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Drafthouse Films Nabs 'A Band Called Death,' Documentary on Lost and Reborn '70s Punk Group

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 26, 2013 at 12:56PM

Drafthouse Films has taken North American rights to Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino's documentary "A Band Called Death," chronicling the rise to cult stardom of '70s African-American proto-punk trio Death almost 30 years after the release of their forgotten demo tape. The film will screen at SXSW (March 8-16). Trailer below.
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"A Band Called Death."
"A Band Called Death."

Drafthouse Films has taken North American rights to Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino's documentary "A Band Called Death," chronicling the rise to cult stardom of '70s African-American proto-punk trio Death almost 30 years after the release of their forgotten demo tape. The film will screen at SXSW (March 8-16). Trailer below.

Drafthouse plans a theatrical and VOD release for the film this summer.

Here's more on "A Band Called Death":

Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, there was Death. Formed in 1971 by three teenage brothers in Detroit, Michigan, the African-American group is widely acknowledged as being one of the first punk bands. After years of struggling with canceled contracts, increasing debts, inner family tragedy, and a controversial name that barred them from future success, Death sold off their instruments and disbanded with their recordings lying dormant in an attic for decades. After years of silence, Death’s moment finally arrived following unexpected demand from rabid internet fans and record collectors, which ushered renowned appreciation and a swarm of national media attention that has now secured their place in the annals of rock history.

This article is related to: News, News, Documentary, Documentaries, Drafthouse Films, Alamo Drafthouse


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.