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Review: 'Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius Of James Booker' An Ordinary Doc About An Extraordinary Musician

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 30, 2013 8:06 PM
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A striking presence, wearing an eye-patch, outlandish attire and boasting a personality that could win over any crowd, it was the talent in James Booker's fingers that left audiences talking once he was finished on stage. A New Orleans institution, a prized musician among musicians, an eccentric troublemaker, a tortured genius and a soul who could never quite keep it together long enough to sustain a concrete career, Lily Keber's documentary "Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius Of James Booker" is an earnest attempt to offer contemporary audiences an appreciation and knowledge of who this person was. But despite the title of the doc, which conjures up a madcap, heartbreaking tale, the film is a mostly workmanlike biopic that unfortunately can never match the energy of the subject it's trying to capture.

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

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • July 26, 2013 6:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment
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.

Exclusive: Poster For SXSW Rock Doc 'Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 6, 2013 9:59 AM
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There are a lot of things to take in at SXSW -- BBQ, beer, movies and just the general vibe of Austin, Texas in the spring. But just as integral is the music. As usual, each year the SXSW Film Festival dedicates a section of their programming to movies and documentaries about music, and one that might be worth tracking down between platters of ribs is a film about who Dr. John described as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced."

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