time for Dreaming, at the age of 62. After a lifetime struggling with poverty, a broken family and illiteracy, Bradley gets his break with Daptone Records, a Brooklyn-based soul, funk and gospel label. While his earlier performances were often killer James Brown impersonations, he reveals himself as a talented soul singer and songwriter in his own right. Bradley is able to hold on to his warmth and honesty through the years of hardship, and realize his dreams of a singing career.
Director Poull Brien & subject Charles Bradley in person for Q&A!
Friday, July 26 at 6:30

North American Premiere!
9 MUSES OF STAR EMPIRE (2012) 80m
Director: Hark-Joon Lee
Country: South Korea
Nine young women are followed for a year as they train to be the next big K-pop sensations as part of a new girl group, the Nine Muses. Selected for their looks more than their singing ability by the powerful Star Empire Agency, they undergo intense scrutiny and criticism as they are molded into the image created by the CEO. They prepare for their debut at the annual K-pop festival Dream Concert with relentless rehearsals, but the sacrifice is all for that shot at fame.
Friday, July 26 at 4:30pm
Tuesday, July 30 at 8:30pm

New York Premiere!
APOCALYPSE: A BILL CALLAHAN TOUR FILM (2012) 61m
Director: Hanly Banks
Country: USA
Following Callahan on his 2011 tour through California, the Midwest and back to NYC with beautifully shot images, Banks captures his live performances and moments from life on the road that seem to illustrate his lyrics. Callahan is a private person who enigmatically shares some thoughts on film. A concert film might just be the best way to understand him: “I think when I’m performing live, it’s really just the realest me there is.”
Saturday, July 27 at 3:00pm

New York Premiere!
BAYOU MAHARAJAH: THE TRAGIC GENIUS OF JAMES BOOKER (2013) 90m
Director: Lily Keber
Country: USA
“The best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced!” “The Black Liberace!” “Piano Prince of New Orleans!” Who was this guy and how did he lose that eye? Booker was a musical genius who started with classical training when he was 12; released his first recording at 15 and began performing in clubs at 16; taught Dr. John to play the organ; tutored Harry Connick Jr.; toured in Europe; went to prison; played a unique piano style that combined classical, jazz, blues and ragtime; and died young of drug and alcohol abuse. Lily Keber’s vibrant documentary captures it all through performance footage and interviews with Booker’s friends, supporters and fellow musicians.
Sunday, July 28 at 8:15pm
Monday, July 29 at 3:45pm

BIG EASY EXPRESS (2012) 67m
Director: Emmett Malloy
Country: USA
Malloy’s film follows Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros on their 2011 six-city Railroad Revival Tour. From Oakland to New Orleans, the music never seems to stop—on the train, off the train, visiting an Austin high school, and probably in their sleep. The three bands build a genuine friendship with each other and a natural connection with their fans on this joyful whistle stop tour. Big Easy Express won a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video 2013.
Saturday, July 27 at 7:00pm

U.S. Premiere!
BLOODY DAUGHTER (2012) 94m
Director: Stéphanie Argerich
Countries: France/Switzerland
The world-renowned pianist Martha Argerich is known to be a very private person. Fortunately for her fans her daughter Stéphanie decided to make a very personal film about her mother. The youngest of the three daughters with three different husbands, there was a lot Stéphanie wanted to know. Although the hard questions are not pushed, a portrait emerges of a great talent struggling to balance her career and children. At 72, Martha and her daughters have a warm relationship despite all they have been through.
Sunday, July 28 at 3:30pm
Tuesday, July 30 at 4:00pm

New York Premiere!
BORN IN CHICAGO (2013) 86m
Director: John Anderson
Country: USA
In 1960s Chicago, a group of middle class white boys fell in love with the blues being performed in the crowded nightclubs by black musicians from the Mississippi Delta. Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and Hubert Sumlin taught the next generation: Barry Goldberg, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Nick Gravenites, Charlie Musselwhite, and others, who went on to make the music their own. Interviews and performance footage of these “kids,” now in their 70s, trace the lineage and scope of this inspired music.
Friday, July 26 at 9:00pm

BROADWAY IDIOT (2013) 80m
Director: Doug Hamilton
Country: USA
Doug Hamilton’s film started out as a behind-the-scenes look at the idiots that thought a punk rock record could translate to a Broadway musical—Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer. But the film becomes much more than that; it chronicles Billie Joe’s growing engagement with the creative process of this new, for him, art form. Hamilton shows the journey including a peek at pre-teen Billie Joe, live concert footage and his Broadway debut.
Director Doug Hamilton and producer Ira Pittelman in person for Q&A!
Monday, July 29 at 8:45pm

BROTHERS HYPNOTIC (2013) 86m
Director: Reuben Atlas
Country: USA
Eight brothers make up the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, taking on the music business while trying to adhere to their father’s vision of music as a path to consciousness-raising. First-time director Atlas met them playing on 42nd street and followed them on tour, to meetings, in practice and at home in Chicago with their legendary musician father Phil Cohran. Their story is remarkable not because of their functional, loving family of one dad, three moms and 24 siblings, but because of their true talent and commitment to music while they develop their own ambitions both with and apart from the family.
Saturday, July 27 at 4:45pm

FUNKJAZZ KAFÉ: DIARY OF A DECADE (THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT) (2012) 126m
Director: Jason Orr
Country: USA
From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, Atlanta’s underground music scene had a renaissance that pivoted around the FunkJazz Kafe Arts & Music Festival. Here, a new generation of soul singers hit the stage, reinventing the form that was once at the height of mainstream music. The film also explores why there are so few soul bands in today’s commercial music scene. Narrated by Chuck D with appearances by Cornel West, Cee Lo Green, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, George Clinton, N'Dea Davenport, Doug E. Fresh, Roy Ayers, Jamie Foxx and many others, FunkJazz Kafé is chock full of great performance footage.
Director Jason Orr in person for Q&A!
Wednesday, July 31 at 4:00pm

GIMME THE POWER (2012) 101m
Director: Olallo Rubio
Country: Mexico
Gimme the Power starts by tracing the political history of Mexico, from colonization to dictatorship to democracy. Then, true to rock’s form, the band Molotov explodes on stage with critiques of the government’s policies and the state of Mexico today. Despite having won the Latin Grammy Awards four times since 1995, Molotov keeps its identity as a contentious, left-wing, protest band. Rubio’s film works off their message to create one of his own.
Wednesday, July 31 at 9:15pm

New York Premiere!
I AM NOT A ROCK STAR (2012) 85m
Director: Bobbi Jo Hart
Country: Canada
The director follows her subject, Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki, for eight years, watching her development from a 12-year-old gifted piano student to a 20-year-old professional. It’s fascinating to watch the process behind the scenes, but this is equally the story of a young girl growing up, finding her own voice, and learning to take charge of her life. Hart’s patience with her subject pays off as the unfolding story reveals a young woman who is as complex and strong as she is talented.
Director Bobbi Jo Hart and subject Marika Bournaki in person for Q&A!
Tuesday, July 30 at 6:30pm

New York Premiere!
JIM LAUDERDALE: THE KING OF BROKEN HEARTS (2013) 90m
Director: Jeremy Dylan
Country: Australia
Lauderdale had to work hard for his success as he played the country music circuit from NY to LA and fought the frustrations of the music business. His talent won out and he was picked up by Dwight Yoakim’s producer and went on to write hits for George Strait, Patty Loveless, and the Dixie Chicks, among others, winning two Grammys in the process. Australian director Jeremy Dylan discovered Lauderdale on one of his tours and after a little research into his life and career knew he had a story that needed to be told.
Saturday, July 27 at 1:00pm

New York Premiere!
LOW MOVIE (HOW TO QUIT SMOKING) (2013) 70m
Director: Philip Harder
Country: USA
More document than documentary, according to director Philip Harder, Low Movie brings together the music videos and short movies he’s made with the band Low since their inception in the mid-'90s. It documents their evolution musically and personally, as well as their relationship with the director. The work is visually stunning and some has never been available to the public before. The images complement the minimalist aesthetic of the Minnesota-based cult band in this gorgeous, hour-long experience.
Director Philip Harder in person for Q&A!
Monday, July 29 at 6:15pm

New York Premiere!
MUSCLE SHOALS (2013) 102m
Director: Greg Camalier
Country: USA
Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a small town on the Tennessee River, became the birthplace for some of the biggest hits from the 60s on, from Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones, Etta James, Gregg Allman and others. Rick Hall opened FAME Studios, bringing together black and white musicians at a time of racial tension. Years later, his studio musicians left to open a rival studio with equal success. Camalier explores through film and interviews the energy and creativity that came together in this amazing place to create the Muscle Shoals sound.
Sunday, July 28 at 6:00pm

New York Premiere!
VIVA CUBA LIBRE: RAP IS WAR! (2013) 74m
Director: Jesse Acevedo
Country: USA
Music as political protest still exists in Cuba in the form of rap duo Los Aldeanos. Aldo and El B challenge the government’s social and economic policies, but in doing so they put themselves at real risk, as do the fans that come to see them and the director Jesse Acevedo in even making the film. Filming the Cuban underground scene, Acevedo follows the group with an anonymous crew to hastily promoted performances on the outskirts of town, working hidden cameras. The group has been accused of “anti-socialist sentiments.” It's a revolution against the revolutionaries, and the music is good.
Saturday, July 27 at 9:00pm
Thursday, August 1 at 4:00pm

U.S. Premiere!
WOODSTOCK IN TIMBUKTU: THE ART OF RESITANCE (2013) 86m
Director: Désirée von Trotha
Country: Germany
Filmed at the three-day Festival au Desert held near Timbuktu, Mali, Woodstock in Timbuktu comments on the power of music to unify and resist. The nomadic Kel Tamasheq (Touareg) people come together to preserve their culture, protest inequalities, and stand up to the militant groups and corporations encroaching on their land. Von Trotha highlights three bands, Amanar, Tartit and Bombino who discuss the difficulty and importance of the annual gathering, especially as the specter of war encroaches. Three days of peace and music, and no mud in sight.
Sunday, July 28 at 1:30pm

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This article is related to: Emmett Malloy, Muscle Shoals, Charles Bradley: Soul of America, Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, Trailers


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