The third edition of Sound + Vision—a documentary series exploring a range of musical artists, genres, and styles—offers both exciting premieres and retrospectives. This year’s subjects span the undersung heroes of Latin boogaloo and Jamaican ska, James Szalapski’s low-key 1976 country-music classic Heartworn Highways, a train full of today’s greatest musicians and visual artists on a cross-country journey to create unforgettable performances, and a psychedelic visual companion to the collaboration between Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Ariel Kalma. Julien Temple, the legendary documentarian, music-video director, and fellow traveler of seminal English rockers like The Clash, The Kinks, and the Sex Pistols also gets his due with a retrospective highlighting both his greatest and his latest, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson. The series also features three live multimedia performances by Talibam!, Preston Spurlock & Friends, and Foxes in Fiction in our Amphitheater! This year’s edition promises to be nothing less than a feast for the eye and the ear, as well as a testament to the enduring and mutually enriching relationship between cinema and music.
In This Series
Q&A with Brendan Toller
A chronicle of the outrageous and brilliant counterculture career of Danny Fields, confidant of Warhol superstars Edie Sedgwick and Nico, and the man who helped get major record label deals for bands like the Ramones and The Stooges. Q&A with director Brendan Toller.
A moving portrait of the Latin Grammy-winning singer, composer, and master accordion player—who rose to international prominence playing with hitmakers like Toquinho, Gal Costa, and Gilberto Gil—as told through new interviews with his collaborators and rare archival footage.
Q&A with producer Graham Leader
Shot in Austin and Nashville, this legendary documentary features a mix of early performances by bands in the “Outlaw Country” movement, as well as snapshots of more intimate moments. Q&A with producer Graham Leader.
Q&A with director Wayne Price and musicians Shelly Colvin and Phil Hummer
Channeling the spirit and unhurried, intimate style of Szalapski’s original, this documentary follows talented young musicians on the outskirts of the Nashville scene today. Q&A with director Wayne Price and musicians Shelly Colvin and Phil Hummer.
Introduction by director Phil Grabsky
An edifying but never pretentious documentary about the life and thoroughly inventive work of Joseph Haydn, a composer who influenced both Mozart and Beethoven and crucially shaped the sound and format of chamber music. Introduction by director Phil Grabsky.
Q&A with director Brad Klein and percussionist Larry McDonald
A Buena Vista Social Club–like reunion of legendary musicians from ska’s early years in Jamaica, largely crafted from footage shot at two massive concerts held in Toronto in 2002. Q&A with director Brad Klein and percussionist Larry McDonald.
Work-in-progress screening plus Q&A with director Paul Rachman, writer-producer Steven Blush, subjects Chris Robison, David Peel, Gass Wylde, and Jake Holmes
The director of American Hardcore looks at talented eight singer-songwriters from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s who had high-profile producers (like John Lennon) or relationships with stars (like T. Rex), didn’t become famous, but still continue to make music today. Work-in-progress screening plus Q&A with director Paul Rachman, writer-producer Steven Blush, subjects Chris Robison, David Peel, Gass Wylde, and Jake Holmes.
Free outdoor screening in Damrosch Park!
This classic midnight-movie musical dared to ask what would happen if a straitlaced couple met a Victorian mansion full of over-sexed, cross-dressing aliens. Grab the nearest virgin you know, drag them to Damrosch Park, and get ready to do the time warp again! Free outdoor screening in Damrosch Park!
Q&A with director N.C. Heikin and producer/novelist Michael Connelly
A documentary about Frank Morgan, a saxophone legend who was playing backup for greats like Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker by age 15 and managed to return to the stage after a crippling 30-year spell of heroin addiction and incarceration. Q&A with director N.C. Heikin and producer/novelist Michael Connelly.
Over 24 days, Aitken traveled cross-country aboard a nine-car train full of musicians, visual artists, and curators—among them Ariel Pink, Thurston Moore, THEEsatisfaction, Cat Power, Suicide, and Giorgio Moroder—who stopped along the way to mount incredible performances, exquisitely documented in this eclectic grab bag of a film.
Q&A with Johann Rashid and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
A psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, and nonlinear visualization of musicians Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) and Ariel Kalma recording their minimalist electronic double album, We Know Each Other Somehow, shot on 8mm and grainy, handheld HD video and augmented using a Fairlight Computer Video Instrument (CVI). Q&A with Johann Rashid and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.
Q&A with director Johanna Schwartz
An impassioned look at the heartrending events that inspired Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, this documentary follows the stories of Malian musicians who defy occupying jihadists’ ban on all music as they attempt to mount a concert under the threat of violence. Q&A with director Johanna Schwartz.
Q&A with director Mathew Warren and musicians Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, Richie Ray, and Pete Rodriguez
The vibrant and radical history of Latin boogaloo, which originated on the streets of New York in the 1950s and ’60s and went on to move hips all around the world, told through archival footage and reminiscences from its living legends like Johnny Colon, Bobby Marin, and Joe Bataan. Q&A with director Mathew Warren and musicians Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, Richie Ray, and Pete Rodriguez.
An enlightening portrait of nine Thai musicians who span traditional music, labor songs, pop, and every possible genre in between. With inventively shot performances, this film is essential for any lover of world music.
I Was There: The Music Docs of Julien Temple
An early witness (and friend) to the first wave of English punk bands, Julien Temple’s films have always been intimately connected to music. The Film Society is proud to present a cross section of the director’s work about the seminal rockers and musical institutions he’s profiled over the years, much of which has never screened theatrically in the U.S. Illustrating the straightforward and intimate testimonies of his subjects through wryly chosen archival and performance footage, Temple’s collage-like approach to documentary manages to be rousing but never showy. Presented with generous support from the SundanceNow Doc Club.
Q&A with Julien Temple
A documentary structured around the earliest existing footage of The Clash on their 1977 New Year’s Day performance at the Roxy. Featuring Mick Jones’s Bruce Lee impersonation and a cameo by Johnny Rotten! Screening with: Never Mind the Baubles: Christmas with the Sex Pistols (Julien Temple, 60m). Q&A with Julien Temple.
Introduction by Julien Temple
The iconic lead guitarist of The Kinks reminisces about his life against the stunning backdrop of Exmoor’s rolling hills and seaside, illustrated at key moments with found archival footage. Screening with: Ray Davies: Imaginary Man (Julien Temple, 80m). Introduction by Julien Temple.
Q&A with Julien Temple
An energetic, sui generis documentary about the final months and newfound joie de vivre of former Dr. Feelgood and Ian Drury guitarist Wilko Johnson that makes use of images from Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates. Q&A with Julien Temple.
The “warts and all” story of the making and unmaking of the Sex Pistols, as told by its original members and a sardonic selection of found footage, including key moments of Laurence Olivier’s performance in Richard III.
Covering each year of the open-air music festival between its inception in 1970 and 2005, Temple’s film reveals the best (and worst) aspects of Glasto. With performances from the likes of Björk, David Bowie, James Brown, Nick Cave, and Morrissey.
A companion piece to Temple’s comprehensive history of Glastonbury, which focuses on the festival’s outlying fields, home to revelers who preserve Glasto’s radical, alternative roots.
A deeply personal but uncompromising look at the life and legacy of The Clash front man and lyricist that captures him in all his complexities, contradictions, and rebellious energy. With interviews from family members, friends, and artists including Bono, Johnny Depp, and John Cusack.
A concert film of iconic ska band Madness’ concept album of the same name that is reflective of London’s working-class history and waves of immigration.
Introduction by Julien Temple
A lithe and lucid look at Dr. Feelgood, a proto-punk “pub-rock” band that broke up shortly before hitting the big time and paved the way for punk with their prescient sound, sardonic attitude, and outlandish stage shows. Introduction by Julien Temple.
Sound + Vision Live
Explore the connections between music and film with this series of intimate concerts featuring live music and original video work. The concerts range widely—from moody ambient atmospheres to dynamic percussion trios to spiky improvised electric guitar—but each show represents something truly out of the ordinary. Sound + Vision Live is an exploration of sound and image: what it means to watch something; the myriad ways in which performance, film, and video art intersect and enrich one another; and how sound and light interact with each other within a space.
Live Multimedia Performance
Brilliant, irreverent, chameleon-like noise duo Talibam! present an evening of works from their video archives and an unhinged live performance.
Live Multimedia Performance
Bedroom shoegazer, soft-singer extraordinaire, and Orchid Tapes label manager Warren Hildebrand will showcase new songs and video work in our Amphitheater.
Live Multimedia Performance
The king of New York City concert flyers presents an evening of his collages, songs, animations, video manipulations, and musical performances by his friends.
The second edition of Sound + Vision—a documentary series exploring a range of musical artists, genres, and styles—offers exciting premieres from around the world, retrospective screenings of newly restored films, and a live performance by New York band Glass Ghost, who combine digital imagery with their sounds. Read More
Sound + Vision is an homage to the people who create our music, who struggle and work to have it heard and, when they succeed, help us connect with one another. From journeys of personal discovery and pure celebrations of sound to music as a form of social and political rebellion, these documentaries reveal the tenacity and dedication of the people who devote their life to song. Read More