More Music Movies from Cinematheque

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Big Smash! Music Scene continues with Thursday night movies about music at Cinematheque... find out more here...

May 1 - 9:30PM
Big Smash! Music Scene:
Dir. Pavla Fleisher UK/Ukraine 2006 / 63min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

An Eastern European road movie about roots, relationships and identity,
following Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello as he travels to his homeland in
Ukraine. In 2004, Czech-born director Pavla Fleischer met and fell in love
with Eugene Hutz, the lead singer of popular New York-based band Gogol
Bordello. Enamored of his intense personal charisma and Eastern European
spirit, she undertook to make a documentary about a planned road trip in
search of his family roots and links to the Roma musical heritage in his
original homeland of Ukraine. However, a certain tension creeps into the
filmmaking process as the director and her subject begin to pursue different
agendas. As the director turns the camera on the unfolding dynamic between
the two of them, their personal longings and searches play out against the
rugged backdrop of the rural Ukrainian and Russian trains and villages that
frame the journey. (MOFFOM)

May 8 - 9:00PM
Dir. Howard Berger & Susan Stahman USA 2008 / 122 min. / DVCAM PAL / Music

From his dank flat on Holloway Road in London, Joe Meek created some of the
strangest and most wonderful sonic experiments ever to attempt to gatecrash
the hit parade. Known to the crazed few as the British Phil Spector, Meek -
a misguided auteur who single-handedly invented the idea of independence in
pop by selling his finished products to the major labels - is seldom
credited as the creator of some of the best known 60s records ever. His most
famous work was The Tornados' hit "Telstar" (1962), which became the first
record by a British group to hit #1 in the US Hot 100. Meek's other notable
hit productions include "Johnny Remember Me" by John Leyton, and "Have I the
Right?" by The Honeycombs, "Tribute to Buddy Holly" by Mike Berry. Meek's
concept album I Hear a New World is regarded as a watershed in modern music
for its innovative use of electronic sounds. These stories would be
fantastic enough without rumours of black magic, gangland threats and a
pill-popping climax of paranoia, rapidly declining fortunes, murder and
suicide. The Joe Meek story is a B-movie script without a home - until now.
(adapted from text by John McCready)

May 15 - 9:00PM
D. Michael Wolk USA 2003 / 72 min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

"6.4 = Make Out sees Wilson getting his groove on, Barry White style. If
Barry White was a creepy pervert, that is, or a horny teenager." (Pitchfork

"...smooth-yet-quirky ditties with vague tinges of Steely Dan jazziness and
a hefty dose of obsessive-compulsive emotional damage ..." (The Village

25 years ago, thanks to a jazz-musician dad, a teen-age encounter with the
composer John Cage, and a personality inclined toward strange habits
(rolling in flour and magnetic recording tape, for example), Gary Wilson
emerged from his parents' basement in Endicott NY with a home-recorded
album, "You Think You Really Know Me" that went on to become a highly
influential and revolutionary vanity effort. Wilson's funky keyboards,
creepy effects and cheesy fills (described as "Steely Dan on crack")
inspired everyone from Beck to Simpsons creator Matt Groening, but his
career never took off, and he ended up playing lounge music and working in a
pornographic bookstore. The doc features a surprising amassment of archival
footage, and follows Motel Records' 6-year search for the elusive musician
and their efforts to get him the credit he deserves as a pivotal component
of outsider rock. (New Yorker Magazine)

May 22 - 9:00PM
Dir. Oliver Ralfe and James Blueme, UK 2006 / 79min. / DVCAM PAL / Music

A film about the notorious Bob Dylan obsessive, whose forays into Dylan's
texts (and trash) led to a famous series of mutually insulting telephone
conversations. Even in the strange world of music fanatics, A.J. Weberman is a personality that stands out. The notorious Bob Dylan obsessive and the founder of
"garbology" as a method of character analysis, his cabbalistic forays into
Dylan's texts (and trash) eventually led to blows, street protests and a
famous series of mutually-insulting telephone conversations, later
immortalized on bootleg records. This film is an irreverent exploration of a
life spent on the obscure fringes of New York's Lower East Side, and offers
a uniquely twisted take on the American dream. Featuring an unforgettable
cast of former Yippies, including offbeat folksinger David Peel, former
child dancer Jay Byrd and Aaron 'Pieman' Kay, this film documents the life,
times and crimes of a true original. (MOFFOM)

ATTENTION BUDDING GARBOLOGISTS! Bring in some garbage from a Winnipeg
Celebrity and explain to the audience what you can learn about said
celebrity from their refuse. Prizes to all who participate!

May 29 - 9:15PM
Big Smash! Music Scene: FABRICATING TOM ZE
Dir. Decio Matos, Jr. Brazil 2006 / 90min. / Video / Music Documentary /
Portuguese w/ English Subtitles

"What saved me was that I'm such a terrible singer and composer that for me
there was no difference between a piano and a vacuum cleaner." The
controversial Tom Ze is a true nonconformist even by the radical and
pyschedelic standards of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement, of which he was
a founder. This highly personal documentary reveals Ze at home and in other
initmate settings connected with his past, as well as capturing him on an
ambitious European tour. Received like a pop star abroad while working as a
gardener (and formerly a petrol station attendant) in Brazil, this strange
dichotomy is largely due to his chance rediscovery by David Byrne in the
1990s. The film also features interviews with Byrne, Gilberto Gil and
Caetano Veloso. (MOFFOM)

June 5 - 9:00PM
Big Smash! Music Scene: MELODY (AKA - S.W.A.L.K.)
Dir. Warris Hussein UK 1970 / 106min/ 16mm / Coming of Age

Rare British Cult Classic on 16mm film! Early Bee Gees score!

Maurice and Barry Gibb were commissioned to provide the soundtrack for this
long-lost gem -- scripted by Alan Parker (PINK FLOYD:THE WALL) -- that
re-united young actors Mark Lester and Jack Wild (co-stars of OLIVER!) in a
story about pre-teen pals at a British school. In South London, two lonely
classmates of opposite backgrounds - the well-bred, shy Daniel (Lester) and
the Cockney cynic Ornshaw (Wild) - become good friends; but their friendship
is affected when Daniel falls in love with fellow classmate Melody Perkins
(Tracy Hyde) and the two children decide to run away and get married. MELODY
is quite simply one of my favourite films of all time. Not only is the early
70s Bee Gees music incredibly affecting, and the performances adorable and
heartbreaking, but the amazing Jack Wild - known to U.S. audiences as Jimmy
from HR PUFNSTUF - is worth the price of admission all on his own. Special
thanks to Jarette Moats.

June 12 - 9:00PM
Big Smash! Music Scene: FUZZ: THE SOUND THAT REVOLUTIONIZED THE WORLD Dir. Clif Taylor USA 2007 / 91min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

A documentary about the Fuzz Box! Director Clif Taylor explores this insane
industry of noise-making, a unique subculture populated by guitar-slinging
superheroes and garage-dwelling electronic geeks, all sharing the collective
obsession of one day creating that perfect sonic wave of limitless
distortion. Featuring interviews with Billy Gibbons, Jon Spencer, J Mascis,
Steve Albini, Peter Frampton, Angie Bowie and many more.

June 15 - 4:30PM
Harry Nilsson's Birthday!
Dir. Fred Wolf USA 1971 / 60min. / 16mm / Musical Children's Fantasy

Dustin Hoffmann narrates the famed animated feature dreamt up, written and
produced by the late Harry Nilsson, based on his album of the same name and
featuring the hit song "Me and My Arrow". In a land where everyone and
everything has a point, the birth of a pointless child throws the kingdom
into an existential crisis that is temporarily resolved by banishing the
youngster Oblio to the Pointless Forest with his pet (and accomplice) Arrow.
On their journey, Oblio and Arrow meet a bizarre stable of characters no
doubt inspired by Nilsson's many acid trips and drinking binges.
Furthermore, they discover that just because someone or something seems to
have a point doesn't mean they do, and sometimes the most seemingly
pointless things are the most integral to human existence. A treat for
Nilsson aficionados and '70's animation fans alike, THE POINT is one of the
greatest animated fables of all time. (Kier-La Janisse)

June 15 - 9:00PM
Harry Nilsson's Birthday!
Compilation 2007 / 90min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

Special advance tickets available that include Birthday cake and a "lime in
the coconut" drink! Wear a bathrobe to the event and be eligible for
fabulous prizes! Contact Kier-La Janisse at or

Everyone has their favourites, on screen and on our stereos. But nobody's
going to deny the sheer talent and individuality of the late, great Harry
Nilsson. Though he never quite became a household name, the '60s/'70s
singer-songwriter was responsible for more hits, soundtracks and pop
innovations than any ten FM radio superstars put together. From his
heartbreaking interpretation of Badfinger's "Without You" to his cult
classic childrens rock opera THE POINT, Nilsson was named as an enormous
collaborative force and influence by countless contemporaries and recording
legends, from Phil Spector to The Beatles. To honour the musical maverick's
birthday, I have assembled a collection of full-song clips and footage of
Nilsson's best work, certain to enthral and inform fans and newcomers alike.
(Kier-La Janisse)

June 19 - 9:30PM
Dir. Dan Ollman Nigeria 2007, 65min. / BETA SP / Political / Music

The history of Nigeria and the oil business set to an Afrobeat soundtrack.
Two rival family dynasties battle for the soul and future of a nation.The
film follows the decades-long inter-family conflict between two rival
dynasties in Lagos: those of the multiple-term president and military
general Obasanjo, and the founder of afrobeat Fela Kuti and his
activist-musician son Femi. Through close attention to the potency and
activism of the Kuti family as expressed in their performances and lyrics,
the film examines several decades of government corruption and misrule and
the role of music in challenging this. In the process it also reveals how
this ongoing family and cultural feud is rooted in international politics
surrounding the oil industry. (MOFFOM)

June 26 - 9:00PM
Dir. Andrew Bujaski USA 2005 / 108min

Alan's quest for success in music and love is hampered by one thing--
himself. Centering on Alan's half-hearted romancing of radio DJ Sara and
promoting his fledgling band, MUTUAL APPRECIATION is less a love story than
an insightful and hilarious portrayal of the art of awkwardness.

July 3 - 9:00PM
Big Smash! Music Scene: THE GITS
Dir. Kerri O'Kane USA 2005 / 80min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

In a pre-Nirvana Seattle, The Gits were the resident musical underdogs. With
the unparallelled vocal power of front woman Mia Zapata they set the bar for
indie rock in the Pacific Northwest. After inspiring such incendiary bands
as Seven Year Bitch to pick up their instruments, they caught the ear of
major label record execs who heard the muscular riffs and soulful hooks and
realized what fans already knew - The Gits were anything but your typical
street punk outfit. Because of this, the tragedy that struck in 1993 was
that much harder to swallow. With intimate live footage and interviews with the surviving members,director Kerri O'Kane explores the mystique and digs into the
mystery of one of the rock world's most enigmatic bands. One part THE FILTH
AND THE FURY, one part CSI: SEATTLE, THE GITS is a rock doc as engaging and
powerful as the music that inspired it. (Calgary International Film

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